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by spartacula
A WORK IN PROGRESS: This list focus’ on books that offer insight to the film industry. They may be about movies, actors, directors, cinematography, screenwriting etc. What they won’t offer are reviews and guides to dvd’s. I’m taking these off my personal library shelves, and sharing them with anyone that’s looking for behind-the-scenes stories (and pics), how-to capture creativity and reference the people we admire that have their hearts and souls invested in filmmaking and storytelling. The titles will be followed by the author(s) and a description, most likely taken off the dust jacket.… Read more


This list focus’ on books that offer insight to the film industry. They may be about movies, actors, directors, cinematography, screenwriting etc. What they won’t offer are reviews and guides to dvd’s. I’m taking these off my personal library shelves, and sharing them with anyone that’s looking for behind-the-scenes stories (and pics), how-to capture creativity and reference the people we admire that have their hearts and souls invested in filmmaking and storytelling. The titles will be followed by the author(s) and a description, most likely taken off the dust jacket. Enjoy! – this is the catalog location of my film related books.

CINEMA NOW by Andrew Baily – The DNA of cinema: The most innovative and influential filmmakers in the world today. Cinema Now examines the work and key themes of 60 filmmakers working around the world today, from the cream of the crop of young Hollywood to the new wave of Asian mavericks and the burgeoning ‘auteurs’ from Europe and Latin America. Cinema Now is packed with stunning full color photos and exclsive on-set snapshots supplied by the filmmakers, and even comes with a supplementary DVD containing exclusive short films, extracts, trailers and much more… FYI, I thought it would be advantageous to list the directors covered in the “CINEMA NOW” book (published through TASCHEN)… as with most, my copy is printed in english, german, and french…’the auteurs’ site is the appropriate place to bring this colorful and insightful compilation to light…

faith akin
pedro almodovar
andrea arnold
darren aronofsky
jacques audiard
siddiq barmak
matthew barney
bong joon-ho
catherine breillat
craig brewer
laurent cantet
nuri bilge ceylan
stephen chow
sofia coppola
alfonso cuaron
luc & jean-pierre dardenne
guillermo del toro
mark dornford-may
bruno dumont
atom egoyan
alejandro gonzalez inarritu
paul greengrass
lucile hadzihalilovic
michael haneke
mary harron
todd haynes
hou hsiao-hsien
spike jonze
maranda july
lodge herrigan
kim ki-duk
guy maddin
terrence malick
michael mann
neil marshall
lucrecia martel
fernando meirelles
john cameron mitchell
lukas moodysson
anders morgenthaler
christopher nolan
gyorgy palfi
park chan-wook
alexander payne
cristi puiu
pen-ek ratanaruang
nicolas winding refn
carlos reygadas
joao pedro rodrigues
robert rodrigues
pavel ruminov
david o. russell
cate shortland
johnnie to
tsai ming-liang
tom tykwer
gus van sant
apichatpong weerasethakul
wong kar-wai
zhang yimou

now, if that doesn’t cover the international scene…

10 BAD DATES WITH DE NIRO: A BOOK OF ALTERNATIVE MOVIE LISTS by Richard T. Kelly – What are the Top Ten movies for making cigarettes look cool? Do good films ever win the Oscar? What is film’s most tragic farewell, greatest opening-credit sequence, grisliest murder, loosest screen adaptation, most gratuitous use of sex and violence? How do you make a great movie without a movie camera? And why do Robert De Niro’s characters behave so badly to women? Born of the cinephiles well-known love of lists, Ten Bad Dates with De Niro is a symposium and celebration of viewing pleasures, private passions, and cimematic lost causes. Contributors include a fine cast of critics, filmmakers, and writers ranging from Steven Soderbergh and the Coen Brothers to Andrew O’Hagan and George Pelecanos. Includes: Ten Films to Avoid on Medication (or Within Reach of a Cutlery Drawer), Ten Dodgiest Decisions of the Cannes Film Festival, Ten Great Films Which Defy Genres and Ten Films the Coen Bros. Would Like to See Remade.

NO, BUT I SAW THE MOVIE: THE BEST SHORT STORIES EVEVR MADE INTO FILM by David Wheeler – The classic stories that inspired our favorite films. High Noon. All About Eve. The Fly. Blow-Up. The Heartbreak Kid. The Jazz Singer. Guys and Dolls. Stagecoach. Rear Window. 2001: A Space Odyssey. It Happened One Night. Don’t Look Now. Psycho. Behind many of Hollywood’s greatest movies are equally great short stories. No, But I Saw The Movie collects more than two dozen of the world’s best films as they were originally written. These outstanding stories represent many genres – comedy, true crime, sci-fi, romance, horror – and each is timeless in its own right. For those who’ve spent hours in dark theaters enjoying the best films of our century, here is a collection of cinematic tales to delight film buffs and fiction aficionados alike.

THE 50 GREATEST MOVIES NEVER MADE: Fifty Masterpieces From Hollywood That Never Made It To The Big Screen by Chris Gore – No matter how many movies you’ve seen, no matter how many trivia contests you’ve won, this book is sure to have some surprises for you. The fifty flicks featured here aren’t playing at the local google-plex or renting at your video store. These films never actually made it to the big screen – they’re the gems that got lost in the Hollywood shuffle, consigned to Development Hell. Imagine: Hichcock’s The Blind Man, Dali and Disney’s Destino, Star Trek’s Starfleet Academy, Garbo’s Lover and Friend, and a senior citizens’ Animal House. Each movie is a treat for the imagination, and also a lesson in the dos and (mostly) don’ts of Hollywood. In here are dramas, sci-fi films, comedies, sequels, animated films, and biopics certain to stir the imagination. For the movie enthusiast, this book ia a speculative joy, and for the aspiring filmmaker, it’s a crash course in cimematic survival.

MYSTERY GUILD 101 GREATEST MOVIES OF MYSTERY AND SUSPENSE by Otto Penzler – A must-have for discriminating film buffs and mystery lovers alike, this informative guide is packed with plot twists, cast lists, delectable bits of fun, and often scandalous trivia. Organized chronologically, the contents include the finest Hichcockians suspense movies, the toughest gangster flicks, the wittiest Thin Man titles, the bleakest noir films, and much, much more. This substantial survey is enhanced by the extensive knowledge and sharp style of Otto Penzler, who Booklist calls “a mystery superbuff.” Penzler presents a slew of interesting facts for each and every film, encouraging you to see these classics for the first time or maybe the hundredth.

CHRISTOPHER WALKEN A to Z: THE MANTHE MOVIESTHE LEGEND by Robert Schnakenberg – The Complete Guide to All Things Walken. He’s been a dancer, a baker, a lion tamer, an award-winning actor, and a Hollywood legend. But Christopher Walken has never been the subject of a comprehensive biographical reference – until now. Here at last is a complete A to Z guide to this one-of-a-kind performer, featuring entries on everything from the Actor’s Studio, where he spent eleven years as a janitor, to Zombie Movies, one of his favorite genres. Plus more bizarre B movies and SNL appearances than you can shake a cowbell at! Complete with fascinating trivia and dozens of photographs, Christopher Walken A to Z offers the definitive look at a pop culture phenomenon.

BEHIND THE SCENES: THE MAKING OF… by Rudy Behlmer – The Maltese Falcon, Singin’ in the Rain, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, Stagecoach, A Streetcar Named Desire, Tarzan and His Mate, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The African Queen, All About Eve, Casablanca, Frankenstein, The Grapes of Wrath, Gunga Din, High Noon, Laura, Lost Horizon. This is a rare “behind-the-scenes” view of all the machinations, foibles, triumphs and happy accidents that were making some of America’s favorite films. The author follows each film from nascent story ideas through the screenplay, the studio politics, the shoot, the edit, the censorship quarrels, and finally, into theatrical release. Mr Behlmer’s research into original source materials offers the reader a meticulously accurate “backstory” on each of the sixteen films, and a fascinating study of Hollywood in the heyday of the great American movie. This expanded edition of America’s Favorite Movies: Behind The Scenes is an invaluable source book for both the serious film student and the casual film buff.

THE MONSTER SHOW: A CULTURAL HISTORY OF HORROR by David J. Skal – There’s more to movie monsters than meets the eye. Demonic children. Manmade monstrosities. Sexy serial killers. America is in love with horror in all its forms, from Dracula and Frankenstein to The Addams Family and The Terminator. In fact, the evolution of our favorite horror icons amounts to a “secret history” of the twentieth century, mirroring the great social crisis of our times – wars, depressions, invasions, political witch hunts, the battle over reproductive rights, the destruction of the environment. In this fascinating look at the relationships between horror and entertainment, David Skal shows how Cold War paranoia led to such nightmare visions of mind control as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, how fear of nuclear radiation and thalidomide gave rise to films preoccupied with mutants like The Fly, and explores the link between the AIDS epidemic and our current fascinations with vampires.

I’M A LEBOWSKI, YOU’RE A LEBOWSKI: LIFE, THE BIG LEBOWSKI AND WHAT HAVE YOU by Bill Green, Ben Peskoe, Will Russell, & Scott Shuffitt – To some, The Big Lebowski is just a movie. To others it is The Movie. When we decided to get some friends together at a tiny bowling alley in Kentucky to drink White Russians and celebrate our favorite movie, Lebowski Fest was born. We discovered we were not alone, and fellow fans from around the world, also known as “Achievers”, started coming out of the woodwork. We, the bums who started Lebowski Fest, have been given the modest task of assembling a fan book for what we feel is the greatest film of all time (condolences Citizen Kane). At times we felt we were out of our element, but we went out and achieved anyway. I’m A Lebowski, You’re A Lebowski begins with a forward by Jeff Bridges and includes behind-the-scenes photos taken by him on the set. To bring to light all we could about the making of this movie, we interviewed everyone from John Goodman, Julianne Moore, and John Turturro to the actors who played smaller roles like the Ralphs Check-Out Girl, Liam, and, yes, even Saddam. We tracked down the inspirations for the story and its characters, including Jeff Dowd (The Dude), John Milius (Walter) and the man whose rug really tied the room together, Peter Exline. We even found the real Little Larry, a kid who, indeed, actually stonewalled two crazy men who started waving his homework around in a baggie. The book is complete with trivia, interviews with fellow Achievers, tips on Dude-ifying your life, a guide to the film’s locations, Lebowski Fest highlights, and a whole lot of what have you. Well, enjoy. – The Bums

STUNT MAN: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF YAKIMA CANUTT with Oliver Drake – Even before “talkies” came along, Yakima Canutt was thrilling motion-picture audiences with his daring stunts in blood-and-thunder Westerns – and starring in them too. The former rodeo champion stunted in or directed the action of some of the most famous Hollywood films: Stagecoach, Gone With The Wind, Spartacus, and Ivanhoe, to name a few. In Stunt Man, Yakima (with Oliver Drake) tells how he doubled for a galaxy of Hollywood stars – among others John Wayne, Clark Gable, Kirk Douglas, and Errol Flynn – and for a nameless Indian in the famous fall beneath a wagon in Stagecoach. He describes the ingenious equipment he invented for such stunts as toppling a horse-drawn wagon over a cliff, driving it through a deep river, or blowing it up – and how he arranged the convincing “death” of Messala in the 1959 remake of the Ben Hur chariot race. His achievments and safety standards in devising stunts earned him an Academy Award in 1966 – the only stunt man ever to receive one.

STARRING JOHN WAYNE AS GENGHIS KAHN: HOLLYWOOD’S WORST ALL-TIME CASTING BLUNDERS by Damien Bona – John Wayne as Genghis Kahn? Sharon Stone as a fridgid housewife? Richard Gere as the gallant Sir Lancelot? Just what were they thinking? Here are over eighty amazing and amusing examples of cinematic miscasting: pathetic imitations of historical figures, preposterous attempts at ethnic crossovers, “lite” performances by the “lite” actors in weighty roles, and other gems. Each entry gleefully dissects the decision making behind each mismatch of performer and role and explains exactly why moviegoers have been startled awake upon hearing such things as New York accents issuing from the mouths of their swash-buckling heroes and, worse yet, Yiddish words and phrases on the lips of Blythe Danner and Judith Ivey!

PRE-CODE HOLLYWOOD: SEX, MORALITY AND INSURRECTION IN AMERICAN CINEMA 1930-1934 by Thomas Doherty – Pre-Code Hollywood explores the fascinating period in American motion picture history from 1930-1934 when the commandments of the Production Code Administration were violated with impunity in a series of wildly unconventional films – a time when censorship was lax and Hollywood made the most of it. Though more unbridled, salacious, subversive, and just plain bizarre than what came afterwards, the films of the period do indeed have the look of Hollywood cinema – but the moral terrain is so off-kilter that they seem imported from a parallel universe. In a sense, Doherty avers, the films of pre-Code Hollywood are from another universe. They lay bare what Hollywood under the Production Code attempted to cover up and push off screen: sexual laisons unsanctified by the laws of God or man, marriage ridiculed and redefined, ethnic lines crossed and racial barriers ignored, economic injustice exposed and political corruption assumed, vice unpunished and virtue unrewarded – in sum, pretty much the raw stuff of American culture, unvarnished and unveiled. No other book has yet sought to interpret the films and film-related meanings of the pre-Code era – what defined the period, why it ended, and what its relationship was to the country as a whole during the darkest years of the Great Depression…and afterward.

CELLULOID MAVERICKS: A HISTORY OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENT FILM by Greg Merritt – “Independent film” has been a hot topic for some time now, and even more so with the success of The Blair Witch Project. But independent film is not an overnight sensation. As long as there has been filmmaking there has been independent filmmaking. Celluloid Mavericks: A History of American Independent Film explores that rich American art – the non-studio film, from the first silent film to today’s success stories, mainstream movies to avant-garde, exploitation to documentaries, film festivals to drive-ins. Aurthor Greg Merritt examines both the movies – from The Last Moment to Deep Throat to Sling Blade – and the movie industry players from Sam Arkoff to Roger Corman to Francis Ford Coppola and John Cassavettes to Quentin Tarantino and pre-Disney MIRIMAX. Merritt shows what it meant to be “independent” in the 1930’s versus what it means in the 1990’s, distinguishes between indie and semi-indie productions, explores the genres represented under the independent umbrella, and argues what makes a movie independent – its “spirit” or the budget backing production? The influence independent film has on contemporary film culture is unquestioned. “The off-Hollywood arena is American cimema’s laboratory, proving ground, and launching pad.” In a way, Celluloid Mavericks is not just a history of American independent film, but a history of the evolution of American film as an art form.

PRIVATE SCREENINGS: INSIDERS SHARE A MOMENT IN AMERICAN CINEMA by Duane Byrge (AFI) – For those who love movies… In its hundred year history, the movies have spawned glitz, glamour, and a host of gaudy tributes and celebrations. Private Screenings is very different from this crowd. The American Film Institute, the nation’s distinguished guardian of our film heritage, asked a select group of the most important men and women working in the movie industry today to share the single movie moment – a scene, a sequence, a phrase, a gesture, a shot – that most profounbdly moved them, influenced them and shaped their careers. The result is a uniquely insightful document in which personalities a s diverse as Marsha Mason, Tom Hanks, Christine Lahti, Jodie Foster, Tony Curtis, Richard Donner, Kirk Douglas, Alec Baldwin, Milos Forman, Angela Lansbury, Robert Redford, and others open to us their cinematic hearts and minds. Here is an opportunity to read William Friedkin’s take on All About Eve, George Lucas’s insights to The Seven Samurai, Walter Matthau’s moving recollection of John Ford’s The Informer, and many other personal and creative epiphanies experienced in the shared privacy of a darkened movie theater.

A SHORT GUIDE TO WRITING ABOUT FILM by Timothy Corrigan (4th edition) – Draw’s on students love and knowledge of films as a way of encouraging and developing writing skills. With numerous student and professional writing samples, Corigan’s short guide moves students from note taking and first drafts to polished essays and research projects, demonstrating how an analysis of a film becomes more subtle and rigorous as part of a compositional process.

THE COMIC MINDCOMEDY AND THE MOVIES by Gerald Mast – A lively and informative study of film comedy from the crude efforts of Edison and Lumiere to Woody Allen. A new perspective on the great achievements of the silent era: the knockabout comedy of Mack Sennett; the pantomimic artistry of Chaplin and Keaton; the comedy of personality represented from Harold Lloyd and Harry Langdon; the buffoonery of Laurel and Hardy. Mast explores the comparatively neglected area of sound comedy, with special attention to the great clowns of sound (W.C. Fields, the Marx Bros., Jacques Tati, Jerry Lewis); the foremost directors of dialog comedy (Hawks, Capra, Preston Sturges, Wilder); the comic stylists (Jean Renoir, Ernst Lubitsch, Rene Clair); and the European ironists. He also considers many lesser-known comics of historical or artistic importance. Merging description with analysis, and information with interpretation, Mast reveals the comic style, the cinematic technique, the human concerns, and the philosophic vision of each filmmaker. The text is illustrated with eighty stills from the movies under discussion. (ISBN 0-672-51768-X)

WARNING SHADOWS: HOME ALONE WITH CLASSIC CINEMA By Gary Giddins – From the first nickelodeons to the era of DVD’s and online streaming, Gary Giddins explores more than 200 films, classics and neglected gems. He focuses on the great directors, from Hitchcock’s suspense to Lubitch’s comedy, and actors, from Edward G. Robinson’s tough guys to Joan Crawford’s shop girls, while placing dozens of movies in context: horror, noir, animations, literary adaptations, comedies, musicals, biopics, war films and more. (ISBN – 978-0-393-33792-1 pbk)

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