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The HTF reading (yes, reading) challenge


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#1 of 98 OFFLINE   Darren H

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Posted January 10 2001 - 02:22 AM

Read 10 in 2001

Over the next 13 months, I'm going to be forced to spend much more time behind a book than in front of the TV (full time job and three comprehensive exams to prepare for). Anyone care to join me?

The idea is pretty simple (as is the challenge). The AFI and S&S challenges have motivated many of us to see some wonderful films that we might not have seen otherwise, and I think the level of discussion around here has benefited greatly from it. I believe reading about film would serve the same purpose.

So here's the challenge: Read 10 in 2001.

All that's required of you is a brief summary/response/review when you're finished. I'm going to begin the reading list with the eight books on my "to read" shelf. I've read bits and pieces of each, but haven't finished or taken notes on any. Post your suggestions here (or send me an e-mail) and I'll add them to the list. Your suggestions should include both the film books that you've read and admire and those you have been meaning to read. You don't get credit for having already read a book on the suggested list. We all start with 10 in this challenge.

So, any takers? If it helps, I'll gladly turn this into a personal challenge, making fun of your mother and "taunting you a second time" if need be.

Suggested Reading

    [*]INTRODUCTIONS[*]Roger Ebert's Book of Film ed. by Roger Ebert[*]An Introduction to Film Studies ed. by Jill Nelmes[*]Understanding Movies by Louis D. Giannetti[*]Film Art: An Introduction by David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson* (a great starting point)[*]Film History: An Introduction by Kristin Thompson, David Bordwell [*]Theory of Film by Siegfried Kracauer[*]Writers At The Movies[*]Understanding Movies by Louis Gianetti[*]The Art Of the Moving Picture by Vachel Lindsay[*]Screening History by Gore Vidal[*]Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer by Paul Schrader[/list]
      [*]DIRECTOR STUDIES[*]Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski by Annette Insdorf[*]Tarkovsky: Cinema as Poetry by Maya Turovskaya[*]The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue by Vida T. Johnson and Graham Petrie[*]Truffaut: A Biography by Antoine do Baecque and Serge Toubiana[*]Orson Welles: The Road to Xanada by Simon Callow[*]Chaplin and America Culture by Charles Maland[*]Kubrick: Inside A Film Artist's Maze by Thomas Allen Nelson[*]Stanley Kubrick, Director: A Visual Analysis by Alexander Walker[*]Stanley Kubrick Companion by James Howard[*]Stanley Kubrick: A Narrative And Stylistic Analysis by Mario Falsetto[*]The Complete Kubrick by David Hughes[*]Narrative And Stylistic Patterns In The Films Of Stanley Kubrick by Luis Garcia Mainar[*]The Making Of 2001: A Space Odyssey[*]The Films of Akira Kurosawa by Donald Ritchie[*]Patterns of Time: Mizoguchi and the 1930s by Donald Kirihara[*]Ozu by Donald Ritchie[*]Robert Bresson by James Quandt[*]The Films of John Cassavetes: The Adventure of Insecurity by John Cassavetes and Ray Carney[*]Ingmar Bergman: A Critical Biography by by Peter Cowie[*]Films of Luis Bunuel: Subjectivity and Desire by Peter William Evans[*]Desire Unlimited: The Cinema of Pedro Almodovar by Paul Julian Smith[*]The Films of Paul Morrissey by Maruice Yacowar[*]Agnes Varda by Alison Smith[*]My Only Great Passion: The Life and Films of Carl Th. Dreyer by Jean Drum and Dale Drum[*]Hitchcock's Notebooks by Dan Aulier[/list]
        [*]BOOKS BY DIRECTORS (including memoirs and collected interviews)[*]Sculpting in Time: Reflections on Cinema by Andrei Tarkovsky[*]Kieslowski on Kieslowski ed. by Danusia Stok[*]Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut* (a great starting point)[*]Conversations with Wilder by Cameron Crowe[*]Getting Away With It: Or: The Further Adventures of the Luckiest Bastard You Ever Saw by Steven Soderbergh[*]Godard on Godard : Critical Writings by Jean-Luc Godard[*]Turnaroud: A Memoir by Milos Forman[*]The Name Above the Title by Frank Capra[*]On Directing Film by David Mamet[*]Notes on the Cinematographer by Robert Bresson[*]Something Like an Autobiography by Akira Kurosawa[*]The Magic Lantern by Ingmar Bergman[*]Images: My Life in Film by Ingmar Bergman[*]My Last Sigh by Luis Bunuel[*]Schrader on Schrader by Paul Schrader and Kevin Jackson[*]Scorsese on Scorsese by David Thompson[*]Shock Value: A Tasteful Book about Bad Taste by John Waters[*]Novels, 1955-1962: Lolita, Pnin, Pale Fire, Lolita: A Screenplay by Vladimir Nabokov[*]The Art of Cinema by Jean Cocteau[*]Beauty and the Beast: Diary of a Film by Jean Cocteau[*]I, Fellini by Federico Fellini[*]Childhood Days: A Memoir by Satyajit Ray[*]Dreyer in Double Reflection : Translation of Carl Th. Dreyer's Writings About the Film ed. by Donald Skoller[*]Double Vision: My Life in Film by Andrzej Wajda[*]This is Orson Welles by Peter Bogdanovich[*]Who the Devil Made It by Peter Bogdanovich[*]Pieces of Time by Peter Bogdanovich[/list]
          [*]FILM INDUSTRY[*]Movie Wars: How Hollywood and the Media Conspire to Limit What Films We Can See Right Now by Jonathon Rosenbaum[*]Making Movies by Sidney Lumet[*]Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner by Paul M. Sammon[*]Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality by Neal Gabler[*]Memo From David O. Selznick ed. by Rudy Behlmer[*]Hollywood (a novel) by Charles Bukowski[*]Movies and Money by David Puttman[*]Digital Filmmaking Handbook by Long & Schenk[*]Confessions of a Cineplex Heckler by Joe Queenan[*]Eros In Hell by Jack Hunter[*]Sundancing by John Anderson[*]Rebel Withouth A Crew by Robert Rodriguez[*]Round Up the Usual Suspects: The Making of Casablanca[*]Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman[*]Monster: Living Off the Big Screen by John Gregory Dunne[*]Killer Instinct by Jane Hamsher[*]Story by Robert McKee[*]The Art Of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri[/list]
            [*]GENRE STUDY[*]Spike, Mike, Slackers, and Dykes by John Pierson[*]Cinema of Outsiders by Emanual Levy[*]Asian Pop Cinema by Lee Server[*]Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind[*]Mondo Macabro by Pete Tombs[*]The Samurai Film by Alain Silver[*]Shooting To Kill by Christine Vachon[*]Myth and the Movies by Stuart Voytilla[*]Reframing Japanese Cinema: Authorship, Genre, History ed. by Arthur Nolletti and David Desser[*]The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir by Foster Hirsch [*]Somewhere in the Night: Film Noir and the American City [*]DEFA : East German Cinema, 1946-1992 by Sean Allan and John Sandford [/list]Participants[list=1][*]Darren H - 10 7 to go[*]Mark Pfeiffer - 10 to go[*]Greg Yurkovic - 10 to go[*]Walter Kittel - 10 to go[*]Stefan Pedersen - 10 to go[*]JungWoo - 10 to go[*]Russ Lucas - 10 to go[*]Tim Raffey - 10 to go[*]Zack Scott - 10 to go[*]Mitty - 10 8 to go[*]Anson - 10 to go[*]David Oliver - 10 8 to go[*]RicP - 10 to go[*]Steve Enemark - 10 to go[*]Pascal A - 10 2 to go[*]DonaldB - 10 to go[*]Aaron Silverman - 10 to go[*]Edwin Pereyra - 10 to go[*]Gary Tooze - 10 8 to go[/list=a]

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            Posted Image
            S&S Challenge: 70 58

            [Edited last by Darren H on July 20, 2001 at 07:55 AM]
[ long pauses ]

#2 of 98 OFFLINE   Mark Pfeiffer

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Posted January 10 2001 - 03:43 AM

I'm reading Jonathan Rosenbaum's Movie Wars: How Hollywood and the Media Conspire to Limit What Films We Can See right now. If all goes well, I should finish it tonight. I'm counting this one toward the ten Darren!

As for others worth reading:

Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut
Making Movies by Sidney Lumet
Spike, Mike, Slackers, and Dykes by John Pierson
Roger Ebert's Book of Film edited by Roger Ebert


I started, but never finished, Cameron Crowe's Conversations with Wilder. I've also been working on Steven Soderbergh's Getting Away With It: Or: The Further Adventures of the Luckiest Bastard You Ever Saw. So maybe this will give me motivation to do so.

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#3 of 98 OFFLINE   Greg_Y

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Posted January 10 2001 - 04:10 AM

OK, I'm in. However, I probably won't get to my first one until next month. My first title will be An Introduction to Film Studies by Jill Nelmes (Editor). I refuse to read about films that I haven't seen so it might be harder for me to find 10 books but I'll try my darndest.

Other recommendations:
Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner by Paul M. Sammon.
Some of the BFI Modern Classics books that tackle one film per book look okay too. Haven't tried any of them yet.

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#4 of 98 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted January 10 2001 - 04:14 AM

Darren,

Please add me to the list. ( I still need to finish the AFI 100, but hey what's another list? Posted Image )

I've been nibbling on Roger Ebert's Book of Film, and would like to take a stab at some literature about Kubrick ( although I don't have any specific authors or titles in mind. Jack Briggs, any recommendations? Posted Image ) There are some other books out there, including some on your list that look worthwhile. I'll give it a try.

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#5 of 98 OFFLINE   Stefan Pedersen

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Posted January 10 2001 - 06:29 AM

The following books on Kubrick are really great:

Kubrick: Inside A Filmartist Maze by Thomas Allen Nelson

Stanley Kubrick, Director: A visual Analysis by Alexander Walker

Stanley Kubrick: A Narrative And Stylistic Analysis by Mario Falsetto

Narrative And Stylistic Patterns In The Films Of Stanley Kubrick by Luis Garcia Mainar



#6 of 98 OFFLINE   Darren H

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Posted January 10 2001 - 06:45 AM

Cool. Glad to see some positive response. I've updated the list and will gladly continue to do so.

Greg, spend some time at your local public or university library, find the film shelves, and just go browsing. Hopefully this list will encourage you to read some things you wouldn't have picked up on your own.

Stefan, I'll second your first two suggestions. They're definitely the best book-length studies of Kubrick I've found, and are both considerably better than the two available biographies. Have you read the Falsetto and Garcia Mainar books already? I was actually thinking at one point of pitching that idea--stylistic and narrative analysis of Kubrick--as my dissertation topic, but the market suddenly became flooded with new books. Both of those books came out last year, right?
[ long pauses ]

#7 of 98 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted January 10 2001 - 06:54 AM

Stefan ( and Darren ),

Thanks for the recommendations on Kubrick literature. I'll definitely have to check some of those out ( as part of the HTF Reading Challenge, of course. )

- Walter.
Fidelity to the source should always be the goal for Blu-ray releases.

#8 of 98 OFFLINE   Stefan Pedersen

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Posted January 10 2001 - 07:45 AM

Here are some more books to add:

Understanding Movies by by Louis D. Giannetti

Film Art: An Introduction by David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson(Contributor)

Film History: An Introduction by Kristin Thompson, David Bordwell

Darren:

I have read the one by Falsetto and I liked it alot. It was a bit dry at times but definitely worth it.

I haven´t read the other one yet. But I will when I get in the mail on Friday Posted Image

#9 of 98 OFFLINE   JungWoo

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Posted January 10 2001 - 08:30 AM

Well, one my new year's resolution was to read more books on movies. What a coincidence. I was going to begin with Siegfried Kracauer's Theory of Film.
Darren, you got to add this title because I wanna count in and it is thought to be one of the classics.
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#10 of 98 OFFLINE   Darren H

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Posted January 11 2001 - 01:17 AM

You've been added, JungWoo. I'll be curious to hear your response to Siegfried Kracauer. I'd quite honestly never heard of him, but am intrigued after reading some of the responses to Theory of Film on Amazon. I'll be spending more time with the Frankfurt School for one of my exams -- maybe Kracauer will allow me to kill two birds . . .

I've also added two more unread books that I found on my bookshelf last night.
[ long pauses ]

#11 of 98 OFFLINE   Russ Lucas

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Posted January 11 2001 - 01:19 AM

I'll take the challenge. I bought Sidney Lumet's book right around Christmas, so I'll start there.

I'll report back with the exact title, but I saw a pretty interesting book at Border's a few weeks ago entitled something like "Authors On Film," in which various serious or semi-serious writers put forth critical essays on movies that have influenced them. It looked pretty good.

Great idea.

EDIT: The title is "Writers At The Movies." There's a brief description of the book at bn.com (there weren't any user comments at amazon). Originally I linked to it, but the length of the link messed up the formatting. Apologies.

#12 of 98 OFFLINE   MikeWilson

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Posted January 11 2001 - 07:12 AM

A few suggestions:

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Anything Else by J.R.R. Tolkien

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I assume most of you have read lotr, but if not you owe it to yourself to read this great book. Some of the other publications by he and his son are good reads as well.

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#13 of 98 OFFLINE   Rich Malloy

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Posted January 11 2001 - 07:30 AM

Stefan (or anyone), do you know where I can pick up a copy of Film Art: An Introduction, Bordwell/Thompson?

I have the 2nd Edition from college, but the binder's shot and all the pages fall out in sections. It's a great book and I'd love to replace it (especially if there are newer editions).

I'd also like to second the recommendations for HITCHCOCK/truffaut and Tarkovsky's SCULPTING IN TIME.
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#14 of 98 OFFLINE   Stefan Pedersen

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Posted January 11 2001 - 10:35 AM

Al:

here (Amazon)

#15 of 98 OFFLINE   JungWoo

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Posted January 11 2001 - 10:36 AM

Al, I imagine that it should be fairly easy to get Bordwell's book from where you live. From what I remember, it was used as THE textbook for introductory film class at Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, USC, and I suspect 90% of all colleges. Posted Image
I second that Film Art: Introduction is a great book, both accessible and comprehensive.

I also second Godard on Godard even though his writings are even more difficult to comprehend than his movies, if that's possible.


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Posted Image My Life to Live
"Cinema is truth 24 frames per second." - Godard

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Cinema: seventh art
S&S 100 Films Forum Challenge


My Life to Live
"Cinema is truth 24 frames per second." - Godard

My Home Theater
Cinema: seventh art S&S 100 Films Forum Challenge

#16 of 98 OFFLINE   Tim Raffey

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Posted January 11 2001 - 11:19 AM

Darren,

I'd really like to join, as I never feel like read enough.

I was in the middle of Louis Gianetti's Understanding Movies, when I had to stop to read an assigned book (I'm still in high school). I'll finish that first and count it on the challenge.

I don't know what I'll read after that, but there seem to be many great recommendations in this thread. Thanks everyone.

"Kids today are scum. They haven't invented cigarettes, or bluejeans--nothing." - JLG

#17 of 98 OFFLINE   Darren H

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Posted January 11 2001 - 01:59 PM

So Mike, does this mean that you're joining this little challenge? I didn't add your suggestions to the list, but only because I'd like to limit it to books that are specifically about film, filmmaking, and filmmakers. Not that a fiction-reading contest wouldn't also do this forum some good. Hmmmmm . . . Posted Image

Al, I read Film Art for the first time just last year. Mine is the Fifth Edition, copyright 1997. I'd imagine that Bordwell and Thompson are probably the only two film academics making a decent living right now. They've pretty well cornered the market, and deservedly so. I actually picked up Sculpting in Time on your recommendation in the Tarkovsky thread. Hopefully I'll be able to post my thoughts on it next week. For now, I'll just say that I'm amazed that anyone could communicate such complex ideas with such poetry, and in two media, film and prose. I'm not sure how much longer I'll be using that Kubrick sig. I think I've found a new hero.

Quote:
I also second Godard on Godard even though his writings are even more difficult to comprehend than his movies, if that's possible.

Thank God. I thought it was just me. That's going to be a tough one to finish.

Tim, get back to Gianetti as soon as you can. It's a fine intro. I'd actually be curious to hear what high school students read up there north of the border.
[ long pauses ]

#18 of 98 OFFLINE   Zack Scott

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Posted January 11 2001 - 04:31 PM

COunt Me In!!!!

And Might I Reccomend: The Making Of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Memo From David O. Selznick ed by Rudy Behlmer

The Art Of the Moving Picture by Vachel Lindsay?

#19 of 98 OFFLINE   Joe D

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Posted January 11 2001 - 05:54 PM

I reread your post and it answered my questions, nevermind. How about 10 fantasy books in 2001?

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#20 of 98 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted January 11 2001 - 06:49 PM

Considering that I average 4-6 books a month, I'll be done by February Posted Image

My latest was Orson Scott Card's Shadow of the Hedgemon(gonna meet him on Saturday! Whoohoo!)

Jeff Kleist