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Favorite Books about Film You Would Recommend (1 Viewer)

rich_d

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I checked for a thread about this but didn't see one.
The idea is simple, just list a few books about film that are personal favorites.
Starting it off, in no particular order:
Vertigo: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic - Dan Auiler. I happen to like books about individual films and this is one of the best. Not a huge book but has a lot of interesting information and photos about a film I really have an interest in. Bottom line, a fun book, one that I go back to re-reading sections of every year.
The Invisible Art: The Legends of Movie Matte Painting - Mark Cotta Vaz, Craig Barron.[/b] Before CGI, paintings were used in backgrounds or foregrounds to create a scene that might be too costly to build from scratch. This could be everything from a planet to a room in a house. The book is incredibly well researched and shows matte examples from films like the Wizard of Oz and Citizen Kane. One of my favorites shown is Vandamm's glass house by Mt. Rushmore in North by Northwest. The authors mentioned that the filmmakers received many inquiries from people trying to obtain the architecture plans for the house, when the exterior was really just a terrific painting.
Celluloid Skyline - James Sanders Here is what a reader wrote about this book: "If there was ever a book that really needed to be written, and was then executed nearly flawlessly, this is it. Documenting the multi-threaded releationship of New York City and Hollywood (the movie biz began in NYC, and the studios' financial offices remained there; much of the writing/directing/acting talent came to Hollywood from NYC; Hollywood's backlot NYC was the setting of thousands of films; the ideas of the Hollywood versions eventually changed the real thing; etc.), this is a heckuva fun and interesting read.
Among its most fascinating parts are information on the techniques used to create believable NYC settings by the studios (e.g., the most detail I've ever seen on Hitchcock's enormous Rear Window set), examples of the vast amount of architectural and local-color detail contained in the studio's art department photographic files (more than in some of NYC's museums!), and its general architectural analysis of NYC's major iconic structures: skyscrapers, rowhouses, tenements, train stations, nightclubs, etc.
But of even greater interest are the detailed treatments of how NYC was SHOWN in films (both well-known classics and obscure titles) of different genres and eras, and how the IDEA of NYC affected the world audience, and eventually changed the city itself as new generations flocked to their city of dreams... A flip through the photographs alone is a total pleasure."
Would agree and would add that the large shot of Hitchcock's ROPE set is terrific among others.
This book came out years ago and I was amazed at how little attention it received. The author said it took 15 years to write it and I felt disappointed for him because I think this is a special book. Now, Turner Classic Movies is doing a cross-promotion highlighting the films in the book so hopefully it will get a nice boost.
Btw, if interested, I would suggest getting all of these books in hardcover form, particularly Celluloid Skyline as the paperback is too small to do the images proper justice.
 

MatthewLouwrens

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The Battle of Brazil, by Jack Mathews, is a must-read, charting the battle between Terry Gilliam and Sid Sheinberg to release Brazil. Brilliant book, and one that I go to frequently.
One book that I've only read once a few years ago, but really enjoyed, was The Devil's Candy by Julie Salamon, which tracks the entire process of making the film version of The Bonfire of the Vanities. It's interesting to read, just because the film was so bad that it provides an interesting insight into the decision-making process that led to the film.
 

ChrisBEA

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Canot say that I have read that many, but I have enjoyued all of Ebert's books I've read....
 

Aaron Reynolds

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A pair of "conversations" books that are really worthwhile:
The Conversations, by Michael Ondaatje: Ondaatje met legendary editor / sound designer Walter Murch while Murch was working on the adaptation of The English Patient, and their conversations were so interesting that Ondaatje started to record them. The result is this book, where Murch asks Ondaatje about writing and Ondaatje asks Murch about making movies. Full of fabulous insights and crazy stories.
Conversations with Wilder by Cameron Crowe: Crowe sought out director Billy Wilder in order to try to convince him to take a small role in Jerry Maguire; Wilder ultimately refused, but the two men began to speak, and Crowe convinced Wilder to sit for a series of interviews about his career. Really great stuff, and a lot of funny stories.
I also really enjoyed Ronald Haver's book about A Star Is Born, which tells the story of the making of the film, it's subsequent cutting and the loss of the cut footage and then the struggle to restore the film in the 1980s.
 

Adam_S

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Two essentials:
Conversations with Wilder by Cameron Crowe
Truffaut/Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut
---
Print the Legend by Scott Eyman
Film Art an Introduction - David Bordwell
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls - Peter Biskind
Stephen Spielberg: Interviews - ed. Lester Friedman, Brent Notbohm
Pre-Code Hollywood - Thomas Doherty
many many others. :P
 

Jacob McCraw

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If They Move...Kill 'em!: The Life and Times of Sam Peckinpah - by David Weddle

A great book on one of my personal fovorite directors.
 

MatthewLouwrens

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Truffaut/Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut
When I explained this theory to my friend, he told me I was wrong, that it wasn't in the film, and that I was sick for even thinking of such a thing.

A couple of months later, I read the Truffaut/Hitchcock book, and found one point where Hitchcock actually comments that the film could be viewed as a form of necrophilia. I excitedly showed the quote to my friend, happy to be able to prove that it is in the film, but he just responded that it just meant that both Hitchcock and myself were sick for even thinking of such a thing.
 

rich_d

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Bumping this up in the hopes that others will add their favorites.
Btw, if anyone took my suggestions, I'd doubt they would be too displeased with me ... particularly for what two of the three titles are now going for (out-of-print). :eek:
 

Aaron Silverman

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On the writing side, here are two:
Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman.
http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Screen-Trade-Hollywood-Screenwriting/dp/0446391174
The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler (this is a movie-oriented distillation of Joseph Campbell's work on story and myth)
http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Journey-Mythic-Structure-3rd/dp/193290736X
Vogler's book is an expansion of a memo he wrote while a story analyst at Disney, which spread around Hollywood and influenced a lot of people. The original memo is posted online:
http://www.thewritersjourney.com/hero's_journey.htm#Memo
 

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