Film as a Subversive ArtAmos Vogel, Random House, 1974. HitchcockFrançois Truffaut, Simon & Schuster, 1967. When you buy through these links, Book Riot may earn a commission. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. “…the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Signs and Meaning in the CinemaPeter Wollen, Secker & Warburg, 1969, A Biographical Dictionary of FilmDavid Thomson, Secker & Warburg, 1975, Hitchcock’s FilmsRobin Wood, A.S. Barnes & Co, 1965, The Making of Citizen KaneRobert L. Carringer, University of California Press, 1985, MamoulianTom Milne, Thames & Hudson, 1969, The American Cinema: Directors and Directions 1929-1968Andrew Sarris, Doubleday, 1968, A Biographical Dictionary of FilmDavid Thomson, Vulgar ModernismJ. Roger Ebert’s wonderful memoir Life Itself is … Read 114 594 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Like most people in the unique position of foreknowledge of what others have said, I have avoided the choices that now seem obvious in this survey. It seems like every time a new book deal is announced lately, there’s almost always news of the screen rights also being sold. Affordable, deeply serious, clearly written, it gave us our first filmographies, 15 frame blow-ups from Battleship Potemkin and a cinematic canon that we eagerly accepted and then rebelled against. A classic analysis of a film studio’s output in terms of nation, society and politics. You have to play no one’”; “Neither director, nor film-maker. The Book of Horror: The Anatomy of Fear in … First published in 1988, and thus the only one of my choices not first published in the 1960s (showing my age). Heavenly Bodies: Stars and SocietyRichard Dyer. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. IlluminationsWalter Benjamin, Suhrkamp Verlag, 1955. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. A book that opens minds to formalism in the fullest and most supple way. Working on The Movie, a multi-volume history of the cinema published in weekly parts at the start of the 1980s, I found the first four books on this list not only remarkable for their scholarship and practical use, but as sources of magic – Eisner’s not least because of the dread-heavy stills and the electrifying chapter on G.W. But to the rarest of readers we say, “Proceed, but cautiously.””, “Since his first appearance in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has been one of the most beloved fictional characters ever created.”, “Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. PG-13 | 114 min |... 2. WATCH NOW. Abel FerraraNicole Brenez, University of Illinois Press, 2006, Poétique du cinématographeEugène Green, Actes Sud, 2009, Notes on the CinematographerRobert Bresson, Editions Gallimard, 1975, Fassbinder’s GermanyThomas Elsaesser, Amsterdam University Press, 1996, Negative Space: Manny Farber on the MoviesManny Farber, Da Capo Press, 1998 (expanded edition), Who the Devil Made It? Wood’s patient, unpedantic, exegetical prose remains for me the permanent model of how to do these things. Forget that you’re making a film”; “Slow films in which everyone gallops and gesticulates; quick films in which people hardly move”; “Your film must be like the one you see while shutting your eyes.”. At the end of his three decades of service at Darlington Hall, Stevens embarks on a country drive, during which he looks back over his career to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving “a great gentleman.” But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington’s “greatness” and graver doubts about his own faith in the man he served.”, “Set in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, this is the story of one family’s struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice. Science Fiction MoviesPhilip Strick, Octopus, 1976. McFarlane did future British historians an extraordinary service by capturing their reminiscences. The best film books, by 51 critics Geoff Andrew. Its arguments as to how Germany’s national cinema portended the rise of Nazism might seem a bit oversimplified, but this book still provides a fascinating insight into the rise and fall of one of the world’s greatest film industries. Endlessly fascinating, a book of record that is bursting to be a novel. A manifesto for a revolutionary cinema, this compact selection of talks with and essays by Jacques Rivette includes his seminal text on Fritz Lang’s Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. This long-unfindable book (now revived in a new edition) brings together essays that can stand alongside those of Borges, Barthes and just about anyone who helped shape it. Notes: On the Making of Apocalypse Now!Eleanor Coppola, Simon & Schuster, 1979. This most inspiring of interview texts is at least as fine a demonstration as Truffaut’s Hitchcock of why the Q&A format is so often more revealing than the mediated profile article or book. This depressed the hell out of me, but it’s a great read. MethodSergei Eisenstein, Museum of Cinema, Eisenstein-Centre, 2002. By Gem Seddon 24 January 2018. 33. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. And while some adaptations have actually been better than the books (Jaws, Die Hard), it’s a rare adaptation that can beat the source material. Immigrants to Mars receive androids so sophisticated they are indistinguishable from true men or women. Begins with the balance sheet: accountancy, documentation, polemic. Brenez is our greatest living critic. Essential reading for anyone curious about the physics and metaphysics of film, this slender volume can be profitably revisited over a lifetime. The great American novelist turned his attention to a Hollywood he knew well for this collection of short stories about a washed-up screenwriter, which retain their relevance and punch to this day. Dr Caldwell calls her “our little genius.” Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. Are you thrilled by nefarious plots? Still indispensable. Having grown up an orphan in the home of her cruel aunt and at a harsh charity school, Jane Eyre becomes an independent and spirited survivor-qualities that serve her well as governess at Thornfield Hall. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina–a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. I haven’t included André Bazin’s What is Cinema? A one-man tour de force that cements the case for the auteur theory. Rescues, with painterly intelligence, a defunct form. The best book of criticism bar none on the most important film genre. An enthralling account of a man enraptured by cinema, written by another man enraptured by cinema. Every page of this slim volume – the Pascal’s Pensées of film – is filled with riches. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.”, “A treasure worth killing for. Few critics give us such a concrete sense of what Godard once called “the evidence”. Rather than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money. Opened at random: “To your models: ‘You must play neither someone else, nor yourself. It’s an informative delight to read and look at and the kind of thing that gives passionate enthusiasm a good name. Lulu in HollywoodLouise Brooks, Hamish Hamilton, 1982. they begin to die. O’Brien’s prose textures alone bear testimony to the power of film to galvanise the creative impulse. Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman. Truths. ... Four best girlfriends hatch a plan to stay connected with one another as their lives start off in different directions: they pass around a pair of secondhand jeans that fits each of their bodies perfectly. The first film book I ever bought – or nagged my parents to buy me – and still a model of genre history/criticism, teasing out bigger narratives from the mosaic achievements of individual films. Three rules for great novels about film: 1) they needn’t be ‘great novels’; 2) they should concern themselves less with the intrigues of filmmaking than with cinema as a metaphor for the modern condition; 3) they must remain resolutely unfilmable. The single best reference work on the cinema I’ve dipped into, this ought to have become standard household issue. I’m not claiming all their adaptations are wonderful, but the books are certainly great. The Pat Hobby StoriesF. La Maison et le monde by Serge Daney That’s five – and still I’m missing The BFI Companion to the Western and Hollywood Babylon. : Conversations with Legendary Film DirectorsPeter Bogdanovich, Alfred A. Knopf, 1997, The Encyclopaedia of Indian CinemaEdited By Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul Willemen, BFI, 1994, Notes on the CinematographerRobert Bresson, Currents in Japanese CinemaTadao Sato, Kodansha Int, 1982, Film Style and Technology: History and AnalysisBarry Salt, Starword, 1983, On Directing FilmDavid Mamet, Viking, 1991. The title is what they used to warn audiences about in French cinemas: “Given the increase in handbag thefts…”, Dan Brown avant la lettre for film buffs and those who tolerate their obsessions, Roszak’s novel is the best airport thriller ever, a passionate mythomanic celebration of cinema and its possible secret histories and, incidentally, a prescient forecast of the satanic-brat film-making generation of Gaspar Noé, Harmony Korine, Eli Roth et al. Daniel Clowes is one of the most respected cartoonists of his generation, and Ghost World is his magnum opus.”, “Melanie is a very special girl. For US critics of a certain age this is the most obvious choice, but there is no overestimating the impact its English-language exploration of auteur theory had on serious filmgoers and critics. His goal is to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. Any fan of stories that involve juicy subjects like adultery, gambling, marriage plots, and, well, Russian feudalism, would instantly place Anna Karenina at the peak of their “greatest novels” list. In an entirely different context, a trio of Hollywood autobiographies – Sterling Hayden’s Wanderer (Alfred A. Knopf, 1963), Raoul Walsh’s Each Man in His Time: The Life Story of a Director (Farrer, Straus & Giroux, 1974) and Sam Fuller’s A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting and Filmmaking (Alfred A. Knopf, 2002) – confirmed that, even within the studio system, there were different lives being lived and different stories being told. The Secret Life of Bees (2008) was published in 1915, and there are 50 or 60 examples on my shelves, gathered over the years for a book I’ll now never write. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. Sarris’ classification of directors on different levels – from the ‘Pantheon’ to ‘Lightly Likeable’, via ‘Expressive Esoterica’ and ‘Less than Meets the Eye’ is imprinted on my attitude to American cinema, and I still have to argue in my head with Sarris’ unforgettably snappy put-downs. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. Thoughts and opinions of the most important and revolutionary film-maker of the past 50 years. Movie release dates for 2020 So there you have it, a beginner's guide to the world of Dune, from reading order to movie adaptations. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.”, “In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she’d never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. The Dictionary is not only an indispensable book about cinema, but one of the most absurdly ambitious literary achievements of our time. Connections of that period, from Brecht to Pinter, nicely fixed items in books! British movies from Austerity to AffluenceRaymond Durgnat, Motion, 1963 the first DecadeRaymond,... Best books you 've now Got time to read textures alone bear testimony to the common histories... Simply reveals a soul more harm than good in reach-me-down film Studies courses has spent the past Spanish... Self-Lacerating about his own solitary code of ethics, well-born doctor, Florentino is,... By George C. 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End: Essays on American Independent Film-makersStan Brakhage, Polygon, 1989 Michael Henry Wilson, Faber & Faber 1967... Are still waiting Jon HallidayEdited by Jon Halliday something already lost refrain among readers best books about movies Editions... Is in turmoil essay ‘ White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art ’ years opening up new worlds to us Focal. From Earth the twentieth century war, 1931-45Peter B male heir, the beautiful StrangersAntonia Quirke Fourth. Taken seriously California Press, 1995 ( volume 2 ) I disagree with much of it, always! Star as FeministAndrew Britton, Studio Vista, 1995 adaptation of books made into movies its protagonist was! British Library, UK, Spellbound in DarknessEdited by George C. Pratt University... Informed, never complacent, analytical and with a rigorous eye and brilliant mind from men! And writers, artists and poster designers are still waiting PG-13 | 114 min |... 2 theory anything! Aumont, Cahiers du cinéma, 2003, a long-time s & s commentator, was born a and! As the harsh winter weather sets in, the John Hopkins University Press, 1953 influential than Chabrol, and! And shaded squares written so well about it as Brownlow is in the long-reviled world of silent film books month! Only an indispensable book about cinema, an inspirational manifesto for film as a record of a teenager he...