The Best Books About Film

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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thirtyframesasecond
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#926 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:41 am

One of my Christmas presents was Julie Salamon's 'The Devil's Candy', which as many of you will know is a close-up account of the making of Brian de Palma's film of 'The Bonfire of the Vanities'. It almost makes me want to watch it again, except that it's terrible. I don't think Bruce Willis comes out of it particularly well.

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lacritfan
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#927 Post by lacritfan » Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:11 pm

thirtyframesasecond wrote:One of my Christmas presents was Julie Salamon's 'The Devil's Candy', which as many of you will know is a close-up account of the making of Brian de Palma's film of 'The Bonfire of the Vanities'. It almost makes me want to watch it again, except that it's terrible. I don't think Bruce Willis comes out of it particularly well.
Recently read Devil's Candy and Final Cut back to back, Candy was more fun to read, Cut was pretty dry. Watched the CC Heaven's Gate Blu after and have to say I do see/feel much of the talent and money spent up on the screen. Was able to get through about 30 minutes of Bonfire and gave up; likewise I could see the studio meddling, overpriced talent and money spent up on the screen and didn't need to see the rest.

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RobertAltman
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#928 Post by RobertAltman » Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:31 pm

The book is lots of fun, but what I remember best about Devil's Candy is the section about second unit director Eric Schwab's quest to capture some of the film's more striking individual shots. I kind of like the movie too, for all it's faults.

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ianthemovie
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#929 Post by ianthemovie » Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:28 pm

Can anybody provide more detailed info about Naremore's book on Kubrick? (What is his approach, how is the book organized, how does it compare to, say, Thomas Allen Nelson's book, etc.) My library's copy is checked out and Amazon/Google Books doesn't offer a preview.

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ando
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#930 Post by ando » Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:55 am

Critic, Jonathan Rosenbaum, posted an exchange of letters with Naremore as well as short appraisal of the book on his site. There's also a write-up on palgrave.com.

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FakeBonanza
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#931 Post by FakeBonanza » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:28 pm

ianthemovie wrote:Can anybody provide more detailed info about Naremore's book on Kubrick? (What is his approach, how is the book organized, how does it compare to, say, Thomas Allen Nelson's book, etc.) My library's copy is checked out and Amazon/Google Books doesn't offer a preview.
I have the book, but haven't read it yet, so I can't comment on Naremore's analysis. This is how the book is organized:

Part One: Prologue
I. The Last Modernist
II. Silence, Exile, and Cunning
III. Grotesque Aesthetics

Part Two: Early Kubrick
I. No Other Country but the Mind
II. Dream City

Part Three: Kubrick, Harris, Douglas
I. The Criminal and the Artist
II. Ant Hill
III. Dolores, Lady of Pain

Part Four: Stanley Kubrick Presents
I. Wargasm
II. Beyond the Stars
III. A Professional Piece of Sinny
IV. Duellist
V. Horrorshow

Part Five: Late Kubrick
I. Warriors
II. Lovers

Part Six: Epilogue
I. Afterthoughts
II. Love and Death in A. I. Artificial Intelligence

As I'm sure you can guess, parts one and six contain more general overviews and reflections. Parts two to five contain chapters dedicated to Kubrick's individual films, Spartacus excepted.

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Rayon Vert
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#932 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:27 pm

I finished Naremore's book about a month ago, along with Ciment's book and a reread of Walker's book, in parallel to revisiting Kubrick's oeuvre again. On the whole, I was somewhat disappointed in Naremore's volume. The introduction explains how he intends to understand and view Kubrick's films through the concept of the grotesque, but the different chapters didn't really argue that and flesh that out. One of his recurring points is that Kubrick's films, in contrast to some superficial views of them, are emotional rather than cold/detached/intellectual, which is an important point but he isn't the first one mentioning it. Some good bits here and there, but not essential IMO, and definitely not of the caliber of his Welles book. (Walker's book is still the one for me.)

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Trees
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Re: Book Recommendation Request: A History of World Cinema

#933 Post by Trees » Thu May 26, 2016 8:03 pm

Just a little question, and perhaps a minor rant.

I am looking at buying jsteffe's book The Cinema of Sergei Parajanov at Amazon. Generally I like to read on my kindle these days, but when a book has a lot of nice illustrations, I might prefer to have a hard copy of the book.

The thing that bugs me is that I feel like if I pay for the hardack/softback at full price, I should get a kindle electronic copy free of charge, or at some discounted rate, for example. Is there anywhere I can buy hardback/paperback books and get the e-reader version tossed in or at a lower cost?

Any opinions on whether I should go for the hard copy of jsteffe's book or kindle version? Do you lose image quality on a kindle Voyager?

Is anyone here using a Kindle Oasis yet?

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Ribs
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#934 Post by Ribs » Thu May 26, 2016 10:07 pm

Amazon does offer such a service for some books, but it's up to the publisher. Just as an example I remember as I'm probably going to use it soon, the recent Raoul Walsh biography has a 'Matchbook' (the term for it) price of $0.00 (so free) with any purchase of a new copy from Amazon. The book mentioned above does not carry this functionality.

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Trees
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#935 Post by Trees » Thu May 26, 2016 10:33 pm

:cry: I wish more publishers and booksellers would offer this.

I also think it would be good for business. Imagine, you buy an e-book on your kindle and two days later a hard copy arrives. That could trigger a lot impulse buys. You get the instant gratification of reading right away, and then a keepsake that will last forever and always be around for perusing.

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Re: Book Recommendation Request: A History of World Cinema

#936 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Tue May 31, 2016 1:32 pm

Trees wrote:Just a lit Is there anywhere I can buy hardback/paperback books and get the e-reader version tossed in or at a lower cost?
Aside from a number of titles in the Radical Thinkers series, Verso takes that approach for their books.

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RobertAltman
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#937 Post by RobertAltman » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:57 am

Not necessarily a book about film, but I'll ask here anyway. Does anyone have a rec for a good book on Farce?

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Re: The Best Books About Film

#938 Post by ianthemovie » Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:03 am

I have no idea what type of book you're looking for, but one notable academic title that comes to mind is Alenka Zupancic's The Odd One In: On Comedy. Zupancic is a disciple of Zizek and the book is pretty densely theoretical, so be aware of that going in. I seem to recall that her main reference point throughout the book is Tartuffe.

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RobertAltman
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#939 Post by RobertAltman » Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:20 am

Thank you. Not entirely sure what I'm looking for myself, made more of an historical look on the genre, rather than a "densely theoretal" one. But the Zupancic book looks interesting, so it's already been "auto-delivered wirelessly" to my Kindle :wink:

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YnEoS
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#940 Post by YnEoS » Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:53 am

Antoine de de Baecque and Noël Herpe's giant biography on Erich Rohmer translated to English. I'm surprised this was translated before Antoine de Baecque's Godard biography, I guess maybe no one wants to flood the market with another huge Godard biography so soon after Richard Brody's book.

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Re: The Best Books About Film

#941 Post by ianthemovie » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:28 pm

Can anyone recommend a biography of Marlon Brando?

dda1996a
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#942 Post by dda1996a » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:04 am

These are well known books, but how worthy are Christian Metz's Film Language and Gilles Deleuze's Cinema and the three Eisenstein written notes?

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Re: The Best Books About Film

#943 Post by domino harvey » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:11 am

Film Language is essential if you are interested in film semiotics. However, be aware that if you don't have access to Rozier's Adieu Philippine, you will miss out on the book's unifying case study of the film using film semiotics

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knives
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Re: The Best Books About Film

#944 Post by knives » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:54 am

The Deleuze is quite good, but is also clearly written by someone with no interest in previous film critique. The lack of association with film criticism (versus Deleuze's typical sources) and its overall 'wrongness' as Moullet phrased it (negatively in his case) is one of its best traits n my opinion as it gives a very fresh take on a lot of the material.

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Re: The Best Books About Film

#945 Post by domino harvey » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:58 am

knives, I'll use this opportunity to point out that some time in the last couple months it occurred to me that your own posts here often read as very Moullet-esque in style and approach and now I can't ever unsee it! I think you'd get a kick out of his writing if you're able to read French well enough (or, based on the above, perhaps you already are!)

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Re: The Best Books About Film

#946 Post by knives » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:19 am

I can only read French at about a kindergarten level so unfortunately his work (and a great many other) is totally unknown to me or heard exclusively second hand. I'll take the compliment all the same though as I usually assume what I post here is incoherent aside from a post or two.

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Re: The Best Books About Film

#947 Post by dda1996a » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:52 am

Is there any English translation of Moullet's writing available anywhere? And I have basic understanding of Semiotics, how much familiarity with it does one need to fully understand Metz?

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Re: The Best Books About Film

#948 Post by domino harvey » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:21 am

Metz does a good job introducing the subject but the book is hardcore film theory. Some of Moullet's writing for Cahiers is anthologized in the French New Wave Reader and one apiece in those 50s/60s Cahiers compendiums (same Breathless / Godard review in both the Reader and the 60s comp, FYI)

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Re: The Best Books About Film

#949 Post by dda1996a » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:11 am

I've read Hitchcock/Truffaut and Sculpting in Time, and waiting for Bazin On Cinema part 1, what should be my perquisite reading for Metz then? Where should I start with film theory?
Also couldn't find French New Wave Reader, the results that showed up are The French New Wave: Critical Landmarks and Reading the French New Wave: Critics, Writers and Art Cinema in France

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Re: The Best Books About Film

#950 Post by ianthemovie » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:21 am

Honestly if you're looking to familiarize yourself with the greatest hits of film theory you might consider an anthology like Leo Braudy's Film Theory and Criticism. It contains key pieces by Eisenstein and Metz, Bazin's "On the Ontology of the Photographic Image," Andrew Sarris' "Notes on the Auteur Theory," Rick Altman's "A Semantic/Syntactic Approach to Film Genre," Paul Schrader's "Notes on Film Noir," David Bordwell's "The Art Cinema as a Mode of Film Practice," and Laura Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," among many others.

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