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Elia Kazan: A Biography
Richard Schickel
0060195797
November 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to give Kazan (1909–2003) an honorary Oscar in 1999, it rekindled the lingering resentment over his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee nearly 50 years earlier. Schickel, who produced a short film for the Academy's presentation and covered the controversy in his role as Time's movie critic, has virtually no sympathy for Kazan's detractors, arguing that HUAC was "a harsh and permanent fact of American life" in the early Cold War era and, more importantly, that Kazan was testifying against Stalinists, not innocent liberals. He also observes that Kazan's early efforts at self-defense may ironically have worked against him, sealing his image in the public eye. The biography's main goal, however, is to restore Kazan's artistic...


Spike Lee
Kaleem Aftab
0393061531
Sept 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
The work of one of America's more important filmmakers is ill-served by this reverential biography. Aftab arranges the narrative around Lee's films, from breakout hit She's Gotta Have It (1986), through such cinematic touchstones as Do the Right Thing (1989) and Malcolm X (1992), ending with the flop She Hate Me (2004). The resulting string-of-boxcars structure is a little disjointed, but it keeps the focus on Lee's often controversial and politically engaged films and delivers a flow of moviemaking anecdotes that give a sense of the director's domineering, manipulative, charismatic personality. Unfortunately, this very authorized biography staggers under the weight of the many lengthy tributes to Lee's genius and his statesmanship as the standard-bearer of African-American cinema. Complaints are sometimes aired...


When I Was Puerto Rican
Esmeralda Santiago
0679756760
October 1994
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Santiago's artful memoir recounts her childhood in rural Puerto Rico and her teenage years in New York City; also available in a Spanish-language edition, $11 *-75677-9 Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal
YA-Esmerelda and her seven siblings live in a corrugated metal shack in Puerto Rico. She is uprooted as a result of poverty and her parents' quarreling and suffers blows to her ego from their expectations of her. The girl goes to New York, where her grandmother lives, and must rely on her intelligence and talents to help her survive in an alien world in which being Puerto Rican is not advantageous. Her story rings true and will be an inspiration to YAs forced to make their own way in a sometimes hostile environment.Ginny Ryder, Lee...


It's Only a Movie: Alfred Hitchcock: A Personal Biography
Charlotte Chandler
0743245083
March 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
As almost all of his actors and collaborators note in this well-reported biography, Hitchcock (1899–1980) was never particularly forthcoming on the subject of himself. Through canvassing a broad swath of now-deceased major stars (Grace Kelly, Janet Leigh, Cary Grant), Hitchcock's longtime technicians, his daughter, wife and the filmmaker himself, veteran Hollywood writer Chandler (Nobody's Perfect: Billy Wilder; etc.) quotes several insights into Hitchcock's technical genius, creative worldview and personality. Hitchcock meticulously planned each shot before filming began, but as his daughter recalls, "at home he said he was happy if he got 75 percent of what he'd seen in his head." Hitchcock's wife, Alma, emerges as the revered ultimate authority in her husband's life and creativity, managing and smoothing...


Walt Disney : An American Original
Bob Thomas
0786860278
May 1, 1994
Paperback
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Silent Bob Speaks
Kevin Smith
1401359736
Apr 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
If you're not an admirer of Kevin Smith (the writer and director of Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Mallrats, etc.), it's unlikely that this book will turn you into one. Consisting of essays originally published in the British magazine Arena, the book presupposes an intense interest in, among other things, production minutiae surrounding the films Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Jersey Girl, Ben Affleck, Star Wars, comic books and Smith's bowel movements. Yes, Smith's bowel movements. While bodily function humor has been done well by other humorists (Monty Python, anyone?), in Smith's hands, it is nothing short of revolting. Who wants to know the "oily and fatty" effects that Smith's obesity pills have on his stool? Those who do might be interested in the author's musings on such topics as sex with his wife ("one...


Adventures in the Screen Trade
William Goldman
0446391174
March 10, 1989
Paperback
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Rebel Without A Crew: Or how a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker with 7,000 Became a Hollywood Player
Robert Rodriguez
0452271878
September 1996
Paperback
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Making Movies
Sidney Lumet
0679756604
March 1996
Paperback
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Book Review
It's well known that a vast number of people work on any given movie in roles as varied as writing scripts, choosing locations, dressing sets, costuming the players, lighting scenes, manipulating the camera, directing actors, editing film, working on sound, advertising the finished product, and screening it to an audience. Have you ever thought about how these components are collated? Or why the director is most often considered the author of a film? Wonder no more, because Sidney Lumet's Making Movies is a terrific journey through each stage of filmmaking that is overseen by the director. Lumet, the veteran director of Twelve Angry Men, The Pawnbroker, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, The Verdict, and many other fine movies, knows the ins and outs of American filmmaking...


Despite the System
Clinton Heylin
1556525478
Feb 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Using shooting scripts, shooting schedules, internal studio memos, private correspondence to and from Welles, and the director's interviews and public lectures, Heylin re-evaluates the circumstances under which Welles produced the six movies he made for Hollywood studios, from 1941's Citizen Kane through 1958's Touch of Evil. The depth of Heylin's research on Welles's consistent workaholic approach to his art, especially his examination of a 58-page memo Welles wrote to Universal after it dismantled Touch of Evil, aids Heylin in arguing against the claim put forth in other Welles bios that his work declined after Citizen Kane due to his own egotism and excess. Heylin's is the most well-researched and evenhanded refutation of this line of thought published to date, and shows in detail how Welles "was undone by...


Federico Fellini : His Life and Work
Tullio Kezich, Minna Proctor (Translator)
0571211682
March 7, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
This is a revised and updated edition of Kezich's 1988 biography of Fellini (1920–1993), one of several books the Italian film critic has written about his longtime friend since the two met at a film festival in the early 1950s. Despite the close author-subject connection, however, the biography rarely presents an intimate view of the director, preferring to view Fellini primarily through the prism of his films and other work. Much of what readers learn of Fellini's life before movies, for example, comes through Kezich's examination of Fellini's old newspaper columns and radio scripts; the personal, conversely, is largely reduced to the anecdotal. The translation, which sets a conversational, at times flippant, tone by using the present tense, reinforces the lightness of Kezich's account, suggesting early...


Make Your Own Damn Movie!: Secrets of a Renegade Director
Lloyd Kaufman
0312288646
April 2003
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
The experience of low-budget filmmaking is so bad it's good. This is the central bit of wisdom writer/producer/director Kaufman (his credits include The Toxic Avenger; Class of Nuke 'Em High; Tromeo and Juliet) gives in this riotous book. Equal parts how-to, memoir and shrewd marketing stunt, it tells young filmmakers to lower their expectations. Taking a reverse-inspirational tack, Kaufman admits indie films probably won't make you rich, famous, happy or very many friends. For emphasis, he begins with an image of him shoveling rat poop from the basement of Troma Studios and closes with a suicide dream sequence. It is to the tremendous credit of Kaufman's profane, self-deprecating, caustic but charismatic sense of humor that the book's opening, closing and everything else in between manages to make the low-budget...


My Last Sigh
Luis Bunuel
0816643873
Oct 2003
Paperback
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Book Description
Luis Buñuel lived many lives-surrealist, Spanish Civil War propagandist, hedonist, friend of artists and poets, and filmmaker. With surprising candor and wit, Buñuel offers his sometimes scathing opinions on the literati and avant-garde members of his sweeping social circle, including Pablo Picasso, Jorge Luis Borges, Salvador Dalí, and Federico García Lorca. These colorful stories of his nomadic life reveal a man of stunning imagination and influence. Luis Buñuel (1900-1983) was one of the twentieth century's greatest filmmakers. His many credits include Un Chien andalou (1924), which he conceived with Salvador Dalí, and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

Language Notes
Text: English,...


Cecil B. Demille's Hollywood
Kevin Thomas (Foreword), Robert S. Birchard
0813123240
May 2004
Hardcover
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Leonard Maltin
"What a valuable contribution to film scholarship!"

James Curtis, author of W.C. Fields: A Biography and Between Flops: A Biography of Preston Sturges
"A fascinating history of Cecil B. DeMille’s singular career in Hollywood."

See all Editorial Reviews


Walt Disney: Young Movie Maker (Childhood of Famous Americans Series)
Marie Hammontree
0689813244
June 1997
Paperback
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Card catalog description
A biography concentrating on the boyhood of the cartoonist and film maker who created Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.


Big Bosoms and Square Jaws
Jimmy McDonough
1400050448
June 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
[Signature]Reviewed by Legs McNeilGod I love slang, I really do, especially when it's used to write a biography of a man obsessed with only two things in life: WWII and heaving, pendulous breasts."Subtitled The Biography of Russ Meyer, King of the Sex Film, McDonough's work paints a two-fisted tale of the legendary filmmaker who helped launch the sexual revolution with his scandalous Immoral Mr. Teas in 1959; caused a rip in the time/space continuum of the psychedelic 1960s with Mondo Topless and Super Vixens; and clenched the beatnik and punk ethics with Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill! and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra Vixens.Meyer was a square who helped define hip in an unhip time—those incredibly boring 1950s.Way cool, except that books that rely on slang don't usually read too well. Witness Meyer's own...


Halliwell's Who's Who in the Movies: The 15th Edition of the Bestselling Encyclopedia of Film, Actors, Directors, Producers, and Writers
Leslie L. Halliwell
0060534230
July 2003
Paperback
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Book Description
This updated edition features hundreds of new entries and offers scores of "quotable quotes," ranging from the revealing to the revolting; in addition to being exceedingly entertaining, they add a human dimension missing from every other guide to film facts and figures.

About the Author
John Walker is one of the UK's leading film critics. He has revised Halliwell's Who's Who in the Movies, as well as Halliwell's Film and Video Guide, since Leslie Halliwell's death in 1989. He lives in London.


Sergio Leone: Something to Do With Death
Christopher Frayling
0571164382


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From Library Journal
Sergio Leone is identified with spaghetti WesternsDviolent, visually imaginative Sixties and Seventies films that exploded the clich s of the Hollywood Western. Leone brought stardom to TV actor Clint Eastwood, who was cast as an antihero alien to Westerns and who admitted that Leone "really doesn't know anything about the West." Instead, the director's West existed as a sort of fever dream, and his tales, the author notes, were "fairy-tales for grown-ups." In the first detailed study of this original director, Frayling (Spaghetti Westerns) explores Leone's years of apprenticeship on American films shot in Italy, such as Ben Hur and sword-and-sandal epics like Colossus of Rhodes, which refined Leone's distinctive visual storytelling style. His imagination, however, was fired by the classic Westerns of John Ford....


This Terrible Business Has Been Good to Me
Norman Jewison
0312328680
Sept 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Jewison's movies have received 12 Academy Awards and 46 nominations, a remarkable record for a filmography that numbers only 25 films. His autobiography's unassuming style offers a clear, accessible portrait of the man and overflows with revealing anecdotes about such luminaries as Steve McQueen, Doris Day, Al Pacino, Sidney Poitier and Denzel Washington. After finding success in live television working with Judy Garland, Jackie Gleason and Danny Kaye, Jewison began his motion picture career with 40 Pounds of Trouble (1962); survived a bomb, The Art of Love (1965); and eventually turned out a series of classics: The Cincinnati Kid (1965), The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Fiddler on the Roof (1971) and Moonstruck (1987). He defines Doris Day (The Thrill of It All, 1963) as a consummate comedian who lacked...


Warren Beatty
Suzanne Finstad
1400046068
Sept 2005
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
Book Review Exclusive: Joe Laitin and Warren Beatty Excerpted Interview
Excerpt and photographs courtesy of the author, Suzanne Finstad, by permission of Peter Laitin.


Beatty with Joe LaitinJL: There apparently aren't that many people who really know you anyway. I don't know whether you deliberately keep people at arm's length. I suppose you do...
WB: I am finding more and more that it's really very hard to please a lot of people. And I would say it's impossible. And so I have been allowing that need to try to please a lot of people to slip away from me in the past couple of years. So that I realize now that there will be a lot of people that dislike me just on principle, there will be a lot of people that will resent me, there will be a lot of people that will like me, and...


My First Movie: Twenty Celebrated Directors Talk about Their First Film
Stephen Lowenstein (Editor)
0142002208
October 2002
Paperback
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From Booklist
They say you never forget the first time, and 20 prominent directors reminisce vividly about their inaugural efforts behind the camera in this collection of original interviews. Editor Lowenstein, a filmmaker himself, elicits candid and revealing responses from subjects representing mainstream Hollywood (Oliver Stone, Anthony Minghella), American independent (the Coen Brothers, Kevin Smith), British (Mike Leigh, Neil Jordan), and foreign-language filmmaking (Ang Lee, Pedro Almodovar). Most are very forthcoming about insecurities and blunders as they impart information that is alternately entertaining and technical, though many admit to surprising technical ignorance when they launched their careers. Despite their varied personalities and filmmaking approaches, the directors radiate enthusiasm, and Lowenstein speculates...


High Concept: Don Simpson and the Hollywood Culture of Excess
Charles Fleming
0385486944
April 1, 1998
Hardcover
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Book Review
Veteran show-biz news hound Charles Fleming argues that the short, insanely foolish life of producer Don Simpson (Flashdance, Top Gun, Bad Boys) stands as a larger indictment of Hollywood, and it's hard to argue with him. For one thing, Simpson helped create Tom Cruise, Richard Gere, Will Smith, and Eddie Murphy, and his loud, high-concept, low-IQ school of filmmaking helped launch Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, and Bruce Willis to new heights (or depths). Others may have been responsible for 14 Top Ten pop tunes and 10 Oscar nominations, but nobody had thought to combine pop music and movies in a synergistic way.

While Fleming concentrates on Simpson's own antics--car wrecks, career crackups, whacked-out drug and sex orgies, whimsical overspending on brain-dead blockbusters--he does make an excellent case that the...



Ellis Island Interviews: Immigrants Tell Their Stories in Their Own Words
Peter Morton Coan
0760753091
February 2004
Hardcover
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Alfred Hitchcock
Patrick McGilligan
0060988274
Oct 2004
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Director Hitchcock is in a class by himself. His legendary films, including Rear Window, The 39 Steps and Notorious, coupled with his TV show, Alfred Hitchock Presents, aired his singular brand of evil and salvation. In this enthralling, scholarly and candid appraisal of the artist, McGilligan, a biographer of James Cagney and Jack Nicholson, neatly reveals the man behind the camera. A quiet Catholic boy from London's East End, Hitchcock (1899- 1980) began as a production designer on silent films and eventually became Britain's premier movie director. David Selznick tapped him for Hollywood, and although their relationship was stormy, it spelled success. Hitchcock, who claimed, "I'm not interested in logic, I'm interested in effect," quickly redefined the medium. He told his stories visually, invented innovative...


Conversations with Wilder
Cameron Crowe
0375709673
September 2001
Paperback
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Book Review
Conversations with Wilder, an invaluable, photo-intensive volume, is a kind of remake of Truffaut's must-read interview book Hitchcock, with Cameron Crowe in the inquisitive Truffaut role and wily 93-year-old Billy Wilder as the crafty master director. Drawing on his experience interviewing the monsters of rock and his deep, shot-by-shot knowledge of Wilder's work, Crowe gently and cunningly coaxes answers from Wilder--arguably today's most influential living director--on what made his hits tick and his flops suck, along with glimpses of what might have been. Did you know Mae West and Mary Pickford spurned Sunset Boulevard and Wilder spurned Marilyn Monroe for Irma la Douce? That The Apartment was inspired by Brief Encounter and the look of Double Indemnity was based on M? The gossipy insights are great too. Bogart spat when...

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