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movie history books and other books on movies

Old 11-18-02, 04:15 AM
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movie history books and other books on movies

inspired by the art history books thread

what good movie history books are there out there? or books on movies in general?

I've read Rebel Without A Crew by Robert Rodriguez, Aint-it-cool by Harry Knowles, and have scanned through Easy Riders and Raging Bulls by the guy from Premiere.

What other great stuff is out there?
Old 11-19-02, 06:18 PM
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Re: movie history books and other books on movies

Originally posted by joeydaninja
I've read Rebel Without A Crew by Robert Rodriguez, Aint-it-cool by Harry Knowles, and have scanned through Easy Riders and Raging Bulls by the guy from Premiere.
You are lucky! If this is all you've read about movies, you're in for a treat.

IMHO, the above books have nothing to do with movie history and even Hollywood in general. Well, the RR book is okay, but Harry's? Come on.

Anyway, I'd highly recommend any of these:

The Last Mogul - Dennis McDugal - this is about Lew Wasserman, the last and arguably greatest movie mogul ever. It also has great stuff about the history of Hollywood.

Conversations with Wilder - Cameron Crowe - Crowe talking with Billy Wilder. This book is terrific.

Hitchcock - Francois Truffaut interviews Hitchcock. Fun book to read.

Making Movies - Sidney Lumet - Lumet gives a pragmatic look at the making of a movie.

My First Movie - Stephen Lowenstein - a bunch of top directors talk about the first movie they ever made.

OK You Mugs - Luc Sante - essays on actors by writers.

A Pound of Flesh - Art Linson - a sort of "how to" book on producing by one of the best. Getting old, though.

What Just Happened? Bitter Tales from the Frontline - Art Linson - Linson's newest book. More gossip than history, but a good read.

Adventures in the Screen Trade - William Goldman - though a bit dated this book is still one of the best "insider" books ever written.

The Studio - John Gregory Dunne - they just came out with a reprint of this classic! I have a first edition that I love. The book is an actual behind-the-scenes account of an entire year at 20th Century Fox back in 1967. It's wonderful.

100 Years of Hollywood - Carol Krentz - a photography book with some beautiful photos from old Hollywood.

Hollywood Urban Legends - Richard Roeper - I recommend this for anyone who pays attention to Harry Knowles. This book exposes myths from Hollywood.

It's Only a Movie! - Ray Haberski - great book about American movies and their impact/relationship to our culture.

Movie-made America - Robert Sklar - another good one on movies and our culture.

The list goes on and on. These are just ones I've read.
Old 11-20-02, 07:49 AM
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I began a thread on this topic nearly two years ago over at the Home Theater Forum. The first post includes a long list of reading suggestions, followed by four pages of discussion. Might be a good starting place for you.

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...=&pagenumber=1

My top three:

- Film Art: An Introduction by Bordwell and Thompson. I think it's now in its 7th printing and remains the standard textbook of most college film courses. Provides a good overview of film history and an introduction to formal and theoretical analysis.

- Hitchcock/Truffaut by Hitchcock and Truffaut. A wonderfully entertaining and fascinating transcription of a long series of conversations between the two directors. They begin with Hitchcock's childhood and work chronologically through his entire career, discussing all of his films (up through Marnie, I think) in great detail. You'll learn more about filmmaking from this book than from any other.

- Sculpting in Time by Andrei Tarkovsky. This might just be my all-time favorite book. Tarkovsky is part filmmaker, part poet, partt priest. He speaks as eloquently about his craft as he does life and philosophy and love. Just a brilliant book, it completely changed my expectations of the movies.
Old 11-20-02, 09:20 PM
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Personally I am very interested in film censorship and if the topic interest you as well, I recommend:

"Cut: The Unseen Cinema" Baxter Phillips
"Censored: The Story of Film Censorship in Britain" Tom Dewe Matthews

and although out of print, if you can find it I highly recommend:
"The Cutting Room Floor : Movie Scenes Which Never Made it to the Movies" by Laurent Bouzereau.
Old 11-21-02, 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by Giles
"Cut: The Unseen Cinema" Baxter Phillips
This is a very interesting book, imho.
Old 11-21-02, 12:54 PM
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Harlan Ellison's Watching by Harlan Ellison. If you can find a copy of this, it's worth checking out. More a collection of reviews than anything else, but Ellison is always insightful and entertaining.
Old 03-20-05, 08:15 PM
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I can't figure out which forum this question should be asked, but thought I'd start here since I can't come up with anything else to search on. I'm not sure if the "Introduction to Film Studies" is what I'm looking for, but maybe one of you can help. Here's what I'm wanting to do: Learn about the history of film (primarily from an American / Hollywood perspecive). I'd like to learn by watching the films, and by watching documentaries and reading books (on the films, studios, actors, directors, the times) to provide perspective of the films. I'd like to do it in a chronological order, so as to see the growth of the film industry, how actors started, how techniques began, and how genres started, and how the films were a reflection of the time they were made. I'd like to see films that were award winners, box office smashes, critical favorites, films of importance for whatever reasons, etc.

I don't see this as a one year effort or anything - I see it as a fairly lifelong hobby of movie watching.

So my question is how should I go about doing this? I'm sure many of you have gone about doing this. Are there any books that would serve as a good guide? Or even websites that could help out? Obviously the AFI lists and the Academy Award winners lists are a great start, but I'd like to dive deeper for each year of moviemaking, as well as find information on the importance and relevance of the films I'm watching.

Thanks in advance!
Old 03-21-05, 09:17 AM
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Well, when I started, the first thing I picked up was an encyclopedia. It gave me more or less an overview of the history of film.

Here is a summary of what I picked up.

The silents were from the turn of the century till the 1920's

of these I saw George Melies' work
some Chaplin
some Keaton
The Battleship Potemkin
Birth of A Nation
Metropolis

I didn't watch much of the 30's and 40's films

but I did see Citizen Kane and Gone with the Wind, which were pretty iconic of the time.

By the time I hit the post-war movies and 50's, I watched The Italian neo-realist films like The Bicycle Thief. And Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, etc.

In the 60's I saw the French New Wave films like Breathless and The 400 Blows

The 70's were characterized by movies like Taxi Driver and The Godfather.

And the 80's were the big bad action movie

Now I know this doesn't quite encompass the whole history of film. But these are the movies I tried to follow.

Oh, and the 90's MTV movies and the 00's CGI extravaganzas.
Old 03-30-05, 03:36 PM
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i was listening to an interview on the radio by author James B. Stewart on his new book, disney war, which is about the turmoil over at disney with it's ceo michael eisner. there is soo much going on that it's like one big soap opera. it does involve disney's history, so maybe it might fit what you're looking for?? after hearing what stewart had to say, i'll definitely read it.



(i tracked down the radio broadcast and if you want, you can listen it here:
http://kcrw.com/cgi-bin/ram_wrap.cgi...50321DisneyWar

Last edited by peon73; 03-30-05 at 03:38 PM.
Old 08-25-09, 07:10 AM
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For information:

They've started reviewing books on films & TV etc here on DVDTalk:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/features/book_talk_obses.html

http://www.dvdtalk.com/features/dvd_talk_book_r.html
Old 08-27-09, 06:05 PM
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Re: movie history books and other books on movies

Originally Posted by Darren H
- Film Art: An Introduction by Bordwell and Thompson. I think it's now in its 7th printing and remains the standard textbook of most college film courses. Provides a good overview of film history and an introduction to formal and theoretical analysis.
This and A History of Narrative Film by David Cook are your basic, one-volume essentials.
Old 08-27-09, 06:29 PM
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Re: movie history books and other books on movies

Originally Posted by wendersfan
This and A History of Narrative Film by David Cook are your basic, one-volume essentials.
He's dead Jim.

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