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Favourite books on film? Most want-to-read?

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Carmel1379
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Favourite books on film? Most want-to-read?

#1

Post by Carmel1379 »

that question obviously spans a broad field of various topics; books on film history, theory, technique, analysis, biographies, and so on... it might be thought that it's fairly obsolete to read books on films given that "watching films", "practical courses", "experimenting", "documentaries", (generally short) "essays and reviews" seem much more fruitful since it's a visual medium, but there are of course good ones.
so generally, what are some of your favourite books on films, and which ones do you want to read?

i'm related to someone who makes films, so I have access to a lot of books on film, but I haven't read that much yet (basically only Truffaut's 'The Films in my Life', and bits and pieces from 'The Story of Film' and other history-of-film books). Ones that I do want to read are, amongst others, Deleuze's 'Cinema 1: The Movement-Image' and 'Cinema 2: The Time-Image', Tarkovsky's 'Sculpting in Time', Bresson's 'Notes on the Cinematographer', Žižek's 'Lacrimae Rerum' (+ other "analysis-&-theory" stuff like that), and i guess the Vogel and Dwoskin book..
arittake no (yume (nikki)) & I suppose I’ll have to add the force of gravity to my list of enemies
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funkybusiness
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#2

Post by funkybusiness »

Bresson's Notes is less didactic and more aphorisms for resolving his own issues with his filmmaking. It's like reading his thoughts. Still recommended for fans of his films but more recommended is Robert Bresson (revised) edited by James Quandt.

Great books for those starting out include
Film Art: An Introduction by Bordwell and Thompson
Film History: An Introduction by Bordwell/Thompson
James Monaco's How to Read a Film
Peter Wollen's Signs and Meaning in the Cinema
Bazin's famous What is Cinema?
Film Theory & Criticism edited by Leo Braudy + Marshall Cohen (I've the 7th edition)
and the Deleuze books named by Carmel
(roughly) in that order. might switch Film Art and How to Read a Film depending on your interests.

More specified books I'd recommend (not necessarily in this order) these range from the personal to the highly technical and theoretical. you'll get lost. it's fine:
Jean Epstein: Critical Essays and New Translations
David Bordwell's books on Ozu, Eisenstein, Dreyer (three different books)
Tag Gallagher's books on Rossellini and John Ford
Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema by David Desser
Bal's Narratology (not exclusively film related but still worthwhile)
Scott Macdonald's The Garden in the Machine, American Ethnographic Film and Personal Documentary, and the Critical Cinema series
Circles of Confusion by Hollis Frampton (hardcore, like Finnegans Wake of film writings)
Mani Kaul's writings
Murnau by Lotte Eisner (hella famous)
Stan Brakhage's writings (even if you dislike his films) especially Film Biographies (aka The Brakhage Lectures) and Metaphors of Vision
Ingmar Bergman by Peter Cowie (a biography and filmography)
The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory is a great resource
Czech and Slovak Cinema by Peter Hames
Poetics of Cinema (2 vols) by Raoul Ruiz
Basically everything by Raymond Durgnat
That Bowling Alley on the Tiber by Michelangelo Antonioni (his un-filmed stories/screenplays)
The Avant-garde Feature Film by William E. B. Verrone
A Companion to Early Cinema edited by Gaudreault, Dulac, Hidalgo (way more than anyone could ever possibly want to know)
The Geopolitical Aesthetic: Cinema and Space in the World System by Frederic Jameson (features the legendary Remapping Taipei)
The Aesthetics of Shadow: Lighting and Japanese Cinema - Daisuke Miyao
The Material Ghost - Gilberto Perez
Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film - Jay Leyda
Painting, Photography, Film - Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (underrated filmmaker)

titles in the Director's Cut series I own/liked.
The Cinema of Alexander Sokurov by Jeremi Szaniawski
The Cinema of Jan Svankmajer by Peter Hames
The Cinema of Raul Ruiz by Michael Goddard

and the BFI Film Classics book series are good starters as well (specific to a single film) and they are numerous. I've read and liked:
Andrei Rublev
The Shining
WR: Mysteries of the Organism (Durgnat!)
Dead Man (Rosenbaum!)
there are several others I'd like to read but they can be tricky/expensive to get in the states due to their flux in-print status/oceanic travels.


That's probably a decent list for now.
Last edited by funkybusiness on February 24th, 2016, 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#3

Post by funkybusiness »

Oh and I'm reading Carl Theodor Dreyer's Gertrud: The Moving Word by James Schamus (good) and The Empty Space by Peter Brook (masturbatory).
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3eyes
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#4

Post by 3eyes »

see also this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=1724&1/
:run: STILL the Gaffer!
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Carmel1379
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#5

Post by Carmel1379 »

thanks a lot :)
arittake no (yume (nikki)) & I suppose I’ll have to add the force of gravity to my list of enemies
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monty
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#6

Post by monty »

You really only need to read one book - this
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3eyes
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#7

Post by 3eyes »

Just got this Tom Greenwald's Beyond Hollywood: 21st century international film (Toronto, 2016).

Short reviews of recent films from 70 countries, excluding the US. I'm happy to see that someone else has already made an ICM list so I don't have to. (I've seen 219/687).
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Lammetje
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#8

Post by Lammetje »

I found out that there's an autobiography of Lillian Gish titled "The Movies, Mr. Griffith, and Me" (1969). Has anybody read this book? I'm tempted to order it.
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