Welcome to the ICM Forum. If you have an account but have trouble logging in, or have other questions, see THIS THREAD.
NOTE: Board emails should be working again. Information on forum upgrade and style issues.
Podcast: Talking Images (Episode 22 released November 17th * EXCLUSIVE * We Are Mentioned in a Book!!! Interview with Mary Guillermin on Rapture, JG & More)
Polls: 1970s (Results), 1950 (Jun 24th), Japan (Jun 30th), Essential Cinema (Jul 11th)
Challenges: Italy, Queer Cinema, Film From Each Year
Film of the Week: Drive a Crooked Road, July nominations (Jun 25th)

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

Post Reply
User avatar
Carmel1379
Donator
Posts: 4663
Joined: February 21st, 2014, 7:00 am
Contact:

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

:imdb: IMDb Revolutions :letbxd: exwordpress blue :ICM:
User avatar
funkybusiness
Donator
Posts: 10902
Joined: January 22nd, 2013, 7:00 am
Contact:

#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.
User avatar
funkybusiness
Donator
Posts: 10902
Joined: January 22nd, 2013, 7:00 am
Contact:

#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).
User avatar
3eyes
Donator
Posts: 7266
Joined: May 17th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

#4

Post by 3eyes »

see also this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=1724&1/
:run: STILL the Gaffer!
User avatar
Carmel1379
Donator
Posts: 4663
Joined: February 21st, 2014, 7:00 am
Contact:

#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

:imdb: IMDb Revolutions :letbxd: exwordpress blue :ICM:
User avatar
monty
Posts: 12793
Joined: May 9th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#6

Post by monty »

You really only need to read one book - this
User avatar
3eyes
Donator
Posts: 7266
Joined: May 17th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

#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).
:run: STILL the Gaffer!
User avatar
Lammetje
Donator
Posts: 4309
Joined: October 4th, 2013, 6:00 am
Location: Poland
Contact:

#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.
iCM | IMDb | Last.fm | Listal

Image
OldAle1 wrote:I think four Aamir Khan films is enough for me. Unless I'm down to one film left on the IMDb Top 250 at some point and he's in that last film, at which point I'll watch it and then shoot myself having become the official-check-whoring person I hate.
More memorable quotes
PeacefulAnarchy wrote:Active topics is the devil. Please use the forums and subforums as intended and peruse all the topics nicely sorted by topic, not just the currently popular ones displayed in a jumbled mess.
maxwelldeux wrote:If you asked me to kill my wife and pets OR watch Minions, I'd check the runtime and inquire about sobriety requirements before providing an answer.
Torgo wrote:Lammetje is some kind of hybrid Anna-Kendrick-lamb-entity to me and I find that very cool.
monty wrote:If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. iCM ain't for sissies.
mightysparks wrote:ARGH. RARGH. RARGH. DIE.
Kowry wrote:Thanks, Art Garfunky.
Rich wrote:*runs*
Cinephile
Posts: 15
Joined: June 1st, 2021, 2:53 pm
Contact:

#9

Post by Cinephile »

The greatest and most important books about cinema as an artform are: Carney, Raymond Francis, Junior, “American Dreaming: The Films of John Cassavetes and the American Experience,” (Berkeley and Los Angeles, California and London: University of California Press, 1985); Carney, Raymond Francis, Junior, “Acknowledgments,” “Contents,” “Introduction,” “A Brief Chronology of Adams’ Life,” “A Note on the Text,” “Notes,” “Glossary of Architectural Terms,” “Suggestions for Further Reading,” and “Index,” To: Adams, Henry Brooks Frances Snow Compton, “Mont Saint Michel and Chartres,” (Penguin Classics, New York, New York, Markham and Toronto, Ontario, Harmondsworth, London, Dublin, Ringwood and Camberwell, Victoria, New Delhi, National Capital Territory of Delhi, Auckland, North Shore, and Johannesburg: Viking Penguin Books and Pearson, 1986), Pp. v–vi, vii–viii, ix–xxxviii, xxxix–xl, xli–xlii, 361–376, 377–379, 380, and 381–398; Carney, Raymond Francis, Junior, “American Vision: The Films of Frank Capra,” (Cambridge, London, New York and New Rochelle, New York, Oakleigh and Melbourne, Victoria, and Sydney, New South Wales: Cambridge University Press, 1986); Carney, Raymond Francis, Junior, “Speaking the Language of Desire: The Films of Carl Dreyer,” (Cambridge, New York and New Rochelle, New York, Oakleigh and Melbourne, Victoria, and Sydney, New South Wales: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Carney, Raymond Francis, Junior, “The Films of John Cassavetes: Pragmatism, Modernism, and the Movies,” (Photographs: Shaw, Samuel and Shaw, Larry, Cambridge Film Classics, General Editor: Carney, Raymond Francis, Junior, Cambridge, New York, New York, Oakleigh, Melbourne, and Port Melbourne, Victoria, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapura, São Paulo, São Paulo, Delhi and New Delhi, National Capital Territory of Delhi, Dubai, Dubai, Tôkyô, and México, Distrito Federal: Cambridge University Press, 1994); Carney, Raymond Francis, Junior, “Escape Velocity: Notes on Beat Film,” “The Beat Movement in Film: A Comprehensive Screening List,” and “No Exit: John Cassavetes’ Shadows,” In: Phillips, Lisa, (Editor), “Beat Culture and the New America: 1950–1965,” (New York, New York and Paris: Whitney Museum of American Art and Éditions Flammarion, 1995), Pp. 190–209, 210–214, and 235–243; Carney, Raymond Francis, Junior, “When Mind Is a Verb: Thomas Eakins and the Work of Doing,” In: Dickstein, Morris, (Editor), “The Revival of Pragmatism: New Essays on Social Thought, Law, and Culture,” (Post-Contemporary Interventions, Series Editors: Fish, Stanley Eugene and Jameson, Fredric Ruff, Durham, North Carolina and London: Duke University Press, 1998), Pp. 377–403; Carney, Raymond Francis, Junior, “Two Forms of Cinematic Modernism: Notes Toward a Pragmatic Aesthetic,” In: Ludington, Charles Townsend, Junior, (Editor), and Fahy, Thomas Richard and Reuning, Sarah Patrick, (Assistant Editors), “A Modern Mosaic: Art and Modernism in the United States,” (Chapel Hill, North Carolina and London: University of North Carolina Press, 2000), Pp. 357–416; Carney, Raymond Francis, Junior and Quart, Leonard, “The Films of Mike Leigh: Embracing the World,” (Cambridge Film Classics, General Editor: Carney, Raymond Francis, Junior, Cambridge, New York, New York, Oakleigh, Melbourne, and Port Melbourne, Victoria, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapura, São Paulo, São Paulo, Delhi and New Delhi, National Capital Territory of Delhi, Dubai, Dubai, Tôkyô, and México, Distrito Federal: Cambridge University Press, 2000); Carney, Raymond Francis, Junior, (Editor), “Cassavetes on Cassavetes,” (London and New York, New York: Faber and Faber and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2001); and Carney, Raymond Francis, Junior, “Shadows,” (British Film Institute Film Classics, Series Editor: White, Robert Hanley Gregor, Series Consultants: Buscombe, Edward, MacCabe, Colin Myles Joseph, and Meeker, David, London, Basingstoke, Bloomington, Indiana, and Berkeley, California: British Film Institute Publishing, Palgrave Macmillan, Indiana University Press, and University of California Press, 2001).
Last edited by Cinephile on June 18th, 2021, 1:40 pm, edited 25 times in total.
User avatar
hurluberlu
Donator
Posts: 2607
Joined: January 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#10

Post by hurluberlu »

Cinephile wrote: June 10th, 2021, 4:23 pm The greatest and most important books about cinema...
You can't make that claim if you limit yourself to US/UK sources. :whistling:

How is “Mont Saint Michel and Chartres” even about cinema ?
#JeSuisCharlie Liberté, Liberté chérie !

Image
ImageImageImageImage
Cinephile
Posts: 15
Joined: June 1st, 2021, 2:53 pm
Contact:

#11

Post by Cinephile »

hurluberlu wrote: June 10th, 2021, 5:20 pm
Cinephile wrote: June 10th, 2021, 4:23 pm The greatest and most important books about cinema...
You can't make that claim if you limit yourself to US/UK sources. :whistling:

How is “Mont Saint Michel and Chartres” even about cinema ?
I am not “limiting” myself to anything, feel free to add whatever you find interesting.
User avatar
hurluberlu
Donator
Posts: 2607
Joined: January 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#12

Post by hurluberlu »

Cinephile wrote: June 10th, 2021, 5:22 pm
hurluberlu wrote: June 10th, 2021, 5:20 pm
Cinephile wrote: June 10th, 2021, 4:23 pm The greatest and most important books about cinema...
You can't make that claim if you limit yourself to US/UK sources. :whistling:

How is “Mont Saint Michel and Chartres” even about cinema ?
I am not “limiting” myself to anything, feel free to add whatever you find interesting.
OK cool, I got the wrong impression then. I am still curious about Mont Saint Michel though...
#JeSuisCharlie Liberté, Liberté chérie !

Image
ImageImageImageImage
Cinephile
Posts: 15
Joined: June 1st, 2021, 2:53 pm
Contact:

#13

Post by Cinephile »

hurluberlu wrote: June 10th, 2021, 5:54 pm
Cinephile wrote: June 10th, 2021, 5:22 pm
hurluberlu wrote: June 10th, 2021, 5:20 pm

You can't make that claim if you limit yourself to US/UK sources. :whistling:

How is “Mont Saint Michel and Chartres” even about cinema ?
I am not “limiting” myself to anything, feel free to add whatever you find interesting.
OK cool, I got the wrong impression then. I am still curious about Mont Saint Michel though...
No problem. As for your question, I consider the editor (who has annotated and introduced the text) to be the most important theoretician and scholar of cinema as an artform, so, everything that he wrote, even about other media, I find pertinent. Anyway, these books have completely changed the way in which I view the medium.
User avatar
peeptoad
Posts: 2928
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#14

Post by peeptoad »

currently most want to read (started the Fitzgerald book a few days ago):

New Realism: Contemporary British Cinema, Forrest
The British Cinema Book, Murphy
Studying British Cinema: 1999-2009, Fitzgerald
Film England: Culturally English Filmmaking Since the 1990s, Higson
Contemporary British Cinema: From Heritage to Horror, Leggott
Directory of World Cinema: Britain, Bell/Mitchell

Starting to focus on British cinema of the last 20-30 yrs of late. Anyone has any other recs (or film recs for that matter) in this area I'll take em. I have a pretty long list of directors to explore already...
User avatar
pitchorneirda
Posts: 920
Joined: February 11th, 2019, 12:07 pm
Location: France
Contact:

#15

Post by pitchorneirda »

Here's a book avaible online of which I read excerpts very often: Light Moving in Time: Studies in the Visual Aesthetics of Avant-Garde Film
"Art is like a fire, it is born from the very thing it burns" - Jean-Luc Godard
Cinephile
Posts: 15
Joined: June 1st, 2021, 2:53 pm
Contact:

#16

Post by Cinephile »

peeptoad wrote: June 15th, 2021, 12:50 pm currently most want to read (started the Fitzgerald book a few days ago):

New Realism: Contemporary British Cinema, Forrest
The British Cinema Book, Murphy
Studying British Cinema: 1999-2009, Fitzgerald
Film England: Culturally English Filmmaking Since the 1990s, Higson
Contemporary British Cinema: From Heritage to Horror, Leggott
Directory of World Cinema: Britain, Bell/Mitchell

Starting to focus on British cinema of the last 20-30 yrs of late. Anyone has any other recs (or film recs for that matter) in this area I'll take em. I have a pretty long list of directors to explore already...
This one might be of interest to you (in addition to the already-mentioned monograph that has been written about this director, which I have already cited in one of my earlier posts above): Coveney, Michael, “The World According to Mike Leigh,” (Paperback Edition, London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1997, Originally Published: London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1996), Includes a “Preface to the Paperback Edition,” Pp. xvii–xxiv.
Last edited by Cinephile on June 18th, 2021, 1:40 pm, edited 10 times in total.
User avatar
peeptoad
Posts: 2928
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#17

Post by peeptoad »

Cinephile wrote: June 16th, 2021, 11:52 am
peeptoad wrote: June 15th, 2021, 12:50 pm currently most want to read (started the Fitzgerald book a few days ago):

New Realism: Contemporary British Cinema, Forrest
The British Cinema Book, Murphy
Studying British Cinema: 1999-2009, Fitzgerald
Film England: Culturally English Filmmaking Since the 1990s, Higson
Contemporary British Cinema: From Heritage to Horror, Leggott
Directory of World Cinema: Britain, Bell/Mitchell

Starting to focus on British cinema of the last 20-30 yrs of late. Anyone has any other recs (or film recs for that matter) in this area I'll take em. I have a pretty long list of directors to explore already...
This one might be of interest (in addition to the monograph about this director which I have already cited in my post above): Coveney, Michael, “The World According to Mike Leigh,” (Second Edition, London: HarperCollins Publishers, 1996 and 1997).
Cool thanks Cinephile. I'll look into it...
Cinephile
Posts: 15
Joined: June 1st, 2021, 2:53 pm
Contact:

#18

Post by Cinephile »

peeptoad wrote: June 16th, 2021, 11:59 am
Cinephile wrote: June 16th, 2021, 11:52 am
peeptoad wrote: June 15th, 2021, 12:50 pm currently most want to read (started the Fitzgerald book a few days ago):

New Realism: Contemporary British Cinema, Forrest
The British Cinema Book, Murphy
Studying British Cinema: 1999-2009, Fitzgerald
Film England: Culturally English Filmmaking Since the 1990s, Higson
Contemporary British Cinema: From Heritage to Horror, Leggott
Directory of World Cinema: Britain, Bell/Mitchell

Starting to focus on British cinema of the last 20-30 yrs of late. Anyone has any other recs (or film recs for that matter) in this area I'll take em. I have a pretty long list of directors to explore already...
This one might be of interest (in addition to the monograph about this director which I have already cited in my post above): Coveney, Michael, “The World According to Mike Leigh,” (Second Edition, London: HarperCollins Publishers, 1996 and 1997).
Cool thanks Cinephile. I'll look into it...
My pleasure, you are more than welcome.
Post Reply