Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Film Books On My Desk

I decided to stack up some of my favorite film books and keep them right next to my computer.  Reference material, but I don't know, there's something about them that makes me happy, too.

Here's what currently makes up the stack.  What's on yours?

Qu'est-ce que le cinema?  - Andre Bazin (French version)
Hawks on Hawks - Joseph McBride
Movie of the Week - Peter Bogdanovich
The Films in My Life - Francois Truffaut
Who The Devil Made It - Peter Bogdanovich
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - Pauline Kael
A Biographical Dictionary of Film - David Thomson
Essential Cinema - Jonathan Rosenbaum
"Have You Seen...?" - David Thomson
Le film noir american (wonderful French noir compendium)
La Politique Des Auteurs (great French book, compiling Cahiers interviews with Dreyer, Hawks, Bunuel, Hitchcock, Bresson, Antonioni, Lang, Rossellini, and Welles)
2 Copies of Cahiers du Cinema from the early 60s
Brian De Palma (French interview book) - Samuel Blumenfeld/Laurent Vachaud
French New Wave - Jean Douchet


  1. Some of my faves:

    - Midnight Movies by J. Hoberman and Jonathan Rosenbaum
    - Harlan Ellison's Watching by Harlan Ellison
    - Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind
    - American Independent Cinema: A Sight and Sound Reader edited by Jim Hiller
    - Nightmare Movies by Kim Newman
    - Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film by Peter Biskind

  2. Hey JD, great to hear from you. I know the Biskind and Rosenbaum books you mention. And like them very much. However, I'll have to look into the Ellison, Hiller, and Newman books you cite.

    Always great to see you here. Thanks, JD!

  3. Hey Jeffrey, a a year ago there was a meme that went around regarding this subject. Here's a link to my list, and it lists others I tagged who also came up with their own lists.

  4. Hey Tony, thanks so much for the post. There are fantastic ideas for other reads I need to pursue from your list and some of the others. I definitely need to look into that Danny Peary book you mention, and if I could locate my copies, my list would have also included Bresson's Notes on the Cinematographer and Godard on Godard.

  5. Truffaut's Hitchcock book is something every film buff should have. Hawks on Hawks is one I've been seeking. It was out of print last time I checked on Amazon, but I guess there's always eBay. I love McBride's Spielberg biography.

  6. Hey Adam, great to hear from you. And I'm so sorry I wasn't able to contribute to the Huston blog-a-thon. I was just traveling so much this last month or so.

    I'll have to seek out that McBride Spielberg bio. The Hawks book he did is quite good.

    Thanks, Adam. Always a treat to have you here.

  7. That's a great lot there Jeffrey (as are many others from the respondents here)

    Some of my own favorites sitting on the shelf include:

    Ozu (Bordwell)
    Dictionary of Films (Sadoul)
    Silent Clowns (Kerr)
    Alternate Oscars (Peary)
    Chaplin (Robinson)
    A World of Film (Kauffmann)
    Figures of Light (Kauffmann)
    The Ingmar Bergman Archives
    Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark (Lucas)
    Cult Movies 1,2,3 (Peary)
    Ford (McBride)
    Nine American Film Critics (Murray)
    Living Images (Kauffmann)
    5001 Nights at the Movies (Kael)
    I Lost it at the Movies (Kael)
    For Keeps (Kael)
    Citizen Kane Book (Kael)
    Reverse Angle (Simon)
    Ingmar Bergman Directs (Simon)
    Ingmar Bergman (Cowie)
    Hitchcock's Films (Wood)
    American Movie Critics (Lopate)
    Everything is Cinema-Godard- (Brody)
    John Ford (Gallagher)
    Dark Carnival (Browning)
    100 Years of Japanese Film (Richie)
    Val Lewton: The Reality of Terror (Siegel)
    The Films of Robert Bresson (Ayfre)
    Ten Film Classics (Murray)
    Japanese Film Directors (Bock)
    The Art of Alfred Hitchcock (Spoto)
    The American Cinema (Sarris)
    Hitchcock (Truffaut)
    Totally Tenderly Tragically (Lopate)
    The Great French Films (Paris)
    The Little Rascals (Maltin)
    Midnight Movies (Hoberman/Rosenbaum)
    Dictionary of 1,000 Films (Pritchard)
    Guide for the Film Fanatic (Peary)
    On Movies (MacDonald)

    Love the yellow background, Jeffrey!

  8. I neglected to mention that I have all of David Thomson's books as well. I see you are an adherent Jeffrey! Ha!

  9. Wow, Sam, that's an incredible list. In fact, many of them I've never read. I'll definitely use this as a guide as I keep looking for new, good film books.

    Always great having you here. And thanks for all the nice words, Sam!

  10. Luckily I have a readymade, evergreen reply at hand whenever this question comes up, ha ha:

    Well, not exactly the same thing (books that influenced me rather than ones I keep on hand to the present day) but to be honest, right after I wrote that post I kind of turned away from movie books for a while and focused my attention elsewhere. I may be getting back into the fray pretty soon though.

  11. A wonderful post, MovieMan, and such a great list at your site. Thanks so much for stopping in. It's really always such a treat to have you here.

  12. Jeffrey,

    I have Tarkovsky's Sculpting in Time and a film guide / encyclopedia. That's it, really. I did enjoy reading Bresson's Notes on the Cinematographer but film books in general I find rather dry and mechanical.

  13. Hey Stephen,

    Good to hear from you. I really like that Tarkovsky book, too. Personally, my favorite film books are the ones where my favorite directors are interviewed. I appreciate the first-hand perspective, usually more than anything else.

  14. Hi Jeffrey,

    Here are a baker's dozen that I always find myself going back to. There are so many more that should be listed.

    The American Cinema (Sarris)
    Chaplin (Robinson)
    Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (Kael)
    I Lost it at the Movies (Kael)
    For Keeps (Kael)
    The Celluloid Muse (Higham & Greenberg)
    Who The Devil Made That (Bogdanovich)
    The Silent Clowns (Kerr)
    On Sunset Blvd: Life & Times of Billy Wilder (Sikov)
    Guide for the Film Fanatic (Peary)
    Hollywood Italians (Bondanella)
    Hawks on Hawks (McBride)

  15. John, great to hear from you.

    I definitely need to track down some of these on your list. I've been hearing a lot about that Peary book. And THE CELLULOID MUSE particularly intrigues me, too.

    Always a treat to have you here. Thanks, John!