When my sister and I were kids, we were book-hounds, and my parents, after the food and rent had been taken care of, would literally spend every last rupee on books. We took it for granted when we were growing up but one of these days I need to thank them—it was thoughtful and generous of them. So, all my life I’ve had a weakness for acquiring books.
In the last couple of months, I’ve been on a book-buying bender. I’m not sure if you are this way too, but I almost never read a non-fiction book sequentially from beginning to end. I’m much more inclined to dive in, or search for a specific name or topic, and end up reading a book in bits and pieces over the course of, literally, years.
And years it will take me to get through these recent acquisitions:
The recently released American Movie Critics: An Anthology From The Silents Until Now, edited by Phillip Lopate. There is a round-up of reviews and links at Andy Horbal’s.
I know very little about film theory but reading Zach and Matt has got me curious to learn more. I picked up the following: a tome of key articles in the field, Film Theory And Criticism: Introductory Readings, edited by Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen; two books by Robert Ray, The Avant-Garde Finds Andy Hardy, and How A Film Theory Got Lost, And Other Mysteries In Cultural Studies; Christian Keathley’s Cinephilia And History, Or The Wind In The Trees; and Francesco Cassatti’s Theories Of Cinema 1945-1995. I’ll be sipping this huge and heady cocktail for ages.
Peter Bogdanovich’s book-length interview, This Is Orson Welles.
Alexander Nemerov on Val Lewton’s films.
Wallflower Press has put out a large number of cinema book titles recently. They run two series that I’m familiar with: (1) “Director’s Cuts,” books devoted to filmmakers—I have their Malick, Kieslowski and Lynch studies, and (2) “Short Cuts”: I picked up the slim but solid volumes on teen movies, mise-en-scène and early Soviet cinema.
Nathaniel Dorsky’s 50-page lecture-in-book-form Devotional Cinema.
Robert Kolker’s The Altering Eye, now alas out of print but available in its entirety on-line. A wide-ranging, eminently readable and meaty book on world cinema, written in 1983.
Gilberto Perez’s amazing The Material Ghost, reviewed here by Adrian Martin.
And now, over to you: movie books you’ve been reading, or have acquired recently, or are tempted to acquire?