Tuesday, 4 October 2011

A Collection of Books about Cinema

The following list is the bulk of my collection of film books which I've reprinted here for anyone looking to pick up something to read over the winter. The list is a little scatter shot so I've divided it up into different sections to make it easier to navigate through. Film books tend to go out of print quite rapidly so if you've got your eye on a book, my advice would be pick it up sooner rather than later. Second hand book stores, Amazon Marketplace and eBay usually contain all sorts of film book treasure and they're well worth a visit. Each entry is kitted out with a link to Amazon, just out of convenience because everyone is familiar with the format and Amazon pages tend to have the most comprehensive information, as well as the very handy Look Inside feature and so on...

Hollywood, Studios and American Cinema
Japanese Cinema
Biographies Pt 1 - Directors (Hollywood, Classic Cinema)
Biographies Pt 2 - Directors (World Cinema)
Biographies Pt 3 - Directors (Cult Cinema)
Biographies Pt 4 - Actors, Producers
Cult Film Writing (Horror, Exploitation, Sci-fi)
Books about Individual films




Hollywood, Studios and American Cinema

CITY OF NETS : A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940's - Otto Friedrich Link!

DOWN AND DIRTY PICTURES : Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film - Peter Biskind Link!

EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood – Peter Biskind Link!

HOLLYWOOD BABYLON : The Legendary Underground Classic of Hollywood's Darkest and Best Kept Secrets – Kenneth Anger Link!

HOLLYWOOD BABYLON 2 – Kenneth Anger Link!

INSIDE WARNER BROS. (1935 – 1951) - Rudy Behlmer Link!

TENDER COMRADES: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist - Patrick McGilligan and Paul Buhle Link!

UNIVERSAL HORRORS: The Studio's Classic Films, 1931-1946 - Tom Weaver Link!

THE GENIUS OF THE SYSTEM: Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era - Thomas Shatz Link!

THE PARADE’S GONE BY - Kevin Browlow Link!

THE WHOLE EQUATION: A History of Hollywood - David Thomson Link!

"YOU AIN'T HEARD NOTHIN' YET": The American Talking Film History and Memory 1927-1949 – Andrew Sarris Link!

THE EGOS HAVE LANDED: The Rise and Fall of Palace Pictures - Angus Finney Link!



Japanese Cinema

A HUNDRED YEARS OF JAPANESE FILM: A Concise History, with a Selective Guide to DVDs and Videos - Donald Richie Link!

BEHIND THE PINK CURTAIN: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema - Jasper Sharp Link!

EROS IN HELL: Sex, Blood and Madness in Japanese Cinema - Jack Hunter Link!

OUTLAW MASTERS OF JAPANESE FILM - Chris D. Link!

THE MIDNIGHT EYE GUIDE TO NEW JAPANESE FILM - Tom Mes Link!



Biographies Pt 1 - Directors (Hollywood, Classic Cinema)

D.W. GRIFFITH: An American Life - Richard Schickel Link!

CHAPLIN: His Life and Art - David Robinson Link!

CHARLES CHAPLIN: My Autobiography - Charlie Chaplin Link!

JAMES WHALE: A New World of Gods and Monsters - James Curtis Link!

SEARCHING FOR JOHN FORD: A Life - Joseph McBride Link!

ABOUT JOHN FORD – Lindsay Anderson Link!

THE DARK SIDE OF GENIUS: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock - Donald Spoto Link!

ALFRED HITCHCOCK: A Life in Darkness and Light - Patrick McGilligan Link!

HITCHCOCK'S NOTEBOOKS: An Authorized And Illustrated Look Inside The Creative Mind Of Alfred Hitchcock - Dan Auiler Link!

THE HITCHCOCK MURDERS - Peter Conrad Link!

HITCHCOCK - Francois Truffaut, Helen G. Scott Link!

GEORGE CUKOR - A DOUBLE LIFE: A Biography of the Gentleman Director - Patrick McGillan Link!

FRANK CAPRA: The Castastrophe of Success - Joseph McBride Link!

HOWARD HAWKS: The Grey Fox of Hollywood - Todd McCarty Link!

CECIL B. DE MILLE: A Life In Art - Simon Louvish Link!

FRITZ LANG: The Nature of the Beast - Patrick McGilligan Link!

DAVID LEAN: A Biography - Kevin Brownlow Link!

A LIFE IN MOVIES - Michael Powell Link!

EMERIC PRESSBURGER: The Life and Death of a Screenwriter - Kevin Macdonald Link!

DESPITE THE SYSTEM : Orson Welles Versus the Hollywood Studios - Clinton Heylin Link!

THIS IS ORSON WELLES - Orson Welles, Peter Bogdanovich Link!

ORSON WELLES Vol.1: The Road to Xanadu - Simon Callow Link!

ORSON WELLES Vol.2: Hello Americans - Simon Callow Link!

SIRK ON SIRK: Interviews with Jon Halliday Link!

ON SUNSET BOULEVARD: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder Link!

KAZAN ON KAZAN - Elia Kazan, Jeff Young Link!

ELIA KAZAN: A Life - Elia Kazan Link!

NICHOLAS RAY: An American Life - Bernard Eisenschitz, Tom Milne Link!

A THIRD FACE: My Tale of Writing, Fighting and Filmmaking - Sam Fuller Link!

A SIEGEL FILM: An Autobiography - Don Siegel Link!

CASSAVETES ON CASSAVETES - John Cassavetes, Ray Carney Link!

STANLEY KUBRICK: A Biography - Vincent Lobrutto Link!

JOESPH LOSEY: A Revenge on Life - David Caute Link!

SAM PECKINPAH: If They Move...Kill 'em! - David Weddle Link!

SCORSESE ON SCORSESE – Martin Scorsese Link!

SCHRADER ON SCHRADER – Paul Schrader Link!

FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA: A Filmmaker's Life - Michael Schumacher Link!

COPPOLA: A Biography - Peter Cowie Link!

GEORGE LUCAS – John Baxter Link!

STEVEN SPIELBERG – Joseph McBride Link!

STONE: A Biography of Oliver Stone - James Riordan Link!

WOODY ALLEN ON WOODY ALLEN - Woody Allen Link!

ALTMAN ON ALTMAN - David Thompson Link!

ADVENTURES OF A SUBURBAN BOY - John Boorman Link!



Biographies Pt 2 - Directors (World Cinema)
THE EMPEROR AND THE WOLF: The Lives and Films of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune - Stuart Galbraith Link!

INGMAR BERGMAN: A Critical Biography - Peter Cowie Link!

PASOLINI REQUIEM - Barth David Schwartz Link!

COCTEAU: A Biography - Francis Steegmuller Link!

JACQUES TATI: His Life and Art - David Bellos Link!

GODARD ON GODARD: Critical Writings by Jean-Luc Godard - Jean-Luc Godard Link!

EVERYTHING IS CINEMA: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard Link!

LETTERS – Jean Renoir Link!

LETTERS – Francois Truffaut Link!

FEDERICO FELLINI: His Life and Work - Tullio Kezich Link!

TIME WITHIN TIME: Diaries, 1970-86 - Andrei Tarkovsky Link!

SCULPTING IN TIME: Reflections on the Cinema - Andrei Tarkovsky Link!

TARKOVSKY: Nathan Dunne Link!

MALLE ON MALLE - Louis Malle, Philip French (Editor) Link!

KIESLOWSKI ON KIESLOWSKI - Krzysztof Kieslowski Link!

ROMAN BY POLANSKI - Roman Polanski Link!

SERGIO LEONE - Something to Do With Death - Christopher Frayling Link!

HERZOG ON HERZOG – Wener Herzog Link!

PAUL VERHOEVEN - Rob Van Scheers Link!



Biographies Pt 3 - Directors (Cult Cinema)

ALTERED STATES: The Autobiography of Ken Russell - Ken Russell Link!

DIRECTING FILM: The Directors Art from Script to Cutting Room - Ken Russell Link!

CRONENBERG ON CRONENBERG – David Cronenberg Link!

LYNCH ON LYNCH – David Lynch Link!

THE ZOMBIES THAT ATE PITTSBURGH: The Films of George A. Romero - Paul R. Gagne Link!

BROKEN MIRRORS/BROKEN MINDS: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento - Maitland McDonagh Link!

ART OF DARKNESS: The Cinema of Dario Argento - Chris John Gallant Link!

PROFONDO ARGENTO - Alan Jones Link!

FANTASY FILM MEMORY: Directed By Dario Argento – John Martin Link!

BEYOND TERROR: The Films of Lucio Fulci - Stephen Thrower Link!

CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST: And the Savage Cinema of Ruggero Deodato - Fenton, Grainger, Castoldi Link!

BIG BOSOMS AND SQUARE JAWS: The Biography of Russ Meyer - Jimmy McDonough Link!

A TASTE OF BLOOD: The Films of Herschell Gordon Lewis - Christopher Curry Link!

ABEL FERRARA: The Moral Vision - Brad Stevens Link!

DONALD CAMMELL: A Life on the Wild Side - Rebecca & Sam Umland Link!

GHASTLY ONE: The Sex Gore Netherworld of film maker Andy Milligan - Jimmy McDonongh Link!

IRON MAN: The Cinema of Shinya Tsukamoto Link!

JACQUES TOUREUR: The Cinema of Nightfall - Chris Fujiwara Link!

MARIO BAVA: All the Colors of the Dark - Tim Lucas Link!

MAKING MISCHIEF: The Cult Films of Pete Walker - Steve Chibnall Link!

AGITATOR: The Cinema of Takashi Miike - Tom Mes Link!

DEREK JARMAN - Tony Peake Link!

Smiling In Slow Motion: Diaries, 1991-94 - Derek Jarman Link!

Dancing Ledge - Derek Jarman Link!

Kicking the Pricks - Derek Jarman Link!

DESPERATE VISIONS: The Films of John Waters & the Kuchar Brothers - Jack Stevenson Link!

SEX MURDER ART: The Films of Jorg Buttgereit - David Kerekes Link!



Biographies Pt 4 - Actors, Producers

SHOWMAN: The Life of David O. Selznick - David Thomson Link!

MEMO FROM DAVID O. SELZNICK : The Creation of "Gone with the Wind" and Other Motion Picture Classics, as Revealed in the Producer's Private Letters, Telegrams, Memorandums, and Autobiographical Remarks - David O. Selznick, Rudy Behlmer (Editor) Link!

LION OF HOLLYWOOD: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer - Scott Eyman Link!

SAM SPIEGEL - Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni Link!

HOW I MADE A HUNDRED MOVIES IN HOLLYWOOD AND NEVER LOST A DIME - Roger Corman Link!

MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE: The Life and Times of W. C. Fields - Simon Louvish Link!

CHARLES LAUGHTON: A Difficult Actor - Simon Callow Link!

IN THE ARENA: An Autobiography - Charlton Heston Link!

WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT - Michael Caine Link!

JOHN WAYNE : The Politics of Celebrity - Garry Wills Link!

BRANDO - Peter Manso Link!

STEVE MCQUEEN: Portrait of an American Rebel - Marshall Terrill Link!

KINSKI UNCUT: The Autobiography of Klaus Kinski Link!

BRUCE LEE: Fighting Spirit - Bruce Thomas Link!

IF CHINS COULD KILL: Confessions of a B Movie Actor - Bruce Campbell Link!


Cult Film Writing (Horror, Exploitation, Sci-fi)

THE OVERLOOK FILM ENCYCLOPEDIA: HORROR (The Overlook Film Encyclopedia Series) - Phil Hardy Link!

THE OVERLOOK FILM ENCYCLOPEDIA: SCIENCE FICTION (The Overlook Film Encyclopedia Series) - Phil Hardy Link!

THE DEEP RED HORROR HANDBOOK - Chas Balun Link!

NIGHTMARE USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents - Stephen Thrower Link!

THE PSYCHOTRONIC VIDEO GUIDE TO FILM - Michael J. Weldon Link!

SLEAZOID EXPRESS: A Mind-Twisting Tour Through the Grindhouse Cinema of Times Square - Bill Landis Link!

SLIMETIME: A Guide to Sleazy, Mindless Movies - Steven Puchalski Link!

NIGHTMARE MOVIES: A Critical Guide To Horror Films - Kim Newman Link!

KILLING FOR CULTURE: An Illustrated History of Death Film from Mondo to Snuff - David Kerekes Link!

LOST HIGHWAYS: An Ilustrated History of Road Movies - Jack Sargeant Link!

THE MONSTER SHOW: A Cultural History of Horror - David J. Skal Link!

FLESH AND BLOOD COMPENDIUM: Cinema and Video for Adults - Harvey Fenton Link!

BOOK OF THE DEAD: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema - Jamie Russell Link!

DVD DELIRIUM Vol 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 : The International Guide to Weird and Wonderful Films on DVD - Nathaniel Thompson Link!

EYEBALL COMPENDIUM: Sex & Horror, Art & Exploitation - Stephen Thrower Link!

SEE NO EVIL: Banned Films and Video Controversy - David Kerekes Link!

SHOCK! HORROR!: Astounding Artwork from the Video Nasty Era - Marc Morris Link!

THE ART OF THE NASTY - Marc Morris, Nigel Wingrove Link!

THE ART OF HAMMER: The Official Poster Collection From the Archive of Hammer Films - Marcus Hearn Link!



Books about Individual films

PICTURE - Lillian Ross Link!

THE DEVIL'S CANDY: The Bonfire of the Vanities Goes to Hollywood - Julie Salamon Link!

FINAL CUT: Art, Money, and Ego in the Making of Heaven's Gate, the Film That Sank United Artists - Steven Bach Link!

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE COMPANION - Stefan Jaworzyn Link!

CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES: The Complete History of Friday the 13th - Peter M. Bracke Link!

WES CRAVEN'S LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT - David A. Szulkin Link!

WILLIAM PETER BLATTY ON THE EXORCIST: From Novel To Film - William Peter Blatty Link!

THE APOCALYPSE NOW BOOK - Peter Cowie Link!

NOTES ON THE MAKING OF APOCALYPSE NOW - Eleanor Coppola Link!

2001: Filming the Future - Piers Bizony Link!

FUTURE NOIR: The Making of Blade Runner - Paul M. Sammon Link!

THE MAKING OF CASABLANCA: Bogart, Bergman, and World War II - Aljean Harmetz Link!

THE MAKING OF WIZARD OF OZ: Movie Magic and Studio Power in the Prime of MGM - Aljean Harmetz Link!

THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD - Christian Sellers (Author), Gary Smart Link!

THE JAWS LOG - Carl Gottlieb Link!

INSIDE THE WICKER MAN: How Not to Make a Cult Classic - Allan Brown Link!

FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET: A Film Directed by Dario Argento - Luigi Cozzi Link!



In addition the list above, please head over to the highly recommended Shocks the the System blog where Jon has compiled his own list of essential books on Horror Cinema.

11 comments:

  1. Wow, that's one helluva a library Wes! Which would be your picks as the essential absolute must owns? Maybe a few from each of your catergories.

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  2. Jeez, that's tough. These would be the ones I'd pick - all great reads....

    THE GENIUS OF THE SYSTEM: Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era
    A HUNDRED YEARS OF JAPANESE FILM: A Concise History
    THIS IS ORSON WELLES - Orson Welles, Peter Bogdanovich
    THE EMPEROR AND THE WOLF: The Lives and Films of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune
    MARIO BAVA: All the Colors of the Dark *
    IN THE ARENA: An Autobiography - Charlton Heston
    SEE NO EVIL: Banned Films and Video Controversy
    FUTURE NOIR: The Making of Blade Runner

    * I actually have yet to read Tim Lucas' mammoth Bava book, but it's easily the most impressive looking book in my collection !

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  3. Great collection, Wes. There are quite a few there I'd love to read, like City of Nets. I'd love to read that Bava book too! Genius of the System is also in my top ten.

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  4. Genius of the System is an excellent read Jon, be sure to grab a copy. It's one of the few books I re-read every year and a fine response to anyone who claims the factory style studio production stifled creativity.

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  5. I was thinking about getting 'Any Gun Can Play' the new one on spaghetti westerns from FAB press - have you read it? I was glancing through it the other day and it looks excellent.

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  6. Yep, I finished reading it last month Jon and I highly recommend it - extremely comprehensive, very well written and full of intelligent analysis without being stiff-necked and scholarly (something which ruined FAB's Art of Darkness, Argento book) I posted a "first look" at the book here

    I see I forgot to put it on the list above, but Once Upon A Time In the Italian West is another very good book on spaghetti westerns.

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  7. Thanks for taking the time to list your books Wes - very enjoyable to peruse your collection!

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  8. Very impressive library, Wes! I have some of the Fab Press and Horror titles in your collection, but my collection is nowhere near as well rounded. Thanks for posting the links.

    How is the Four Flies book by Luigi Cozzi? Worth picking up?

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  9. Anthony, the Four Flies book is good, but a little expensive for what you get. The first chapter of the book covers some 50 (out of 243) disposable pages of plot synopsis, but after that the book gets into the nuts and bolts of the production. It's quite comprehensive, if a little lo-fi, the book is completely b/w and the screenshots are fuzzy video captures. I bought the book at the Profondo Rossa store in Rome, run by Luigi Cozzi. I should have got him to sign the book but as I plucked up the courage to ask him some 5 year olds (?) who were in the shop at that very moment, knocked over a display and the moment had gone...

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  10. What an incredible list! I have some of these, thankfully - I'll be checking this out in more depth after the holidays when I'll have a little more disposable income.

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  11. Great ! Hopefully the links will still be working.

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