I'm a big fan of the entire Very Short Introduction series, but this one is my favorite, by far. The book goes into all the creative choices involved in documentary film (way more than I had ever considered), and gives a detailed history of the genre. It directed me towards some great films I had never heard of and changed the way I watch all movies.
If you, like me, are interested in the space that exists between what can easily be called fiction or nonfiction, I recommend The Twilight World. Landing somewhere between a biography and a novel, Herzog recounts the story of Hiroo Onoda and creates a work that is at once terrifying and beautiful. Herzog fans will be pleased to find another eccentric loner, far removed from society, dealing with strange existential dilemmas, yet even those unfamiliar will be taken in by this fascinating, dreamlike tale of survival.
This is the perfect guide for a movie marathon! Whether you’re feeling horror, romance, avant garde, or apocalypse, this book is a thorough catalog of Pacific Northwest film and television (both filmed and themed in the PNW). My favorite films and TV included in this book: Grey’s Anatomy (2005-Present), The Goonies (1985), Short Circuit (1986), and Practical Magic (1998), and Coraline (2009).
I am now obsessed with Sharon Gless. Landing roles on the big screen and the stage, Gless, however, commanded television playing iconic roles such as half of the revolutionary female cop duo in Cagney & Lacy and the loud and proud PFlag mom in Queer as Folk. She dishes about Hollywood in the 60s, 70s, and 80s while also revealing her issues with her weight, alcohol, and married men. She was able to make me laugh and break my heart both with her tenderness.
So many 'making of' books come off as slapdash cash-grabs. This book, however, is bound in adoration for its source material. Along with recollections of those who worked on the film, there is a multitude of quality, actually never before seen production photos. This is how you pay your respects to a masterpiece.
After years in the film industry Blake Snyder identified a pattern about the movies we love. What he discovered changed the world of screenwriting forever. Explained in 13 easy to digest steps, his breakdown for aspiring screenwriters is called The Beat Sheet. This book (and series) will change the way you think about not only writing but watching movies. It is a MUST read for anyone ready to see their story on the big screen!
Muted watercolor illustrations paired with grade school cursive on grade school writing paper published from the Seattle small press, Fantagraphics, I was endeared to Mannie Murphy from the beginning. Genderqueer and a Portland native themself, Murphy illustrates the dark history of the Rose City as well as the life and death of their teenage adulation, River Phoenix. My only complaint is that I wanted more!
You may have no desire to know the intimate backroad histories of old LA, you might not be a film buff, but I'm telling you... you don't have to be much of anything to fall in love with this book. I couldn't stop until I found its author, the inimitable Matthew Specktor, in possession of success or happiness or peace or something that resembles those impossible objects. These aren't just essays about Fitzgerald, Warren Zevon, Thomas McGuane, Renata Adler; this is a book about what it is to be an artist in America. Specktor's story is both erudite and crafty magic.
Perfect for those humor fans or non-pretentious movie buffs that want to weigh in on what other movie characters would be in Regina George's clique or who got it the worst in Kill Bill? Paired with Torres' fantastic illustrations, Serrano writes lovingly and analytically about movies from the 1980s to today with opinions that toggle between silly and serious. Because really which movie villain would make the best hang and how culturally significant was 1997's Selena? This is a great book to escape into with the kind of author that wouldn't leave you bored at a party.