It’s officially Summer Reading time at Eisenhower, the time of year when you can win prizes for reading. Sign up in Kids World or at the Answers Desk with any valid library card to get an awesome tote bag featuring Kevan Atteberry’s friendly, bunny-loving, bass-playing monster, Declan while supplies last.
The theme for this year’s program is “It’s Showtime at Your Library” so we’re recommending books about music and movies to help you get started earning prizes. Today we’re recommending nonfiction books for movie fans. Look for more Summer Reading posts throughout the summer.
Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman
No one knows the writer’s Hollywood more intimately than William Goldman. Two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter and the bestselling author of Marathon Man, Tinsel, Boys and Girls Together, and other novels, Goldman now takes you into Hollywood’s inner sanctums…on and behind the scenes for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men, and other films…into the plush offices of Hollywood producers…into the working lives of acting greats such as Redford, Olivier, Newman, and Hoffman…and into his own professional experiences and creative thought processes in the crafting of screenplays. You get a firsthand look at why and how films get made and what elements make a good screenplay.
Awake in the Dark by Roger Ebert
No critic alive has reviewed more movies than Roger Ebert, and yet his essential writings have never been collected in a single volume–until now. With Awake in the Dark , both fans and film buffs can finally bask in the best of Ebert’s work. The reviews, interviews, and essays collected here present a picture of this indispensable critic’s numerous contributions to the cinema and cinephilia. From The Godfather to GoodFellas , from Cries and Whispers to Crash , the reviews in Awake in the Dark span some of the most exceptional periods in film history, from the dramatic rise of rebel Hollywood and the heyday of the auteur, to the triumph of blockbuster films such as Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark , to the indie revolution that is still with us today.
The extraordinary interviews gathered in Awake in the Dark capture Ebert engaging not only some of the most influential directors of our time–Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Robert Altman, Werner Herzog, and Ingmar Bergman–but also some of the silver screen’s most respected and dynamic personalities, including actors as diverse as Robert Mitchum, James Stewart, Warren Beatty, and Meryl Streep. Ebert’s remarkable essays play a significant part in Awake in the Dark as well. The book contains some of Ebert’s most admired pieces, among them a moving appreciation of John Cassavetes and a loving tribute to the virtues of black-and-white films.
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind
When the low-budget biker movie Easy Rider shocked Hollywood with its success in 1969, a new Hollywood era was born. This was an age when talented young filmmakers such as Scorsese, Coppola, and Spielberg, along with a new breed of actors, including De Niro, Pacino, and Nicholson, became the powerful figures who would make such modern classics as The Godfather, Chinatown, Taxi Driver, and Jaws. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls follows the wild ride that was Hollywood in the ’70s — an unabashed celebration of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll (both onscreen and off) and a climate where innovation and experimentation reigned supreme. Based on hundreds of interviews with the directors themselves, producers, stars, agents, writers, studio executives, spouses, and ex-spouses, this is the full, candid story of Hollywood’s last golden age.
Hitchcock/Truffaut by François Truffaut
Any book-length interview with Alfred Hitchcock is valuable, but considering that this volume’s interlocutor is fellow director François Truffaut, the conversation is remarkable indeed. Here is a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on two cinematic masters from very different backgrounds as they cover each of Hitch’s films in succession. Though this book was initially published in 1967 when Hitchcock was still active, Truffaut later prepared a revised edition that covered the final stages of his career. The book is a storehouse of insight and witticism, including the master’s impressions of a classic like Rear Window (“I was feeling very creative at the time, the batteries were well charged”), his technical insight into Psycho’s shower scene (“the knife never touched the body; it was all done in the [editing]”), and his ruminations on flops such as Under Capricorn (“If I were to make another picture in Australia today, I’d have a policeman hop into the pocket of a kangaroo and yell ‘Follow that car!'”).
Pictures at a Revolution by Mark Harris
By the Oscar ceremonies of the spring of 1968, when In the Heat of the Night wins the 1967 Academy Award for Best Picture, a cultural revolution has hit Hollywood with the force of a tsunami. The unprecedented violence and nihilism of fellow nominee Bonnie and Clyde has shocked old-guard reviewers but helped catapult Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway into counterculture stardom and made the movie one of the year’s biggest box-office successes. Just as unprecedented has been the run of nominee The Graduate, which launched first-time director Mike Nichols into a long and brilliant career in filmmaking, to say nothing of what it did for Dustin Hoffman, Simon and Garfunkel, and a generation of young people who knew that whatever their future was, it wasn’t in plastics. Sidney Poitier has reprised the noble-black-man role, brilliantly, not once but twice, in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night, movies that showed in different ways both how far America had come on the subject of race in 1967 and how far it still had to go. What Easy Riders, Raging Bulls did for the 1970s, Pictures at a Revolution does for Hollywood and the cultural revolution of the 1960s.
Rebel Without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez
Famed independent screenwriter and director Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Spy Kids, Machete) discloses all the unique strategies and original techniques he used to make his remarkable debut film El Mariachi on a shoestring budget.
This is both one man’s remarkable story and an essential guide for anyone who has a celluloid story to tell and the dreams and determination to see it through. Part production diary, part how-to manual, Rodriguez unveils how he was able to make his influential first film on only a $7,000 budget. Also included is the appendix, “The Ten Minute Film Course,” a tell-all on how to save thousands of dollars on film school and teach yourself the ropes of film production, directing, and screenwriting.
Life Moves Pretty Fast by Hadley Freeman
For Hadley Freeman, movies of the 1980s have simply got it all. Comedy in Three Men and a Baby, Hannah and Her Sisters, Ghostbusters, and Back to the Future; all a teenager needs to know in Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Say Anything, The Breakfast Club, and Mystic Pizza; the ultimate in action from Top Gun, Die Hard, Beverly Hills Cop, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; love and sex in 9 1/2 Weeks, Splash, About Last Night, The Big Chill, and Bull Durham; and family fun in The Little Mermaid, ET, Big, Parenthood, and Lean On Me.
In Life Moves Pretty Fast, Hadley puts her obsessive movie geekery to good use, detailing the decade’s key players, genres, and tropes. She looks back on a cinematic world in which bankers are invariably evil, where children are always wiser than adults, where science is embraced with an intense enthusiasm, and the future viewed with giddy excitement. And, she considers how the changes between movies then and movies today say so much about society’s changing expectations of women, young people, and art–and explains why Pretty in Pink should be put on school syllabuses immediately.
Monsters in the Movies by John Landis
From B-movie bogeymen and outer space oddities to big-budget terrors, Monsters in the Movies by legendary filmmaker John Landis showcases the greatest monsters ever to creep, fly, slither, stalk, or rampage across the Silver Screen!
Landis provides his own fascinating and entertaining insights into the world of moviemaking, while conducting in-depth “conversations” with leading monster makers, including David Cronenberg, Christopher Lee, John Carpenter, and Sam Raimi — to discuss some of the most petrifying monsters ever seen. He also surveys the historical origins of the archetypal monsters, such as vampires, zombies, and werewolves, and takes you behind the scenes to discover the secrets of those special-effects wizards who created such legendary frighteners as King Kong, Dracula, and Halloween‘s Michael Myers. With more than 1000 stunning movie stills and posters, this book is sure to keep even the most intense fright-seekers at the edge of their seats for hours!