Tough Sh*t, the memoir by multi-hyphenate filmmaker/actor/podcaster Kevin Smith, is every bit as entertaining as you’d think. I’ve been reading a lot of biographies during the pandemic quarantine but not so many memoirs. Suffice it to say, Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good is one of the outright entertaining reads of the past year. I could hear Smith’s voice coming through the pages as I turned them over the…"Tough Sh*t by Kevin Smith"
Nichols and May: Interviews is a compilation of 27 interviews with the legendary multi-hyphenates published over the course of fifty years. Robert E. Kapsis edits the book, which joined the University of Mississippi Press‘s Conversations with Filmmakers Series late last year. It’s a worth addition when you consider that the definitive biography of the comedian/filmmaker is not coming out until the upcoming book by Mark Harris, Mike Nichols: A Life, is published in February. I’ll…"Nichols and May: Interviews"
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator and star Rachel Bloom opens up about her life in her new memoir, I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are. This book is everything I expected and more from Rachel Bloom. Bloom got into sketch comedy in college but up until that point, she was planning for a career in musical theater. Life changes, I get it. I’ve been there so I know how it can be. That being said,…"Rachel Bloom Pens Funny Memoir About Life, Career"
The Nolan Variations: The Movies, Mysteries, and Marvels of Christopher Nolan is the most in-depth look yet at the blockbuster auteur. Before I start this off, I want to stress my disappointment at seeing the Wachowskis get misgendered during the book’s introduction. How this gets past the editors and into the final print is beyond me. This is beyond infuriating! Nolan is in the category that very few filmmakers could ever hope to achieve. James…"The Nolan Variations by Tom Shone"
Scott Eyman is back with a new biography and what might be the definitive portrait of Cary Grant in Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise. Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, and The Philadelphia Story are among the best romantic comedies of all time. Grant’s four films for Alfred Hitchcock–Notorious, Suspicion, To Catch a Thief, North by Northwest–still hold up today. The list of films go on and on, including Charade, the best film that Hitchcock…"Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise by Scott Eyman"
Sydney Ladensohn Stern’s The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics is a solid read and works as a dual biography. I immediately changed up my quarantine reading list when Netflix issued the first teaser trailer of Mank on October 8. Going into that day, my plan had been to start on Scott Eyman’s biography of Cary Grant in hopes of finishing in time for its October 20th release. Alas, The Brothers Mankiewicz took immediate…"The Brothers Mankiewicz by Sydney Stern"
A Talent for Trouble: The Life Of Hollywood’s Most Acclaimed Director, William Wyler by Jan Herman is one of two Wyler biographies. Earlier this year during what feels like forever ago in quarantine, I was reading Five Came Back by Mark Harris. I saw where there were two different Wyler biographies in the bibliography–both this one and the one by Axel Madsen. This is the book recommended by Mark and so it became my 20th…"A Talent for Trouble by Jan Herman"
Ted Hope is back with another installment of Hope for Film with new insight following his time working in production for Amazon Studios. The second edition of Hope for Film, much like the first edition, is essential reading for anybody looking to produce. Hope’s insight comes from someone who as worked many facets of independent film. most recently with Amazon. Strangely enough, Hope got the Amazon gig as a result of the first edition. Hope…"Hope for Film by Ted Hope is A Must-Read"
Brian Jay Jones writes the definitive biography of the Star Wars filmmaker in George Lucas: A Life–published by Little, Brown in 2016. Lucas is one of the greatest world-builders of all time. Even when he wasn’t officially directing The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi, he was still directing the film. I mean, wouldn’t you want to be in charge of your own creation? You can certainly understand why a filmmaker like Lucas…"George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones"
Peter Tonguette’s Picturing Peter Bogdanovich: My Conversations with the New Hollywood Director is a critical breakdown of the filmmaker’s career. Tonguette’s relationship with the critic-turned-filmmaker started with a phone call for an article in 2003. The initial phone call has turned into a lengthy relationship including a meeting at an AFI Silver screening. The first half of the book plays as a biography with Tonguette breaking down the director’s filmography. What follows in the second…"Picturing Peter Bogdanovich by Peter Tonguette"