Books about the world of directors, screenwriters and actors
July 25, 2016

To help you understand more about the world of directors, screenwriters and actors, these are our top recommended reads. You may be able to borrow these titles from your local library or from Calibre Audio library

Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock

A wonderful interaction between two legendary directors, this book is a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on their conversations as they discuss each of Hitchcock’s films in succession.  Originally published in 1967 when Hitchcock was still alive, Truffaut later published a revised edition that covered the final stages of his career. Full of fascinating insights into Hitchcock’s passions, interests and sense of humour it is a must read for anyone interested in the films and career of one of our most influential directors.

Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman

A fascinating, firsthand, behind-the-scenes, look at why and how films get made, by award-winning screenwriter, William Goldman.  He takes you into Hollywood’s inner sanctums and onto the sets of iconic movies such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All The President’s Men to meet acting greats such as Redford, Newman and Hoffman.  The perfect read for aspiring screenwriters as he also tells all about the process of writing a successful screenplay.

The Story of Film by Mark Cousins

This book gave us inspiration for our own journey through film history.  Written by author, film critic, producer and documentary director, Mark Cousins, this easy to read book charts the innovations and sudden shifts that have taken place in filmmaking due to the vision of directors, editors, cinematographers and writers.  The book was also the basis for a 15 episode, documentary series called The Story of Film: An Odyssey filmed by Cousins and shown on More 4.

Here are a couple of novels which use the pitfalls of movie stardom for dramatic effect:

Whatever happened to Baby Jane? by Henry Farrell

This book was made into a successful film starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.  It tells the melodramatic tale of two aging sisters, Jane and Blanche Hudson who are living alone together in a decaying Hollywood mansion.  Jane had been a child star known as Baby Jane but when her sister, Blanche, pursued a film career later in life she soon came to eclipse her success. This rivalry corrodes and damages the relationship between the sisters – with devastating consequences.

The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West

A celebrated novel dealing with the alienation and desperation of a group of individuals who exist at the fringes of the Hollywood movie industry during the Great Depression. At the centre of the action is artist and set designer, Tod Hackett, who is surrounded by colourful characters such as an aspiring starlet, a cowboy and a hotel bookkeeper, called Homer Simpson!

If you want to buy the featured books and at the same time help Living Paintings then click on the picture of the book, purchase the item from Amazon and a percentage of the sale will come to us.


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