Conversations with Movies

Have a conversation with extraordinary people from the movie industry; from the director to the gossip writer.

Syndetics book coverConversations with Scorsese / Richard Schickel [interviewer]. “Martin Scorsese’s career is a dense map of critical darlings and experimentalfilms–from “Mean Streets” to “Shutter Island.” Now fans are given the chance to see all of his movies, and moviemaking in general, through the eyes of the master director himself.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Faber book of French cinema / Charles Drazin. “Producing such distinctive film-makers as Jean Renoir, Marcel Pagnol, Sachy Guitry and Julien Duvivier, the French cinema’s Golden Age boasted an intelligence, maturity and flair that classical Hollywood could admire but struggle to emulate. Suggesting a Gallic attitude that has always considered the cinema to be as much a cause as a business, Drazin looks at the extraordinary resilience of the French film industry during the Second World War when, in spite of the national catastrophe of defeat and occupation, it was still able to produce such classics as Le Corbeau and Les Enfants du Paradis. Finally, he traces its remarkable post-war regeneration. He seeks to capture the essence of the French film tradition and why it continues to matter to anyone who cares about the cinema…” (Description from

Syndetics book coverArthur Penn : American director / Nat Segaloff ; foreword by Jonathan Demme. “If director Arthur Penn (1922-2010) had made no other films, he would still be well known today for 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde, now considered a groundbreaking movie. Although he did other credible motion picture work, he never considered it his preferred medium. He had a distinguished career in early 1950s’ live television and in theatre, boasting such directing credits as The Miracle Worker, Toys in the Attic, and Wait Until Dark. His prickly personality, which did not suffer fools gladly, at times worked against him. Segaloff (Hurricane Billy: The Stormy Life and Films of William Friedkin) was a friend of Penn and obviously had great access to him, but the result is that almost everything in this biography seems filtered through the director’s eyes. It reads somewhat like an autobiography that lacks profound analysis. (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverDavid Hartnell : memoirs of a gossip columnist / [in collaboration with] Hazel Phillips. David is well-known by all New Zealanders. His gossip columns and much awaited annual ‘Best and Worst Dressed’ lists are legendary, and we read with bated breath his behind-the-scenes Hollywood tattletale reports in the weekly magazines! David Hartnell is David’s life story in his own words.  Bursting with remarkable photos and stories of his encounters, including a surprise lunch with Alfred Hitchcock and Bette Davis, his close friendship with the legendary Phyllis Diller, little-known secrets about the Royal Family’s crown jewels and many, many more, this book is for anyone who loves behind-the-scenes gossip and enjoys a rollicking good read. (Drawn from the summary at

Syndetics book coverJoan Crawford : the enduring star / Peter Cowie ; foreword by Mick Lasalle ; afterword by George Cukor. Joan Crawford’s classic beauty, dazzling confidence, and sheer toughness made her the very definition of a star; her formidable talent won her an Oscar for Mildred Pierce and shines through in other classics such as Grand Hotel and The Women. Focusing on the often overlooked first half of her career, this is the first visual book to reclaim her place in the canon of glamour. Crawford pioneered a new depth that had not been seen before in roles for women. Her domineering charisma gave audiences a new kind of heroine, laying the path for today’s actresses from Meryl Streep to Cate Blanchett. (Syndetics annotation)

1 thought on “Conversations with Movies”

  1. Scorsese is a fantastic director, one of my favourites. I didn’t know that interview was available, definitely going to check it out 🙂

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