At the movies: Books on filmmaking

Whatever the status of the filmmaking world itself, one thing that remains consistent is the larger-than-life personalities that people it and the fascinating creative processes that bring films to the screen. Here are a selection of books dealing with cinema published in 2023, available from the Wellington City Libraries collection.

Every man for himself and God against all : a memoir / Herzog, Werner
“Legendary filmmaker and celebrated author Werner Herzog tells in his inimitable voice the story of his epic artistic career in a long-awaited memoir that is as inventive and daring as anything he has done before. Every Man for Himself and God Against All is at once a firsthand personal record of one of the great and self-invented lives of our time, and a singular literary masterpiece that will enthral fans old and new alike.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The path to paradise : a Francis Ford Coppola story / Wasson, Sam
“Granted total and unprecedented access to the Academy Award-winning director’s archives, the author, drawing on hundreds of interviews with the artist and those who have worked closely with him, chronicles his attempt to reimagine the entire pursuit of moviemaking though his production company American Zoetrope.” (Catalogue)

Charlie Chaplin vs. America : when art, sex, and politics collided / Eyman, Scott
“In the aftermath of World War Two, Charlie Chaplin was criticized for being politically liberal and internationalist in outlook. He had never become a US citizen, something that would be held against him as xenophobia set in when the postwar Red Scare took hold. Politics aside, Chaplin had another problem: his sexual interest in young women. He had been married three times and had had numerous affairs. Eyman explores the life and times of the movie genius– and of an America consumed by political turmoil.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Everywhere an oink oink : an embittered, dyspeptic, and accurate report of forty years in Hollywood / Mamet, David
“Award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and director David Mamet shares scandalous and laugh-out-loud tales from his four decades in Hollywood where he worked with some of the biggest names in movies. David Mamet went to Hollywood on top-a super successful playwright summoned west in 1980 to write a vehicle for Jack Nicholson. Over the next forty years, Mamet wrote dozens of scripts, was fired off dozens of movies, and directed eleven himself. In Everywhere an Oink Oink, he revels of the taut and gag-filled professionalism of the film set. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Steven Spielberg : all the films : the story behind every movie, episode, and short / Bousquet, Olivier
“Organized chronologically and covering every short film, television episode, and blockbuster movie that Steven Spielberg has ever directed, Steven Spielberg All the Films tells the behind-the-scenes stories of how each project was conceived, cast, and produced; from the creation of the costumes to the search for perfect locations. Spanning more than fifty years, Steven Spielberg All the Films details every aspect of the creative processes that resulted in some of the most memorable and celebrated films of all time, including E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic Park, The Color Purple, Schindler’s List, and Saving Private Ryan as well as newer work such as Lincoln, The Post, and The Fabelmans.” (Catalogue)

Bogie & Bacall : the surprising true story of Hollywood’s greatest love affair / Mann, William J
“From the noted Hollywood biographer and author of The Contender comes this celebration of the great American love story–the romance between Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart–capturing its complexity, contradictions, and challenges as never before. Mann offers a comprehensive look at Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, and the unlikely love they shared. He details their early years, paints a vivid portrait of their courtship and twelve-year marriage, and offers a sympathetic yet clear-eyed portrait of Bacall’s life after Bogie.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The last action heroes : the triumphs, flops, and feuds of Hollywood’s kings of carnage / De Semlyen, Nick
“The behind-the-scenes story of the larger-than-life action stars who ruled ’80s and ’90s Hollywood–Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jackie Chan, Steven Seagal, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, and Jean-Claude Van Damme–and the beloved films that made them stars, including Die Hard, Rambo, and The Terminator. Drawing on candid interviews with the action stars themselves, plus their collaborators, friends, and foes, The Last Action Heroes is a no-holds-barred account of a period in Hollywood history when there were no limits to the heights of fame these men achieved, or to the mayhem they wrought, onscreen and off” (Adapted from Catalogue)

MCU : the reign of Marvel Studios / Robinson, Joanna
“The unauthorized, behind-the-scenes story of the stunning rise–and suddenly uncertain reign–of the most transformative cultural phenomenon of our time: the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Entertainment was a moribund toymaker not even twenty years ago. Today, Marvel Studios is the dominant player both in Hollywood and in global pop culture. How did an upstart studio conquer the world? Dishy and authoritative, MCU is the first book to tell the Marvel Studios story in full–and an essential, effervescent account of American mass culture” (Adapted from Catalogue)