#booksthatchangedmylife 06 & 07 of 25
Sidney Lumet’s Making Movies takes us through the film-making process: direction, script-writing, selecting actors & acting, art direction and costume design, cinematography, mixing & editing, sound production, printing, and distribution. Examples abound; most (but not all) are taken from Lumet’s own films like 12 Angry Men, Long Day’s Journey into Night, Serpico, Murder on the Orient Express, Network, Dog Day Afternoon, A Stranger among Us, etc. With each page, the reader is left exhilarated from Lumet's genius and experience.
Our Films Their Films is a collection of 13 essays on “The Cinema”. The essays show Ray’s passion for making films with a unique Indian perspective, his frustration with the mainstream Indian film industry, his sophistication and wry humor. It is not an easy book to read. How is one to understand sections like, “If one thinks of Mozart and the Magic Flute, and the knockabout foolery of Papageno merging into the sublimity of Sarastro, it is because the comparison is a valid one,” without knowing something about classical western music and how Magic Flute applies to Gold Rush, the actual topic of the essay? There are also the layered essays on Ray's own films: “…The pigeons are not active yet, but the wrestlers are....” (Extracts from a Banaras Diary).
I don't know much about films, but I often reach out for these books. In the daily grind of mediocrity, they (and some others) make my oasis of genius. With their breadth of topics, they show how the creative fields borrow from, and are enriched by, one another. With their passion to push through the hurdles of film-making, the Directors show that the creative conviction is just as important as creativity itself. I am a richer person for having read these books. 💌 💌