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Essential Reading

If you are looking for more after the credits have finished rolling; these are some great books to check out. You don’t need to be a film lover to read these. Here are a few books that are a great introduction to the world of cinema.

The TASCHEN Decades Seriesby Jurgen Muller

TASCHEN is one of the best companies out there publishing books on film. It’s hard to pick which is their best, but I would have to go with their decades series. Starting from the 1920’s up to the 1990’s, these books go through each year in the decade and present the best movies. Each film presented is given a brief review. The books are massive in size and filled with stunning full color pictures on every page. These books are a great way to find new movies and can also provide hours of entertainment just browsing through them. They come at cost of $39.99, but once you have a copy in your hands you will understand why. TASCHEN also offers more affordable versions of these books but in a slimmer format with less film titles. TASCHEN also offers books specifically on directors and actors usually at the cost of $9.99. These books are of the same great quality that TASCHEN always has to offer.

10 Bad Dates With De Niro: A Book of Alternative Movie ListsEdited by Richard T. Kelly

Out of all the books on this list this one is my favorite. It is the most original book of lists I have ever read. It includes contributions from The Coen Brothers,Mike Figgis, and Steven Soderbergh to name a few. The lists are always creative and keep you interested. I have had this book by my bedside and have still not completely finished it. I guarantee you it will provide hours of entertainment. It includes lists on:

10 Inimitable Christopher Walken Line-Readings

10 Great Performances by Animals

10 Very Bad Trips, Man

10 Films to Avoid on Medication

I highly recommend this book.

Scenes From The City: Filmmaking in New YorkEdited by James Sanders

A gorgeous book that spans decades and boroughs. The city itself is a character in so many movies and this book does it justice. Filled with pictures on every page this book has just about every movie ever filmed in New York. The movies featured range from the popular to the obscure. The pictures themselves are stunning and it’s incredible to see how much the city has changed over the years. It includes brief anecdotes from the filmmakers themselves. An amazing guide to New York filming locations.

Pictures At A Revolution: Five Movies and The Birth of a New Hollywood – by Mark Harris

Mark Harris’s fascinating book tells the story of old Hollywood being confronted by the emerging new Hollywood of the 1960s. The story is told through the five Best Picture nominees from 1967 and how they forever changed the movie industry. Each movie is examined thoroughly. He gives us the story of how the movies came to be and the intention of the people behind them. Mark Harris brought me back to a time I didn’t know but I always wanted to know more about. This is a captivating and cleverly written story that I was glad I read.

By  Marissa Rose  02/06/11

For more essential reading: Four Books on the History of Independent Cinema in America



2 thoughts on “Essential Reading

  1. Great read. 🙂 The Taschen books truly are awesome.

    Posted by Josh | February 10, 2011, 10:34 am


  1. Pingback: Four Books on the History of Independent Cinema in America « Video Word Made Flesh - May 2, 2011

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