Are You Reading Anything Film Related?
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I'm starting Cross by Ken Buren. It's what the Jack Taylor BBC series is based on.
No...not at this time, but I have a couple of books remotely film related on my TBR (To Be Read) shelf.
I just read Helene Hanff's "84, Charing Cross Road" and the sequel "The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street." Then I watch the 1987 movie of "84, Charing Cross Road" starring Anthony Hopkins, Anne Bancroft, and Judy Dench. I really liked the book and I thought they did a good job with the movie. I really enjoyed the books & the movie!
Not technically a film book but a interesting book on how Shirley Temple helped lift the spirits of the people downtrodden by The Great Depression. It does discuss all her films. More of a historical book about the Great Depression. It is called The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930s by John F. Kasson.
Sort of...I'm reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks which I hear is to be made into a movie or something from HBO.
>6 Jen_Bartels: I was wondering when they would make the Lacks book into a movie or TV show. Great book!
>7 JulieLill: It could be a mini-series, I'm not certain. I do believe I heard Oprah is attached to it too? Not sure if that's good or bad, I guess time will tell.
>8 Jen_Bartels: From what I understand, Oprah's touch has become a kiss of death.
The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression- Shirley Temple and 1930's America by John F. Kasson
This is a fascinating story of the rise of Shirley Temple told against the backdrop of the Great Depression. Kasson discusses what is going on during that historical time period and the rise of Temple's career along with what was going on in the movie business and the treatment of child actors. Highly recommended for film buffs and anyone interested in that time period. I would also read more of Kasson who has a interesting list of books.
Just started The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock's Shower by Robert Graysmith.
The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock's Shower by Robert Graysmith
Robert Graysmith writes an intriguing true life story that centers around the movie Psycho, especially Marli Renfro, the body double for Janet Leigh in Psycho; Sonny Busch, the killer of elderly women in California in the 1960's and the changing morality of the country at that time including the rise of Playboy, the sex industry and gambling. This was hard to put down and my only complaint was that times he was a bit wordy but it was still worth reading.
I just read A Simple Plan by Scott Smith, and have learned that there is a movie version. I am curious to find out whether the movie can do justice to this author's subtlety in character development.
Finished reading The Devil in the White City. The movie will probably be an approximation of the book...if it's true to the book it will be a snooze fest.
>15 C2.: This is one of my favorite authors and books! They have been talking about making this into a movie forever and DiCaprio has been tied to the film- he may have even bought the rights but have not heard any news on this in a long time.
>16 JulieLill: The book had a good account of the planning and execution of the fair, and I'm really curious as to how the screen adaptation would be juxtaposing Holmes' shenanigans.
>17 C2.: I have no idea how they would combine the two topics. I checked out IMDB and says it is "in development"and then I found this interesting article on it.
>19 .cris: Good luck with that cris. It is very rare to get good adaptations imo.
>20 Foghorn-Leghorn: Charlie Kaufman is on board. He did the screenplay for Being John Malkovich and Adaptation 👍👍 but he also did Anomalisa and the Jim Carey film about erasing memories to forget you loved someone. I hated that!
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
by Henry Farrell
Author Henry Farrell is best known as author of two stories that became famous, iconic suspense films. This book which is titled for one of the films also contains three short stories, one of which was the basis for Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte but originally called What Ever Happened to Cousin Charlotte. Even having seen the films I was gripped by the suspense of the tales and his writing. The book also has a wonderful forward that gives the background of the author and a little history of how the films came to be made. Great read!
Not Just Batman’s Butler: The Autobiography of Alan Napier
by Alan Napier with James Bigwood
Alan Napier is probably best known as Alfred, the butler in Batman, the TV series but he had a very fascinating life and career outside of Batman. Born and raised in England, he was related to the Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on his mother's side. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and then spent his whole life acting on the stage, in movies and on TV. The book discusses his life, family and working in the entertainment field.
Originally written by Napier, James Bigwood took over finishing the book and adding comments to the sections written by Napier. At times this was hard to put down especially when discussing his family and growing up in England. Some of the discussion of his roles was a little overwhelming since most of his career he had small roles and a lot of them. But overall I enjoyed this book and I learned a lot about him.
Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation by Adam Resnick
Comedy writer Adam Resnick, who has written for David Letterman and Saturday Night Live, now writes about his life in a series of essays that are fabulously funny and yet disturbing. I could not help but laugh through these stories and some hit very close to home. Recommended to those not afraid of dark humor.
Even This I Get to Experience by Norman Lear
Norman Lear, film and TV producer, writes about his life and shows how even growing up in the poorest of circumstances that sometimes life gets better with hard work, ambition and talent. Not happy to just get rich, he has not left his life go by without impacting others by becoming a philanthropist and getting involved in political causes.
I have been gradually proceeding through Star Wars novels, and fitting in the movies as I reach their part in the timeline. I just finished Labyrinth of Evil which leads into Episode III (Revenge of the Sith) so I will watch that movie next before moving on to The Rise of Darth Vader.
I have been a Star Wars fan for most of my life, and was bitterly disappointed in the portrayal of young Anakin - I did not feel that the prequel trilogy made the case for Anakin to actually someday become Darth Vader. Fortunately the movies and the Clone Wars animated series are helping to bridge that gap, so I'm somewhat mollified after filling in the plots between the movies.
>26 Darth-Heather: Are these books that spawned the films or vice-versa?
>27 .cris: Thought this might answer your question.
"The series has spawned an extensive media franchise including books, television series, computer and video games, and comic books, all of which take place within the same continuity as the films, resulting in significant development of the series's fictional universe, with the non-canonical works falling under the defunct Star Wars Legends label. Star Wars also holds a Guinness World Records title for the "Most successful film merchandising franchise. In 2015, the total value of the Star Wars franchise was estimated at USD $42 billion, making Star Wars the second highest-grossing media franchise of all time."
>27 .cris: >28 Carol420: yep, that is about it. The original 3 movies that came out in the 70s are Episodes 4, 5, 6, which follow Luke Skywalker - the intention was always to fulfill a 9-episode story, split into three arcs. Licensed fiction books written around the same plots ensued, and then the next three movies in the late 90s (Episodes 1, 2, 3 are the prequel, the story of Anakin becoming Darth Vader).
Now the final arc is in progress and the last two movies will come out in the next couple years, but in the intervening years a lot of books have been published to fill in the gaps between the movies and with many offshoots of side characters. Ideally they should all fit together into one big story, so I'm trying to read/watch them in order as much as I can. New books keep coming though, so it's hard to keep up.
Only the Dead Know Burbank: A Novel
by Bradford Tatum
Maddy and her mother have a secret. During the Spanish flu epidemic in the earlier 1900s, her mother conjures up an evil spirit and saves them from death but submits them to everlasting life. Maddy and her mom are then separated and Maddy survives WWI working in film in Europe and then eventually ending up in Hollywood post war with a friend. She finds her niche in making horror films but since she doesn't age she realizes she will have to move on again and again. . . . This book had its highlights and I enjoyed how the author used the novel to show Maddy’s influence in horror films and the use of real horror actors as characters in the book but I just didn't find this very scary.
I not long finished reading "The Accidental Tourist" I would so like to see the movie, it is not usual for me as from my observations books are always the better. I am sure there are folks that have missed out on great reads because they feel they know all.
>31 aussieh: I agree with you. Sometimes the movie bears little resemblance to the book and that is a real shame when that happens. I usually have read the book before the movie comes out and one of the main reasons I want to see the movie is because I enjoyed the book and want to see it "in action" so to speak.
I've just finished Colin Cotterill's 12th Dr Siri Paiboun novel. It's set in Laos and I'm surprised the books have never been adapted for the screen (TV seems more likely), but I see the pitfalls. http://mybookthemovie.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/colin-cotterills-curse-of-pogo-stic...
The Pride of the Yankees: Lou Gehrig, Gary Cooper, and the Making of a Classic
When I was young, I fell in love with black and white films, mostly James Cagney films and The Thin Man series which led me into other films from the 30's and 40's including The Pride of the Yankees. When I found this book, I was excited to read about the making of the film. Who didn't cry at the end of this film when Gehrig/Cooper says his memorable line - "I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." Sandomir does a nice job relating what is known about Gehrig and his death- unfortunately there is a lot of gaps in the story. No complete footage of the famous line was ever found if even recorded. There are even gaps in the story of the making of the film but still it was an interesting book about Gehrig, his relationships with his wife and mother and the making of the film and Sam Goldwyn’s involvement in getting the film produced. Definitely a book for film fans. I have ordered the film from the library since I haven't seen it in years and I think that it needs to be seen if you read the book or are contemplating reading the book.
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
Margot Lee Shetterly
This is the wonderful untold true story of the 4 African-American women mathematicians who broke barriers by working as human computers at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Hampton, Virginia. Starting with a shortage of staff to help during WWII at the lab, these smart, college educated women proved that they were reliable and as smart as the other women and men at Langley. Shetterly discusses the time period and the racial tensions going on in that era, all in the context around what was going on at Langley with the building and designing of aircraft for WWII and including their part in the space race. This book really fleshes out the story of these women and the lengths they and their families had to go to work in those industries and the sacrifices that they had to make to have a better life. A true inspiration to all women.
Though I loved the film, I don't think they did justice to these women. Also the book starts in WWII with the development of improving the military airplane and not with the space program.
I have been overlooking this topic but I did watch a movie made from a book this month.
Horseman (2009) Based on the book Comes A Horseman by Robert Liparula
Who the heck is in this thing?: Dennis Quaid, Ziyi Zhang, Lou Taylor Pucci
What's happening anyway?: Aidan Breslin is a bitter detective emotionally distanced from his two young sons following the untimely death of his devoted wife. While investigating a series of murders of rare violence, he discovers a terrifying link between a chain of murders and the Biblical prophecies concerning the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death.
Do we eat the popcorn or throw the popcorn:? Diffidently eat it. The movie is based on the book Comes A Horseman by Robert Liparulo. Like the book the movie is extremely graphic and is certainly not for everyone. I liked the book more because it had the time to go into more detail of the why the horsemen were killing and the ending was explained in better detail. If you're looking for a quality horror flick or suspense thriller, this one is well worth your while.
by Mary Shelley
This is the story about Dr. Frankenstein, who as a young man is intrigued with science and the origin of life. He goes away from home to study and has devoted his time in creating a new life. However, when he sees what he has created, he is shocked and repelled by his creation. In turn his creation is mortified by Dr. Frankenstein's reaction to him and thus plans to seek revenge on the doctor.
I have never read this before but have seen several film adaptations and a TV mini-series based on the book so I was curious to read it. Mary Shelley's book is still very readable to this day and is an interesting horror story about the results of scientific experimentation. While movies and TV portray the creature as a horrible monster, Shelley brings out the human in the monster while emphasizing caution in experimentation.
If you haven't read this you might. Very different than the films.
Inside Charlie's Chocolate Factory: The Complete Story of Willy Wonka, the Golden Ticket, and Roald Dahl's Most Famous Creation
This is a celebration of the phenomenon of Roald Dahl’s most famous book Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. The writing of the book is covered, the author is discussed and you get to see a lot of the cover art of the different book versions by various artists. The two movies are also dissected. And of course there has to be a discussion made of all the candy produced under the Willy Wonka brand. Finally I was gob smacked to learn that was there was an actual opera production of it. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh7GvGoiTtY Very interesting!
by Michael Frayn
This book/play was actually 2 plays inside of one production. We see the crew and the actors' dress rehearsal and getting the play ready then performing the play which goes badly. I had some trouble visualizing this play in my mind. I think this play would be better viewed than read. This was made into a film years ago and I probably saw it but don't remember it.
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
Franklin does a wonderful job delving into writer Shirley Jackson’s world. Jackson did not live a storybook life. She was raised by extremely critical parents and even her marriage had its problems including infidelity. She also suffered from depression yet she was so smart and intuitive and her stories were so amazingly complex and intricate. If you only read one biography this year-this has to be the one.
Not technically a book on film though many of her books became films but I just loved this book! I am surprised no one has made a bio pic of her life (as far as I know) because she had a interesting but complex life.
Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses
By Anthony Slide
Slide discusses the various actors and actresses that made a living in the silent film era. Each segment on each actor is only a few pages long. Some made it into the talkie era but many of the others' careers ended when talkies took off. He also discusses the studios and I was surprised that the Chicago Essanay Film Manufacturing Company was a fairly big player in the silent film era. It eventually merged with other studios. Definitely for silent film buffs but I wanted more info though I fear a lot of the silent film era information has been lost.
Am reading Hank & Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart by Scott Eyman. I bought this awhile ago and finally started it. So interesting!
Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars
by Scotty Bowers
Bowers relates his role and how it came about in the procuring of partners for the rich and famous in Hollywood and politics from the 1940’s to the 1980’s. This book was okay but I was more interested in Bowers. His life was very interesting. He does name a lot of names, but most of these actors and politicians had already been outed so there were no real surprises in the book.
>43 JulieLill: I never reviewed this book. But I highly recommended it. Great read!
Hollywood Heyday: 75 Candid Interviews with Golden Age Legends
Fantle and Johnson have interviewed stars, producers and directors for the last 40 years. This book recalls the interviews of the famous including Charlton Heston, Fred Astaire, Robert Wagner, Esther Williams, Ernest Borgnine and Tippi Hendren to name a few. This was an interesting look back on Hollywood at its peak and its descent through the eyes of the major players themselves.
Reading "Anatomy of Criticism" by Northrop Frye. Recommended by John Truby, screenwriting guru.
Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War
By Mark Harris
This is the amazing true life story of some of the greatest Hollywood film directors who were asked to film events during WWII and produce training films for the soldiers while putting aside their careers. John Ford, George Steven, John Huston, William Wyler and Frank Capra were the ones asked to give up their Hollywood jobs to work with the government. A few stayed to make instructional films to train soldiers; others accompanied troops to war torn regions putting their lives in danger while filming. This was a page turner for me from the beginning to the end!
Part of Your World: A Twisted Tale
By Liz Braswell
This book was inspired by the Walt Disney animated fairy tale film, The Little Mermaid but with a twist. What if Ursula, the evil sea creature/octopus, defeated Ariel, the mermaid; married Ariel’s love Prince Eric and captured her father? Brazwell explores this idea in this wonderfully written tale of underwater intrigue about how Ariel grows up and reclaims her life. Geared to teens but I think adult fans of the movie would appreciate this too.
The Wild Bunch: Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Film
Stratton writes about the making of the film The Wild Bunch, the time period surrounding and influencing the making of the film and of course the director Sam Peckinpah and his new darker version of the western genre. This is definitely for film buffs and people who have seen the film. I enjoyed it.
Giraffes on Horseback Salad: Salvador Dali, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made
This is the interesting and absurdly true story about the famous painter Salavdor Dali who had written a screenplay and wanted the Marx Brothers to be in it. Josh Frank had been researching unmade film scripts when he found mention of Dali’s script originally titled The Surrealist Woman and from there he had his subject for this book. Through painstaking research he pieced together the story of Giraffes on Horseback Salad screenplay. Illustrated by Manuela Perte and adapted with Tim Heidecker, this book contains the graphic novel based on the screenplay and the written story of the strangest movie never made. One of my favorite trivia bits from the book was how did Harpo and Dali (who became friends) communicate. Neither spoke each other’s language but both wives spoke German so they could translate for their husbands. Graphic Novel/Non-Fiction
The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick
Mallory O’Meara, the author of this book and also a horror screenwriter and film producer, through sheer tenacity was able to track down and put together the story of Milicent Patrick. Patrick came from an artistic family and grew up in the town near the Hearst Castle in California where her father worked as superintendent of construction on the Castle. Milicent, who was quite artistic, was involved in the designing of the monster from the movie The Lady From the Black Lagoon and also worked on the animation/drawings of A Night on Bald Mountain from Fantasia but who eventually lost her job due to a jealous boss. What a wonderfully interesting book!
Born with Teeth
This is the autobiography of Kate Mulgrew, actress, who grew up in Iowa in a very interesting family dynamic and who eventually got into acting. She started out in the soap opera Ryan’s Hope and the book ends with her starting in her new role as Captain Janeway in the show Star Trek: Voyager. She certainly led an interesting life and this is definitely a page turner.
Monsters: A Celebration of the Classics from Universal Studios by Roy Milano
I picked this book because it had some more information on the film The Creature From the Black Lagoon which I read about in The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara which was really interesting. This is a pretty short book about some of the first monsters in film history but it has some great photographs from the films plus some interesting facts about the actors and the monster films they were in.
Do you read many screenplays? Sorry To Bother You by Boots Riley is one of my favorites.
Interesting article on how after viewing the movie War Games, President Ronald Reagan wondered if that actually could happen and yes, it could. It lead to changes in policy.
I thought this was a interesting article on China asking Quentin Tarantino to edit his film Once Upon A Time because of complaints from the daughter of Bruce Lee of his portrayal in the film.
>60 JulieLill: Why would American born Shannon Lee complain to the Chinese film administrators?
>61 .cris: She wanted to stop the film from being shown in China, where it has not been released yet. Tarantino is refusing to change any of the scenes in the film and said that Bruce Lee did act like that in real life.
I just finished The Whisper Man by Alex North and in my review I said this was just begging to be made into a movie or a TV series. Just found out that a movie is in the works. YEAH!!!!!
They Called Us Enemy
Wonderful graphic novel/biography about the trials of George Takei (Star Trek's Sulu) and his family when they were forced to leave their home after the Pearl Harbor attack and go into a internment camp simply because they were Japanese. Well written! I had read of his interment in one of his previous books but I feel this provided a little more information.
Bunny Lake is Missing -Book
A young woman and her daughter are starting over in a new town. Blanche, the single mother drops off her daughter at her new school but on her return no one remembers a new girl at school and she is not there. This sends Blanche into a panic. No one, especially the police, believe that she has a daughter who is now missing. Suspenseful! This was made into a film by Otto Preminger though the plot was radically changed.
Re-reading His Dark Materials. Tiny print in the omnibus edition is killing my aged eyes but published for the Young Adult market, after all. Looking for differences from the HBO series I've probably forgotten. Read this years ago.
Reading the graphic novel Watchmen as background to the TV series.
Currently binging on Shaw Brothers' wuxia pix from the '70's via Amazon prime. For background, reading one of the few Jin Yong - pen name for Louis Cha -- novels available in English translation, A Hero Born; hugely popular in China before martial arts movies. Not too far into it, but i assume there's some "leaps tall buildings with a single bound" moments.
This is the biography of actor and comedian Robin Williams. Itzhoff follows Robin from his very beginnings to the sad ending of his life. I thought this was a really well written biography and I just flew through it. If you are fan of his, this is a must read!
Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate and Innocent Man
Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic
This book tells the tale of the WWII ship Indianapolis. During the war this ship had a secret mission to deliver one of the atomic bombs that was used on Japan to help end the war. After that mission, a Japanese submarine attacked the boat causing it to sink, losing the lives of many of the crew. Despite the heroic actions of Commander McVay and the lack of help from the Navy, he was court martialed for not following procedures. Many of his crew was upset with the charges and it took years to have someone look into and dispute the charges. This was so interesting and there was also a wonderful special on PBS that led me to read the book. I recommend both. Check out more information at https://www.pbs.org/show/uss-indianapolis/
Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops
James Robert Parish
Written in 2006, this book can certainly be updated but as a movie buff, I had seen many of the movies in the book as the author breaks down the reasons each movie failed. There are a couple of movies in the book that I did enjoyed. I liked Paint Your Wagon and Last Action Hero but I definitely agree that Showgirls, Robin William’s Popeye and Ishtar were completely terrible. This book is definitely for movie fans. It would be interesting to see a updated version of this book!
Elton John relates his amazing career as a song writer, composer, singer, film maker and the incredible ups and downs of his life through childhood to the present. Well written and hard to put down.
The Art of Racing in The Rain (2019) based on the book by Garth Stein
Dog lovers believe their canine family members understand language, comprehend events, have opinions, exude loyalty. In "The Art of Racing In The Rain", wise old dog Enzo Swift shares thoughts about the life experiences which prepared him to protect his family in times of greatest need.
Incredibly sad...especially since you know where it's going to end from the very first. A real emotional roller-coaster which leaves you in awe at the end. Don't watch it, cris.
Dreamcatcher - Based on a book by Stephen King (2003)
Friends on a camping trip discover that the town they're vacationing in is being plagued in an unusual fashion by parasitic aliens from outer space.
Strange things come out of those Maine woods! Frankly I didn't get where a lot of it was going or how it got there. Parts were interesting and parts were just gory. I'm not opposed to gore I just want to understand how and why it got there. On the plus side, the special effects are great; the aliens are slimy and disgusting; the attack scenes are brutal, and I loved the way Lewis's mind was visualized. Still, there were way too many plots lines to keep up with and it's constantly loosing focus. Not a terrible film or unwatchable, just rather disappointing.
Started reading The Queens of Animation: The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History. So interesting!!
Lett’s historical fiction novel relates the life of Maud Baum, wife of Frank L. Baum who wrote The Wizard of Oz books. The novel goes back and forth between Maud’s childhood and her marriage to Frank and then years later to her relationship with the young Judy Garland who is playing Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. I especially enjoyed reading about the life of Maud and her life with Frank. This makes me want to learn more about their real life relationship. At the end there is an afterword by the author which goes over what was true and what was made up. Interestingly, it was a picture of Maud Baum and Judy Garland on the movie set that inspired Letts to write this book.
You've probably read this, but just in case:
Aljean Harmetz. The Making of the Wizard of Oz: Movie Magic and Studio Power in the Prime of MGM.
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