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Conversations with Woody Allen

by Eric Lax

From the author of the best-selling biography Woody Allen--the most informative, revealing, and entertaining conversations from his thirty-six years of interviewing the great comedian and filmmaker.For more than three decades, Woody Allen has been talking regularly and candidly with Eric Lax, and has given him singular and unfettered access to his film sets, his editing room, and his thoughts and observations. In discussions that begin in 1971 and continue into 2007, Allen discusses every facet of moviemaking through the prism of his own films and the work of directors he admires. In doing so, he reveals an artist's development over the course of his career to date, from joke writer to standup comedian to world-acclaimed filmmaker.Woody talks about the seeds of his ideas and the writing of his screenplays; about casting and acting, shooting and directing, editing and scoring. He tells how he reworks screenplays even while filming them. He describes the problems he has had casting American men, and he explains why he admires the acting of (among many others) Alan Alda, Marlon Brando, Michael Caine, John Cusack, Judy Davis, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mia Farrow, Gene Hackman, Scarlett Johansson, Julie Kavner, Liam Neeson, Jack Nicholson, Charlize Theron, Tracey Ullman, Sam Waterston, and Dianne Wiest. He places Diane Keaton second only to Judy Holliday in the pantheon of great screen comediennes.He discusses his favorite films (Citizen Kane is the lone American movie on his list of sixteen "best films ever made"; Duck Soup and Airplane! are two of his preferred "comedian's films"; Trouble in Paradise and Born Yesterday among his favorite "talking plot comedies"). He describes himself as a boy in Brooklyn enthralled by the joke-laden movies of Bob Hope and the sophisticated film stories of Manhattan. As a director, he tells us what he appreciates about Bergman, De Sica, Fellini, Welles, Kurosawa, John Huston, and Jean Renoir. Throughout he shows himself to be thoughtful, honest, self-deprecating, witty, and often hilarious.Conversations with Woody Allen is essential reading for everyone interested in the art of moviemaking and for everyone who has enjoyed the films of Woody Allen.From the Hardcover edition.

Conversations with Woody Allen: His Films, the Movies, and Moviemaking

by Eric Lax

In discussions that begin in 1971 and end in 2009, Allen talks about every facet of moviemaking through the prism of his own work as well as the larger world of film, and in so doing reveals an artist's development over the course of his career. He speaks about his influences and about the genesis of his ideas; about writing, casting, acting, shooting, directing, editing, and scoring--and throughout shows himself to be thoughtful, honest, self-deprecating, always witty, and often hilarious.

Faith, Interrupted: A Spiritual Journey

by Eric Lax

A son, a father, and a close friend engage in illuminating dialogues--full of wisdom and insight, probing all the avenues and aspects of religious conviction--that reveal much about three men who approach God, duty, and war in vastly different ways.

The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat

by Eric Lax

The untold story of the discovery of the first wonder drug, the men who led the way, and how it changed the modern worldThe discovery of penicillin in 1928 ushered in a new age in medicine. But it took a team of Oxford scientists headed by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain four more years to develop it as the first antibiotic, and the most important family of drugs in the twentieth century. At once the world was transformed-major bacterial scourges such as blood poisoning and pneumonia, scarlet fever and diphtheria, gonorrhea and syphilis were defeated as penicillin helped to foster not only a medical revolution but a sexual one as well. In his wonderfully engaging book, acclaimed author Eric Lax tells the real story behind the discovery and why it took so long to develop the drug. He reveals the reasons why credit for penicillin was misplaced, and why this astonishing achievement garnered a Nobel Prize but no financial rewards for Alexander Fleming, Florey, and his team. The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat is the compelling story of the passage of medicine from one era to the next and of the eccentric individuals whose participation in this extraordinary accomplishment has, until now, remained largely unknown.

The Mold In Dr. Florey's Coat: The Story Of The Penicillin Miracle

by Eric Lax

Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin in his London laboratory in 1928 and its eventual development as the first antibiotic by a team at Oxford University headed by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain in 1942 led to the introduction of the most important family of drugs of the twentieth century. <P><P> Yet credit for penicillin is largely misplaced. Neither Fleming nor Florey and his associates ever made real money from their achievements; instead it was the American labs that won patents on penicillin's manufacture and drew royalties from its sale. Why this happened, why it took fourteen years to develop penicillin, and how it was finally done is a fascinating story of quirky individuals, missed opportunities, medical prejudice, brilliant science, shoestring research, wartime pressures, misplaced modesty, conflicts between mentors and their protegees, and the passage of medicine from one era to the next. <P> Includes Bibliographic references and extensive notes. At the end of the book, after the index are pages of photo captions with some image descriptions.

Radiation

by Eric Lax Robert Peter Gale

The essential guide to radiation: the good, the bad, and the utterly fascinating, explained with unprecedented clarity. Earth, born in a nuclear explosion, is a radioactive planet; without radiation, life would not exist. And while radiation can be dangerous, it is also deeply misunderstood and often mistakenly feared. Now Robert Peter Gale, M.D,--the doctor to whom concerned governments turned in the wake of the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters--in collaboration with medical writer Eric Lax draws on an exceptional depth of knowledge to correct myths and establish facts. Exploring what have become trigger words for anxiety--nuclear energy and nuclear weapons, uranium, plutonium, iodine-131, mammogram, X-ray, CT scan, threats to the food chain--the authors demystify the science and dangers of radiation, and examine its myriad benefits, from safely sterilizing our food to the relatively low-risk fuel alternative of nuclear energy. This is the book for all readers who have asked themselves questions such as: What kinds of radiation, and what degree of exposure, cause cancer? What aftereffects have nuclear accidents and bombs had? Does radiation increase the likelihood of birth defects? And how does radiation work? Hugely illuminating, Radiation is the definitive road map to our post-Chernobyl, post-Fukushima world.

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