Richard Schickel's text, combining critical analysis and a re-interpretation of all the available biographical information, masterfully maps the intersections where a great star's personal history and his screen personality met in a style as elegant, graceful and witty as the actor himself.
Through extensive, exclusive interviews with Eastwood (and the friends and colleagues of a lifetime), Time magazine film critic Richard Schickel has penetrated a complex character who has always been understood too quickly, too superficially. Schickel pierces Eastwood's monumental reserve to reveal the anger and the shyness, the shrewdness and frankness, the humor and powerful will that have helped make him what he is today. of photos.
Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, Kundun, The Departed, The Aviator, Shutter Island: these are just a few of the critically acclaimed films, startling experimental works, and spectacular commercial blockbusters with which Martin Scorsese has forever enriched American cinema. Here is a rare and wonderfully insightful chance to experience all of these films, and the history and process of moviemaking in general, through the words and wit of the master director. Richard Schickel's canny and intelligent interviews guide us through Scorsese's life and work, from the child who escaped the realities of Little Italy in the 1950s through movies to the man whose increasingly encyclopedic knowledge of film shaped his ambitions and art. Scorsese reveals which films are most autobiographical and which have been forays into unknown territory in content or aesthetics. He talks about his lesser-known movies, those already considered classics, his documentaries, and his influences. He explains his personal style, the close attention he pays to detail, and his attraction to genre films. And he discusses what being a lifelong student of film has taught him about acting, directing, music, and camerawork, among many other topics. The result is a vivid, immensely enlightening history of modern Hollywood seen through the eyes of one intrepid filmmaker. We see audiences' expectations tested by what Scorsese was willing to put on the screen in explorations of prostitution, institutionalized violence, and religion. We see the unavoidable frustrations and exhilarating rewards of filming live concerts for The Band and at Woodstock. And we see many of the rewarding artistic and personal relationships of Scorsese's career, including collaborations with Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Jack Nicholson, and Leonardo DiCaprio. An invaluable appreciation of one of our most admired film directors.
Few figures in film and theater history tower like Elia Kazan. Born in 1909 to Greek parents in Istanbul, Turkey, he arrived in America with incomparable vision and drive, and by the 1950s he was the most important and influential director in the nation, simultaneously dominating both theater and film. His productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and Death of a Salesman reshaped the values of the stage. His films -- most notably On the Waterfront -- brought a new realism and a new intensity of performance to the movies. Kazan's career spanned times of enormous change in his adopted country, and his work affiliated him with many of America's great artistic moments and figures, from New York City's Group Theatre of the 1930s to the rebellious forefront of 1950s Hollywood; from Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy to Marlon Brando and James Dean. Ebullient and secretive, bold and self-doubting, beloved yet reviled for "naming names" before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Kazan was an individual as complex and fascinating as any he directed. He has long deserved a biography as shrewd and sympathetic as this one. In the electrifying Elia Kazan, noted film historian and critic Richard Schickel illuminates much more than a single astonishing life and life's work: He pays discerning tribute to the power of theater and film, and casts a new light on six crucial decades of American history.
In this memoir, film critic Schickel recalls his childhood days growing up in a Milwaukee suburb during World War II. The story centers around the author's lifelong love of the movies. Schickel also discusses the ways in which the wartime movies he enjoyed as a youth misled the public about the nature of the war, our soldiers, our government, and the home front. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From a legendary film critic and movie fan extraordinaire, the highlights reel of a life spent at the movies Richard Schickel has seen, by his own estimate, more than twenty thousand films. He has been a reviewer since 1965 (long for Time magazine), has written almost forty books on the subject, and has produced and directed thirty documentaries. He has counted as personal friends many of the leading filmmakers of the twentieth century. Call it "obsession," "lunacy," or a "grand passion" (Schickel grants all three), but there's simply no one who knows film better. Now Schickel gives us the ultimate summing up: a history of film as he's seen--and lived--it, a tour of his favorites, a master class in what makes a film soar or flop. Schickel's no-holds-barred, often raucously irreverent opinions can range from panning classics, to spotlighting forgotten treasures, to defending the art of "popular" genres such as horror, westerns, screwball comedy, and noir. Beyond his picks and pans, Schickel offers a wealth of behind-the-scenes anecdotes (a love note from Marlene Dietrich, Frank Capra's unlikely path to success, Annie Hall's original title), career studies of our greatest performers and auteurs, and candidly intimate glimpses of his own life in pictures (an evening with Greta Garbo, John Ford's advice on directing, a "dust-up" in defense of Monty Python). Above all, Schickel gives us a collection of the true gems, the immortal moments that have stuck with him over a lifetime of movie watching--the transcendent scenes, characters, lines, shots, scores, even lighting cues that offer, each in their way, pure "movie magic." Buster Keaton, His Girl Friday, Ingrid Bergman, Taxi Driver, Star Wars, Stanley Kubrick, Pulp Fiction--Schickel reveals all the films and the forces behind them that have kept him coming back for more. An essential addition to any cinephile's library, Keepers is the curation of a brilliant connoisseur and critic, but more than that, it's a love letter to film from one of its most dedicated devotees.
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