BOOK REVIEW: Filmmakers on Film

“No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.” – Ingmar Bergman

Making a movie is a very involved process, requiring collaboration with actors, cinematographers, lighting, set design, make-up, editors and sound engineers. Of course, one could make a movie by one’s self these days (and they are many YouTubers that can testify this fact), but it will take a long time to do, and there is a BIG steep learning cure when you just starting out. It’s not all just “point the camera and shoot.”

If you are starting out, you might want to learn how the pros do it. Get some words of wisdom from the greats that came before you. This is where David Jenkins’ Filmmakers on Film come in. In the same format as Laurence King’s 100 Ideas that Changed [insert subject here] series, this small 130-page volume briefly explores the work of 50 filmmakers, past and present, in one paragraph essays (each beginning with a quote from said filmmaker that sums up that paragraph) that explain their inspiration, motives, style, etc. Basically, as the author puts it, “what makes this filmmaker exceptional?”

With the addition of more in-depth interviews with Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Memoria), the Lawlor duo (Rose Plays Julie), Pedro Costa (Vitalina Varela), and Mia Hansen-Løve (Bergman Island), this book is a good first place to go for the beginning aspiring filmmaker. … or a wannabe-film critic who wants to sound more “cultured” than they actually are, without reading tons of books or watching movies that don’t have explosions in them.

Review by Gordon Wallace

The Gordon Wallace Art Gallery and Archive / Ordon Wallace (@gwdoodler) • Instagram photos and videos

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