by Rob DiCristino
1. Hitchcock/Truffaut by Francois Truffaut
The Last Jedi on this week’s entry), and it reminded me how rarely we actually get to hear filmmakers talk about the nuts and bolts of their craft with someone else who understands (or might even have another point of view). Truffaut’s seminal series of interviews with Hitch is essentially the holy grail of this genre, and yet I’ve somehow never pulled the trigger. I hope to rectify that this year.
2. Rebel Without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez
Here’s a thing: I’ve never appreciated Robert Rodriguez as much as I probably should. I like his movies well enough, but I can’t seem to latch onto him as a personality. That said, his famous diary chronicling the rough-and-tumble making of El Mariachi sounds up my alley. Patrick always says that every movie is a miracle, and hearing how hard first-timers like Sam Raimi and Kevin Smith (or even Tommy Wiseau) had to work to get something in the can on the tiniest of budgets serves as nice reminder that not all filmmaking is done by a corporate machine (though, with the Disney/Fox merger upcoming, that may stop being true). Sometimes, something special sneaks though.
3. Men, Women, and Chainsaws by Carol J. Clover
This is a weird one for me. I own it, I’ve started it three or four times, and I’ve even used a few chapters as readings in my film class. And yet somehow I’ve never read Clover’s highly-influential analysis of gender in horror films (in which she coins the phrase “Final Girl”) in its entirety. It’s been sitting next to my bed for a year, but think I keep getting intimidated by the size of the text? Who knows. What I can’t seem to understand is that, for a genre consistently relegated to second-class status by the cinematic intelligentsia, some of the best books about film seem to be about horror. Funny how that works.
4. The Star Machine by Jeanine Basinger
5. The Warrior’s Camera by Stephen Prince
6. The Monster Squad by Heather Wixson
Because when a Top Critic writes a book, you read it.
What are you looking forward to reading in 2018?