Monday, July 16, 2012

Five notable books on film

Christopher Bray has written on movies, books, music, and art for the Daily Telegraph, the Times Literary Supplement, the Literary Review, the New York Times, and The New Statesman. His books include Sean Connery: A Biography and Michael Caine: A Class Act.

One of his five favorite books on film, as told to the Wall Street Journal:
Nicole Kidman
by David Thomson (2006)

'A weird and unseemly mash note," said the New York Times's dismissive review. In fact, David Thomson's "Nicole Kidman" is an intriguing, enlightening and occasionally disturbing analysis of the secular sainthood we bestow on movie stars. What the book isn't: a biography. If you want to know why the actress married Tom Cruise or what goes on in her marriage to Keith Urban, then steer well clear. But if you want a book that grasps what it is to be star-struck, to be in love with an image from afar, a book that, the author says, is meant to "honor desire," then this is the one for you. You can call it folly for a writer to devote a chapter to a recurring reverie in which his subject is whipped and scorned in a remake of Luis Buñuel's "Belle de Jour" (1967). "I have dreamed this film with such intensity that it matters to me more than many films that I actually have to see," he writes. Or you can call it bravery, candor, brazen lunacy. For movies invade our dreams—they might even be, Thomson suggests, a form of dreaming—and the real folly would be to deny their potency.
Read about another entry on the list.

Also see: Michael Wood's top ten books on film.

--Marshal Zeringue