June 01, 2016
It's time for Out of the Past's annual Summer Reading Classic Film Book Challenge! Last year I only managed to finish two of the six books I picked out, but this year I'm determined to knock out EIGHT. Well, I'm determined to start eight. Whether or not I actually finish that gargantuan Truffaut tome while simultaneously attempting to complete seven other books over the summer is yet to be determined...
I've been saving some books specifically for this challenge. I've had the Alain Delon book for a few months (apparently the only book about him in English, as far as I can tell) the Melville book was a Christmas present, and the Hitchcock book came from my dad's book collection. I'd been eyeing it for a long time and he finally just let me take it (such is the case with almost all of his film books that, over the last decade or so, have slowly been transitioning from his bookshelves to mine...)
I only have three Melville movies left to watch before I've seen all of them, so I want to watch those before I start his biography. I think I'll start out with the BFI book on City Lights, since I just saw that on the big screen at the New York Philharmonic last month. If you're unfamiliar with the BFI books, they're little 100-or-so page volumes about one specific movie. They're quick reads (perfect for the reading challenge and for light summer reading) but very informative. It's almost like a Criterion commentary in book form!
I'm also working on The Cinema of Cruelty by Andre Bazin, but it's on my (shudder!) kindle, so I couldn't include it in the photo. I love real books, so I kind of (very much) hate myself for having a kindle, but it's better for me for on-the-go reading. Being a weakling with the upper-body strength of a gnat, it's easier for me to carry around one kindle than three hardcover books..
Part of the challenge includes writing about the books you've read, so hopefully you'll be hearing more about these books in the weeks to come! :) If you're interested in reading any of the books I've selected here's a complete list with links to buy them:
The Cinema of Cruelty by Andre Bazin
BFI Classics: Cat People by Kim Newman
BFI Classics: City Lights by Charles Maland
Hitchcock by Eric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol
Jean-Pierre Melville: An American in Paris by Ginette Vincendeau
Making Waves: New Cinemas of the 1960s by Geoffrey-Nowell Smith
Jean Seberg - Breathless by Garry McGee
Alain Delon: Style, Stardom and Masculinity by Nick Rees-Roberts
Truffaut: A Biography by Serge Toubiana and Antoine De Baecque