novels about cinema

Iskandar discovers her sweeping popcorn in the Paradise Theatre where she works as an usher, plucking her from obscurity at the age of 19, struck by her face – “a perfect mask” that “also unveils”. George siempre mira todos los extras de los DVDs. Bree Narran – probably the pseudonym of the writer Mercy Lehane Willis – specialised in sensational paperbacks, but this is her only novel set in the film world. Profess like experts.” In Rome, Reno watches two men take video of a pregnant homeless girl (suggesting the 1975 documentary Anna) while exploiting her. It’s remembered chiefly as a slab of pleasurably exploitative trash, and the source of a blindingly successful movie often ranked among the worst of all time. Brower lovingly imagines non-existent Moro masterworks like Fritz Lang’s ‘Zeppelin’ and the Frankensteinian botch ‘Ghoulgantua’, contrasted with a beating pulse of true-life terror woven into the American psyche. Banjara’s novel hews closely to that in a series of flashbacks, and also hilariously sends up the kind of escapist Bollywood films made in the era, complete with scripts and treatments. Camille Lemercier’s autobiographical novel Les Fanas du ciné (‘Film fans’), affords a rare glimpse of cinema-going in late 1930s France, focusing on a relatively – impoverished bourgeois family from the 16th arrondissement in Paris. Once an editor of Sight & Sound, Lambert wrote screenplays and biographies and lived for many years in Morocco. One of the few female-authored fictions about high-concept, drug-riddled 80s Hollywood, its acerbic commentary on the glitzy but hollow Los Angeles fakery of parties, film sets and talk shows has a tangy insider’s acuity. Poor Caroline, her fourth novel, follows earnest spinster Caroline Denton-Smyth as she founds the Christian Cinema Company to “clean up” British cinema. … Meanwhile, albino movie brat Simon Dunkle (think David Lynch), auteur of ‘American Fast Food Massacre’ and ‘Sub Sub’, seems to be recreating the most dangerous elements of Castle’s style, and the novel proposes, playfully, yet with a great deal of persuasive detail, that the movies may be eating culture alive. I’m not talking about the tens of thousands of books you haven’t read – those; at least, you have access to. ‘The Tumour with the Human Face’ (1918) features an actor returned to Japan after several years in Hollywood to discover that a mysterious movie in which she is top-billed, but which she has no recollection of making, is doing the rounds in Tokyo. Have you ever fallen asleep in the middle of a film? Nathanael West’s extraordinary novel dives into the fractured dream offered up by Depression-era Hollywood (and, in many respects, America itself), one that twists people into a mad delirium, or hardens them with contempt or a deep-seated death wish – people who, as West wrote, “have come to California to die”. If you love history books, these WWII novels are worth reading. Los Angeles in the 1980s was it.” Her research was conducted in restaurants and at parties, fuelling her writing and inspiring both affection and contempt: “If I didn’t censor myself I could really skewer this town.”. These are old books from the 1980s. There have been so few mentions of the cinema in my recent reading of African fiction that I’m inclined to make something of the faint traces in Hurray for Somo and Other Stories, a 1982 collection by Ugandan author Ejiet Komolo.. An epic spanning six decades of Hollywood history – from the silent 20s to the Reagan 80s Running Time tells the story of a hapless child star, Baby Jewel, and her pushy but weirdly likeable ‘screen mother’ Elva Kay. In 1924, screenwriter Frances Marion was at the heart of the Hollywood elite, and through her friendship with Mary Pickford she had seen the life of a film star up close. Yet surely it foreshadows Lolita’s rapture at a man of letters anagrammed by desire? Because they make them feel that they are everything” – chimed with my own adolescent snobbishness. Contempt was published in 1954, as the esteemed Italian neorealist cinema tradition yielded to what the critic Sandro Zambetti dismissed as “flat composite films put together for a fast profit”. He explores those shady borderlands again in these elegant novellas speculating about the lives of two of cinema’s most iconic figures, compellingly and convincingly evoked with an astute sense of time, place and psychology. “He can only contrast Holden’s resplendent reality with his own shadowy and precarious existence.” But after he offers Holden a light he wins, in Percy’s words, “the title to his own existence”. Howie is one of three women at the centre of the novel, along with Rosemary Shaw, Britain’s top actress, and sultry Latvian exile Marija Ringold. Gold, author of the historical mystery thriller Carter Beats the Devil, is a supremely engaging spinner of yarns, afflicted with a streak of pessimism: Carter kept it in check; here it explodes all over, to impressive, sometimes dismaying effect. Even as he loathes the malignant pursuit of his dream, blaming fan magazines and damning the likes of Robert Taylor, he walks around hoping he’ll become another Gary Cooper. The book is a heartbreaking portrait of the darker side of cinema from the perspective of spectators. So Albinus funds Margot in the movies, suckered by tricky Axel Rex. When an affair with her director grows complicated, she turns to opium. Eggy doesn’t need help because he’s engaged to Reggie’s reforming ex-fiancée Ann Bannister. Schulberg’s second Hollywood morality tale, The Disenchanted, is nobody’s self-help book. Léger’s openness in allowing her own identity to connect with and deepen her understanding of Barbara Loden, creates a remarkable text that fuses the imagined and the experienced and relinquishes the myth of objectivity. Laughter blinds Albinus (literally), but it’s literature fumbling in the dark. We begin in pre-war Berlin, and in a rather remote third person; but soon we are lured into the inner life of F.W. Mann was a ‘Mr Nobody’, born Chaim Mandelbaum, who disappeared from his Hollywood home in mysterious circumstances in 1929 after making a string of promising two-reel comedies. Fay Howie, the purehearted child star who grows up, is modelled on Morgan herself, spotted for her first role at the tender age of eight. Often, it’s not the end product that is soul- or life-destroying, it’s rather the economic and psychological trauma that making films inflicts, not only on writers, but on actors, technicians, stand-ins and extras too. Along the way she kicks aside a certain amount of snobbery about early cinema, which is summarised by her neighbour as “the dark ages, before everybody figured out how it was really done”. So many new books out in 2020, right? Film fan and critic Jonathan Gates, the narrator, has a lifelong obsession with Max Castle (think Edgar G. Ulmer), a German expressionist filmmaker (Judas Jedermann) who came to Hollywood in the 1930s, made horror films (‘Zombie Doctor’), and disappeared. Through comic exaggeration, the book offers a perceptive analysis of celebrity, making the star reflect that “for decades, after breakfast he had been getting into his own skin, that of his legend and caricature, existing only for others”. There’s the embrace of the faces in the “black-and-white world of abstractions”, the bird-like “flutter and clicking” of the projector. Moravia’s Contempt (Il disprezzo) explores a wife’s contempt for her husband and expresses a novelist’s contempt for the cinema. He then has the tax fraud underlying his pitch exposed in painstaking detail by one of the dealers’ financial advisers. Luck of the draw brought me two entries that involve toothache (see Money on page 30). His debut novel skewers the town he saw in close-up and does it with remorseless brilliance. Like other writers who cast their eye on the industry, Morgan acknowledges its seductive lure but also its cruel indifference as careers rise and fall. Toni Morrison’s first novel unravels the tragedy of young Pecola Breedlove, a dark-skinned black girl living in post-Depression era Ohio, where she is regularly reminded by young and old, white and black alike, that she is “ugly”. Dell’s humorous novel is set in the British film industry of the 1930s, when its somewhat conservative production methods were being shaken up by the arrival of dynamic figures from Europe. Possibly the best, and the least well-known, Pubis Angelical was inspired by 1930s movie goddess and inventor Hedy Lamarr. Following his psychedelic Nog (1969), minimalist Flats (1971) and apocalyptic Quake (1974), Slow Fade is more of a page-turner – as is The Drop Edge of Yonder (2008), a western that grew out of an unrealised script. They see movies, like Jacques Demy’s Model Shop (1969), that become part of their relationship, running gags. Does the making of important work justify the breaking of promises and the stealing of stories? One of the reasons this site is named "No Film School" is because of the widespread availability of excellent materials for self-teaching these days: almost every movie is available on disc or online, DVD special features often make for great learning tools, and there are plenty of books on the topic. Argentinian Adolfo Bioy Casares’s novel is written as the feverish diary of a Venezuelan fugitive who finds refuge on a cursed, deserted island in the South Pacific. Returning to Morocco, he finds work on a film set and falls passionately for his Spanish co-worker Javier, the embodiment of his dreams of world cinema – but Javier only wants sex, not love. In the 1950s she made a brief transition to Hollywood as Shirley Yamaguchi – she had a starring role in Samuel Fuller’s House of Bamboo (1955) – before a more active political career beckoned. As might be expected from someone whose credits as a TV producer/director include Father Ted and Room 101, it is also very funny, light in tone but broad in scope. This, her debut, a barely disguised memoir of her teenage years, is an elated love letter to a Hollywood “where 1 per cent work and 99 per cent live half lives of expectation”, seductive atomised snapshots of gossipy backlots, parties with Tony Curtis (“He has a kind of smug energy which is still endearing”), female friendships and doomed romances that radiate those twin elusive qualities in literature, music and light – “moments of such unrelated importance,” to quote Babitz, “that time ripples away like a frame of water. Under his director’s tuition, Isherwood’s fictional avatar comes to learn the craft of screenwriting, while Europe teeters on the brink of war and the director’s family is endangered. Battista incarnates this commercialism, which he conceals beneath an idealistic veneer, dismissing neorealism as “depressing, pessimistic, gloomy” and “unhealthy”. The man, a screenwriter, is “writhing not writing” in an industry he holds to be beneath him, and the young woman is one of so many who had come to town dreaming of her face on screens “for the world to see”, only to see those illusions turn sour as the “men in power” at the studios pass her around from bedroom to bedroom via their “hidden mechanisms”. He is predatory with women, even though he dimly understands their predicament: “It must be tiring knowledge,” he says, “the realisation that half the members of the planet, one on one, can do what the hell they like with you.”. While Ceinwen is au fait with classic cinema, styling herself after Jean Harlow and haunting the rep cinemas of Manhattan, a conversation with her mysterious neighbour about acting in a gothic film for a German director in 1920s Hollywood sends her on an odyssey into the silent era. The story is a clear precursor to the J-horror Ringu (1997) and offers a fascinating insight into the culture shock provided by early cinema’s profound globalising effect. be sure to visit The Big Silver Screen: Theaters, Cinemas, Movie Houses, Flea … Cheeta’s faux-naïf recollections of the predilections and peccadillos of the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Errol Flynn and Joan Crawford, and his enduring rivalry with Maureen O’Sullivan, Jane to Weismuller’s Tarzan, are often laugh-out-loud hilarious. Malayalam has been seeking inspiration from books since ages, and we have many book-to-movie adaptations in Malayalam. Chapter 6, “Message, Medium, and Literary Art,” with essays by Virginia Woolf, Marshall McLuhan, and Erwin Panofsky, is especially useful. A love for the most obscure, esoteric and campy American cinema of the 1940s animates the first-person narrative voice of Gore Vidal’s Myra Breckinridge, a character who started out in life as a gay male movie scholar named Myron. El cine de los sábados is a precisely observed, Fellini-esque portrait of the post-Civil War generation; it scrutinises, with brutal honesty but also warmth and humour, the cultural perversities and intellectual famine of life under Franco during the 1950s and 60s, when a window into other worlds through culture, and cinema in particular, was so desperately sought by many a Spaniard. For further Bollywood-related reading, see Irwin Allan Sealey’s Hero: A Fable (1990), loosely based on the life of actor M.G. Perhaps Charles Foster Kane’s mother used her fortune to build the Overlook Hotel?Well, why not? It’s quite possible that the examiner will ask you questions about your reading habits or ask you to say something … Thursday November 8 - 7 pm . 20 Books About Movies Every Film Lover Should Own. But in the novel’s case, that’s no bad thing at all. Fascinated by the underlying, unspoken spookiness of modern life, Bowen lingers on the illusory magic and sensory peculiarities of film, as experienced by early filmgoers. Is Suspects a novel? See also Film criticism.. Subcategories. Some typical titles of novels about the art and business of film – Contempt, The Disenchanted, I Lost My Girlish Laughter, I Should Have Stayed Home – say much about the rueful attitude literary writers traditionally hold towards the seventh art. And though they don’t cover digital acquisition and LED lighting was used for nothing more than indicator lamps in that era, the sections on exposure, lighting techniques, and double system sound recording are all relevant today. This gargantuan novel is not only 1,000-plus pages; it also contains 388 footnotes. Murnau cheats on Hans, however, and feels something devilish in the infidelity. Alfred Appel, in his loving book, Nabokov’s Dark Cinema (1975), tells of Vlad forever impaled by film’s temptations and wordsmithing in the screen’s spilled light. It’s an improbable chronicle, modelled after Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Confessions, a book Todd reads obsessively while incarcerated in a PoW camp. Many in the African-American community, and Walker himself, believed that the new century would open a new era for black performers. Her stories centre on the other woman, the peripheral character – the frustratingly passive protagonist. Two astronauts journey to a distant planet not unlike our own. Von Sternberg should have filmed it – later on, Kubrick was stunned at how reverential Nabokov was over cinema, his sin-amour, as the butterfly hunter wondered if Tuesday Weld could do Lo, or let her be sly Sue Lyon?—. We've rounded up a great list of books with crazy plot twists you won't see coming — and that you'll be discussing with your friends or book club for weeks. Films and novels offer quite separate aesthetic experiences, yet the histories of these media have entwined them in a mutual love/hate embrace. In its form, David Thomson’s book bears a strong resemblance to his Biographical Dictionary of Film, consisting of nothing more than a series of profiles, but the difference here is that the people being indexed are fictional characters, mostly drawn from the golden age of film noir. The arrival of film had a powerful impact on fiction writers from the medium’s early years. Royle’s narrative structure plays back and forth with time (foreshadowing The Girl on the Train with its precisely dated chapters) and builds to a cross-cut climax set in a pre-Westfield Shepherd’s Bush. The suspicion propels the disintegration of their marriage. Foster Wallace fabricates an entire oeuvre for his character, clearly drawing on knowledge of the American experimental tradition. Surely a new film version starring a charismatic transgender performer is in order?—. This takes place in the real-life setting of London’s Alhambra music hall, during a screening of Paul’s success of the previous autumn, A Tour Through Spain and Portugal. The novel is presented as a mosaic biography – Rudolph Grey’s 1992 Ed Wood bio Nightmare of Ecstasy echoes its technique – as dozens of characters offer contradictory versions of key events, each not quite understanding the protagonist as they collectively paint a horrifying, tragic portrait. One such cynical and wise-cracking hack, high on designer drugs like ‘klieg’, loves movies enough to know them literally frame by frame. Cinéma could be read as a psychological study of morbid cinephilia or, more convincingly, as a parable of the reading process. One of the latterday stars of the publishing house Editions de Minuit – once home to the nouveau roman school, writers such as Alain Robbe-Grillet, Claude Simon and Marguerite Duras – Tanguy Viel has lately become known for spare novels that take film noir scenarios and drain them of conventional thriller affect. The ageing actor is both imbued with his own stardom (including, as the title suggests, in Japan) and acutely aware of time passing: his younger child falls asleep in the first five minutes of Le Cercle rouge (1970). He “broke her spirit and built her up again within the hour”; she “respected” him. Perhaps most intriguing of all are the novels that use cinema for more tangential or experimental approaches to fiction (Tanguy Viel’s Cinéma, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, Adolfo Bioy Casares’s The Invention of Morel, Don DeLillo’s Point … In our August 2018 issue, Sight & Sound contributors pick the 100 greatest novels and short stories about filmmaking, from Hollywood to Bollywood, Auster to Wurlitzer. Her purple prose often falls into an outright imitation of the oracular style of film critic Parker Tyler, and Vidal sends up Tyler while also acknowledging his own attraction to Maria Montez pictures and the physical appearance of actors like James Craig and Tim Holt. In describing the company’s board members and their dubious motivations for being there, the novel offers an amusing snapshot of the debates that formed around cinema and its cultural value in the early sound era. In one, more than eight pages long and boasting footnotes of its own, the reader finds the annotated filmography of James O. Incandenza. At the dentist Reggie meets resentful child star Joey Cooley, who also needs an extraction. The Lost Girl, one of D.H. Lawrence’s lesser known works, is a spiritual biography of an upright woman named Alvina Houghton, who lives a subdued, respectable life in an English mining village before being derailed by a sensuous Neapolitan actor. Going to a film show of English scenes, he believed he saw a widow he had known in Auckland, Mrs Bathurst, approaching the camera at Paddington Station, as if looking for him. Unceremonious dismissal that Soldati began work on a wasted septuagenarian macho filmmaker, Wesley Hardin, contemplating own! A mildly sciencefictional mode Andy Warhol to cinema I ” ), that ’ s...., crushed in a variety of genres acting, writes Spark, “ consisted in playing herself in middling. 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