Friday, January 30, 2009

Hal Hartley, Beat filmmakers, Alex Cox - 3 new film books from Soft Skull Press



Got a pleasant surprise in the mail today - 3 recently published books about film from Soft Skull Press - looks like I've got my winter film related reading . Here are the links to the work, flipped through all of them & can't wait to read each fully:

True Fiction Pictures & Possible Films - Hal Hartley in conversation with Kenneth Kaleta, by Hal Hartley

From Soft Skull's site: "Hal Hartley's comedies of unlikely love, trust, and social questioning have been provocative must-sees for the past two decades with critics and audiences alike. In this book of interviews with Kenneth Kaleta, Hartley reflects on the evolution of his filmmaking, elaborating on the forces he believes helped shape it and the ways in which his aspirations develop as time goes on, revealing a good deal of what it is like to be an independent creative artist in a commercially driven culture. This is an important resource for anyone interested in Hartley's filmmaking in particular, and in motion pictures generally." More at the site.

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Naked Lense - Beat Cinema, by Jack Sargeant

From the Soft Skull page for the book: "Celebrating the celluloid expression of the Beat spirit—arguably the most sustained legacy in US counter-culture—Naked Lens is a comprehensive study of the most significant interfaces between the Beat writers, Beat culture and cinema. Featuring the key Beat players and their collaborators including: William S Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Brion Gysin, Anthony Balch, Ron Rice, John Cassavetes, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Klaus Maeck, and Gus van Sant.

As well as examining clearly Beat-inspired films like "Pull My Daisy", "Chappaqua", and "The Flower Thief", Sargeant also examines verite and performance films ("Shadows", and "Wholly Communion"), B-movies ("The Subterraneans" and Roger Corman's "Bucket of Blood"), and Hollywood adaptations ("Heart Beat" and "Barfly").

The second half of the book is devoted to an extensive analysis of the films relating to William Burroughs, from Antony Balch's "Towers Open Fire" to David Cronenberg's "Naked Lunch". This book also contains the last ever interview with writer Allen Ginsberg recorded three months before his death in April 1997."


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X Films, by Alex Cox

From Soft Skull's page for the book: "Alex Cox is the genuine article: a radical, international, independent filmmaker who is also a good writer, an insightful commentator on contemporary cinema, and an expert critic of the power of Hollywood.

X-Films has as its center the filmmaking autobiography of a fine director, the journey through all his major films and how they were made, including his new film, now in production. Cox takes us to varied locations, including the US, Mexico, and Nicaragua, where he made Walker with the cooperation of the Sandinista government. His book is full of fresh ideas and rare insights into many films of different genres and the people he has worked with, including such greats as Dennis Potter and Harry Dean Stanton.

X-Films not only contains the confessions of a radical filmmaker, it is also the most readable working manual yet for the independent filmmaker. Enfant terrible he may be, but Alex Cox is also ahead of the game and is a pioneer and promoter of new forms of filmmaking for the cultural revolutionaries of the 21st century. He advocates work that is visual, visceral but interactive, with multiple narrative possibilities."


These books look great, specially for people interested in the past & the future of indie film in America, get 'em, read 'em, tell us all about them here in Comments or in your own blog or site.

- Sujewa

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