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Summer Reading!

June 17, 2021

On this week’s episode, Sonny Bunch is joined by Bulwark contributor Bill Ryan and Turner Classic Movie writer Greg Ferrara to talk about some of their favorite film books. This episode was inspired in part by a recurring question Sonny gets about books that can help people better understand film or become better film writers.

Obviously, you should listen to the episode; we wouldn’t be sending it to you otherwise. But here’s a cheat sheet with links to the recommended titles. (Pro tip: I’ve linked to Amazon pages, but do yourself a favor and check out the used prices if you want to save some money. Often you’ll find offerings that are “like new” at huge discounts that have little more than a remainder mark. I’ve managed to build a pretty decent library at a fraction of the price by searching for used books.)


Greg’s Picks

Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, by Kendra Bean

Steven Spielberg: A Retrospective, by Richard Schickel

Citizen Welles, by Frank Brady

A Separate Cinema, edited by John Kisch

Scorsese on Scorsese, edited by David Thomson and Ian Christie

Bill’s Picks

Made Men: The Story of Goodfellas, by Glenn Kenny

(For more on Made Men, please listen to this podcast’s interview with Glenn.)

This Is Orson Welles, by Peter Bogdanovich & Orson Welles

The Battle of Brazil, by Jack Mathews

(As discussed on the podcast, the Blu-ray of Brazil released by the Criterion Collection has both the 142 minute director’s cut and the 94-minute “Love Conquers All Cut” of the film. The Blu-ray also has a documentary based on this book. If you like Brazil, this set is well worth picking up during Barnes and Noble’s 50 percent off Criterion sale that starts July 2.)

Cronenberg on Cronenberg, edited by Chris Rodley

Flicker, by Theodore Roszak

Sonny’s Picks

Elia Kazan: A Biography, by Richard Schickel

Final Cut, by Steven Bach

Four Screenplays with Essays, by William Goldman

The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film, by Michael Ondaatje

American Movie Critics, edited by Philip Lopate