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On Directing Film Paperback – January 1, 1992
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From Library Journal
- David Bartholomew, NYPL
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Mamet is always Mamet. Even when talking about directing-- after having directed only two films, HOUSE OF GAMES and THINGS CHANGE. Never heard of 'em, you say? Yes, this book is taken from a series of lectures he gave at Columbia film school in 1990. Since then, Mamet has directed Steve Martin not to be funny (THE SPANISH PRISONER) and Gene Hackman not to be cool (HEIST) as well as other actors not to "inflect."
Most people, like me, love Mamet's writing but find his directing stilted and wooden. This book explains why. Written half as rant and half as Socratic dialogue, Mamet lays out his film theory with second-rate Sergei Eisenstein (I think he means Kuleshov) and third-rate Bruno Bettelheim (who wrote about fairy tales, not film). The result is a mixed bag, not too informative about directing, but always entertaining.
If you want to know why telling a story on film is like telling a dirty joke, this is your book. If you'd like to read how to construct a movie about a farmer who has to sell a pig, or a student who wants to "get a retraction," this is your book. If you want to know why "[t]he less the hero is described to us, the better off we are," this is your book. It's slim, it reads fast, and it's easier to understand than THE THREE USES FOR A KNIFE. If you want a book about directing by a real director, I recommend Sidney Lumet's MAKING MOVIES.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
David Mamet has a sad and very limiting view on filmmaking. The book is short (which is nice) but too concise and not very inspiring.Published 6 days ago by Nick Eshnaur
If you are a writer/director this is one of the best books written on the subject of storytelling. Don't expect a technical guide, this one is all about directing actors, story and... Read morePublished 22 days ago by fairfight
Dense read, but once you understand the points Mamet is making, this book becomes a gold mine of good practices for directing and storytelling in general. Highly recommended.Published 1 month ago by Only Living Boy In
If ever you consider directing as a career (and, secretly, who doesn't?) this is one of many references you shouldn't do without.Published 3 months ago by Tarachi, Benjamin
I admire David, but this went over my head. Every director has his own style, Mamet's is just not mine.Published 5 months ago by Steven Biggs
I'm really disappointed with this book. A very boring read because of the presentation of the material. It all boils down to 2 examples (1. Read morePublished 6 months ago by JayBee