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The Wah-Wah Diaries: The Making of a Film Hardcover – April 1, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0330441964 ISBN-10: 0330441965

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan (April 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330441965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330441964
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,939,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A witty, winning writer of real observational powers and great enthusiasm who takes neither himself nor his business too seriously."  —Entertainment Weekly on With Nails


"With just the right smattering of poison in his pen, this Swazi/British actor recounts the daily trials and tribulations of making movies."  —Kirkus Reviews on With Nails


"He writes in a frank, charming, controversial manner . . . there are few fronts that this book doesn’t deliver on."  —Guardian


"His descriptions of the country (Swaziland), its people and its history are vivid and haunting."  —Sunday Times


'Grant’s skill is in capturing the intense but ephemeral relationships that actors and crew forge during production."  —Guardian

"Grant writes jauntily and engagingly . . . he has a nice line in sardonic humour."  —Observer

"Delirious and delicious."  —Daily Telegraph --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Richard E. Grant is the author of By Design: A Hollywood Novel and With Nails: The Film Diaries of Richard E. Grant. He has appeared in several films, including The Age of Innocence, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Gosford Park, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Withnail And I.


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Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David McAllister on February 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This movie-director's diary of the filming of Wah-Wah should be read only by fans of the movie itself -- it would make little sense to others. The movie of course is brilliant, and if you haven't seen it, by all means get hold of it right away. If you love it, then get this book next, which reveals the struggles that go into creating a film that works on you as this movie does.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Legard on July 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Richard E Grant wasn't just making a movie - he was putting his whole early life on film with Wah-Wah, which made the trials and tribulations of getting it made even more gut-wrenchingly personal.

With great honesty and not a little humour, Grant takes us through the six years it took to get funding, lose funding, get actors, lose actors, and finally conquer an absurd obstacle course to get his film made and distributed.

Grant writes well and wittily, at furious pace, does a courtly minimum of name dropping and delivers a slim book well worth reading by anybody interested in how creative ideas actually turn into real projects.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By How Koon Luan on July 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
Richard E Grant continues with his journalling during the making of Wah Wah. Written in the same witty style we see in With Nails, it features frequent snippets of hilarity about the sometimes ridiculous situations he found himself in. That the movie was also his own story gives it a very poignant touch.
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Format: Paperback
After watching "Wah-Wah" years ago, I heard and knew that Richard E. Grant published his movie's production diaries. Explaining how his former producer encouraged him to write a script, how he wrote it, but then the producer quit her job to become a drug counselor. Making the film project fall into limbo until, during the shooting of "Monsieur N", the movie's producer, Marie-Castille Mention Scharr, asked E. Grant to see his script; saying that she would be interested to produce it with her production partner, Pierre Kurbel. A partnership that ended up becoming more of an obstacle than shooting the movie itself.

As I read this diary, I admit the conflict between Mention-Scharr and E. Grant was an important reason why I read this book. But through this volume, I had the pleasure to find a document where E. Grant details his relationship with his film crew and the human being factor in his collaborators. Removing from them their glamour and exposing their truth. In one instance, he even compares Hollywood as a big colonial lifestyle where everyone's business becomes the matter of others, just like the Swatziland neighborhood he presents in his film. A judgmental nosiness that encouraged him to live in London rather than in "the City of Dreams". Also, in this life chronicle account of his movie's production, he takes the time to describe the atmosphere in some movies he worked on like Robert Altman and Justin Fellowes's "Gosford Park" and "Corpse Bride", where Tim Burton's friendship with his producers was the opposite between E Grant and Mention-Scharr. For E.Grant, he worked his movie as an actor-director dealing with a condescending producer whose business tactics were unprofessional and dangerous to the movie and to her employees.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oftentimes I'm surprised that Richard Grant gets to publish these memoirs of his given the delicacy of some of the details he mentions. Nothing particularly gossipy or saucy, but definitely jarring for the usually sanitized type of books like this relating to the making-of-a-movie. In this outing, he lists the tumultuous-but-successful undertaking of producing his first directorial effort WAH-WAH, his film biopic. While gentlemanly about how much detail to go into, he nevertheless provides enough fine and thorough points to list all sort of ills and complications that almost drove him insane in trying to get this low-budget film made at all, and how luck largely saved him in the end. He also excoriates the completely useless French producer of the film and how she actually made things worse, which, combined with his details from "With Nails" about the making of HENRY & JUNE in Paris years earlier, have permanently discouraged me from working with French crew members EVER.

It's a riveting read given how much goes wrong and how much amazingly goes right, and first-time filmmakers would do well to have a copy for dog-eared reference material. Unlike other books on the subject, this one was written in the trenches by someone who actually DID it.
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