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Showing 1-10 of 71 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 101 reviews
on September 20, 2017
Mamet was behind some of the best films ever. If you have not seen House of Games (not be confused with House of Cards), you are missing out on a genuinely twisted story that takes you unexpected places. Same with Glengarry Glen Ross. He is a master storyteller and a very decent director.. especially on low to mid budget films such as these ones. He goes into the practical aspects of visual storytelling with a range of examples and anecdotes. He is very much into naturalism and has an understated approach both photographically and also with acting. I can imagine that any cinematographer or actor would not have had a good time with him as his style is all about the story with all else being simply delivered! As a director myself I was engrossed and read it in one sitting. Definitely a must read for film professionals.
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on November 16, 2015
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. Student gaining respect of the professor 2. Farmer who has to sell his pig) is which are discussed in a very bland way. There is some good writing advice in there often referring to Aristotles basics. The directing advice looked bad to me because of over simplification. He seems to have a very different opinion of actors, than most directors. I also found a lot of ranting about American films in general, Hollywood and acting. I wish I read the negative reviews before buying it.
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on July 8, 2017
Mamet has a clear idea of how to make a film. You may not agree with his idea. But I think he's proved he knows what he's talking about. There are real gems of clarity about how to think about making a film in here. Excellent
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on May 2, 2017
Perfection. "The nail in a ship does not need to resemble a ship"... not sure if there's a polite way to say that to an actor but it's a god reminder for directors
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on May 1, 2017
What can I say...look him up at Amazon and IMDB PRO.
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on August 6, 2017
a masterpiece!
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on May 27, 2017
good
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on May 30, 2010
Of the hundreds of 'How To' books on movie making - or mostly screenwriting - this slim volume is succinct, provocative, dogmatic (as only Mamet is dogmatic), witty and more use than twenty texts on 'the rules'. It contains no doubt edited lectures to Colombia students - and sometime the students' too hasty responses. Although it's called 'On Directing Film', it is possibly of more use to writers in terms of what is necessary in a piece of screen storytelling and what is redundant dead wood. Mamet's ideas on 'backstory' and exposition - unnecessary - for instance, are radical, but his funny examples of how 'explaining' kills narrative drive are worth considering. Some may object that if one were to follow Mamet's principles, one would end up with a Mamet movie - that is, something less than a box office smash. But that is not the point. The point is to cause one to question one's own work and that can't be a bad thing.
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on April 20, 2016
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.
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on December 4, 2011
Mamet believes the most powerful stories are told in scenes without inflection--that is, with no facial or bodily emotions shown in any acting. In this brief book, he challenges and teaches students to analyze behaviors in order to depict a scene through actions alone.

To fully understand this book readers must clearly applies the meaning of `inflection' as Mamet uses the word. His concepts could improve not only movies and acting but also writing.

On Directing Film

The author has penned a valuable volume for authors interested in applying more emotional depth to their story telling.
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