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Must-Own Film Books

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 5, 2009 at 2:18AM

We all have lists of must-own film books. Mine goes like this:
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Thompson on Hollywood

We all have lists of must-own film books. Mine goes like this:

William Goldman's Adventures in the Screen Trade.
David Thomson's A Biographical Dictionary of Film.
The Citizen Kane Book by Pauline Kael.
Leonard Maltin's latest Movie Guide.
Pauline Kael's 5001 Nights at the Movies.
Andrew Sarris's The American Cinema.
Hollywood Screenwriters by Richard Corliss.
The Making of the Wizard of Oz by Aljean Harmetz.
The Name Above the Title by Frank Capra.
Master of the Game, by Connie Bruck.
Molly Haskell's From Reverence to Rape.
A Woman's View by Jeanine Basinger.
Conversations with Wilder, by Cameron Crowe.
John Gregory Dunne's The Studio.
Lillian Ross's Picture.
Hit & Run, by Nancy Griffin and Kim Masters.
The Genius of the System by Thomas Schatz.
Howard Hawks by Todd McCarthy.
City of Nets by Otto Friedrich.
You'll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again by Julia Phillips.
Easy Rider, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind.
Final Cut by Steven Bach.
The Cleopatra Papers by Jack Brodsky.
What Makes Sammy Run? by Budd Schulberg.
The Kid Stays in the PIcture by Robert Evans.
The Parade's Gone By by Kevin Brownlow.
John Ford by Joseph McBride and Michael Wilmington.
Pictures at a Revolution by Mark Harris.

Keepers all.

Thompson on Hollywood

But what about books on indie cinema? There's:

Biskind's Down and Dirty Pictures.
John Pierson's closely observed Spike Mike Slackers and Dykes.
Christine Vachon's A Killer Life: How an Independent Film Producer Survives Deal and Disasters in Hollywood and Beyond.
John Anderson and Laura Kim's invaluable guide to releasing an indie film, I Wake Up Screening.
Michael Donaldson's must-own documentary filmmakers' guide: Clearance and Copyright, now in its third edition.

Anything I'm missing?


This article is related to: Independents, Stuck In Love, Books, Critics


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.