The Film That Changed My Life: 30 Directors on Their Epiphanies in the Dark

Overview

The movie that inspired filmmakers to direct is like the atomic bomb that went off before their eyes. The Film That Changed My Life captures that epiphany. It explores 30 directors’ love of a film they saw at a particularly formative moment, how it influenced their own works, and how it made them think differently.

 

Rebel Without a Cause inspired John Woo to comb his hair and talk like James Dean. For Richard Linklater, “something was simmering in me, but Raging Bull ...

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The Film That Changed My Life: 30 Directors on Their Epiphanies in the Dark

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Overview

The movie that inspired filmmakers to direct is like the atomic bomb that went off before their eyes. The Film That Changed My Life captures that epiphany. It explores 30 directors’ love of a film they saw at a particularly formative moment, how it influenced their own works, and how it made them think differently.

 

Rebel Without a Cause inspired John Woo to comb his hair and talk like James Dean. For Richard Linklater, “something was simmering in me, but Raging Bull brought it to a boil.” Apocalypse Now inspired Danny Boyle to make larger-than-life films. A single line from The Wizard of Oz--“Who could ever have thought a good little girl like you could destroy all my beautiful wickedness?”--had a direct impact on John Waters. “That line inspired my life,” Waters says. “I sometimes say it to myself before I go to sleep, like a prayer.”

 

In this volume, directors as diverse as John Woo, Peter Bogdanovich, Michel Gondry, and Kevin Smith examine classic movies that inspired them to tell stories. Here are 30 inspired and inspiring discussions of classic films that shaped the careers of today’s directors and, in turn, cinema history.

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What People Are Saying

Leonard Maltin
If you love films, and care about filmmakers, you'll have a hard time putting this book down once you dive in.
Lawrence Grobel
Elder has done us all a favor: Read this book, then go to your video store or to Netflix and see for yourself why these movies made the cut! (Lawrence Grobel, author, Al Pacino: in Conversation)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556528255
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 941,847
  • Product dimensions: 8.92 (w) x 6.22 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert K. Elder’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Salon.com, and elsewhere. His books include John Woo: Interviews and Last Words of the Executed.

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Table of Contents

Introduction vi

1 An American Werewolf in London Edgar Wright 1

2 Annie Hall Rian Johnson 13

3 Apocalypse Now Danny Boyle 25

4 Bonnie and Clyde Bill Condon 39

5 Brazil Richard Kelly 47

6 Citizen Kane Peter Bogdanovich 55

7 A Clockwork Orange John Dahl 64

8 81/2 Henry Jaglom 74

9 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial Brian Herzlinger 82

10 The Exterminating Angel Alex Gibney 94

11 The Godfather Kimberly Peirce 104

12 Harlan County U.S.A. Steve James 110

13 Kings of the Road Austin Chick 123

14 L'âge d'or Guy Maddin 132

15 Le voyage en ballon Michel Gondry 145

16 Once Upon a Time in America Michael Polish 152

17 Open City Arthur Hiller 160

18 Paper Moon Pete Docter 167

19 Persona Atom Egoyan 175

20 Purab aur Pachhim and It's a Wonderful Life Gurinder Chadha 188

21 Raging Bull Richard Linklater 195

22 Raising Arizona Jay Duplass 202

23 Rebel Without a Cause and Mean Streets John Woo 210

24 The 7th Voyage of Sinbad John Landis 222

25 Slacker Kevin Smith 232

26 Sleeper Chris Miller 241

27 The Soft Skin Neil LaBute 245

28 The Tales of Hoffmann George A. Romero 259

29 Touch of Evil Frank Oz 265

30 The Wizard of Oz John Waters 278

Acknowledgments 284

Index 286

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