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On Directing Film

Overview

Calling on his unique perspective as playwright, screenwriter, and director of his own critically acclaimed movies, House of Games and Things Change, David Mamet illuminates how a film comes to be. He looks at every aspect of directing—from script to cutting room—to show the many tasks directors undertake in reaching their prime objective: presenting a story that will be understood by the audience and has the power to be both surprising and inevitable at the same time.

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Overview

Calling on his unique perspective as playwright, screenwriter, and director of his own critically acclaimed movies, House of Games and Things Change, David Mamet illuminates how a film comes to be. He looks at every aspect of directing—from script to cutting room—to show the many tasks directors undertake in reaching their prime objective: presenting a story that will be understood by the audience and has the power to be both surprising and inevitable at the same time.

Based on a series of classes Mamet taught at Columbia University's film school, On Directing Film will be enjoyed not only by students but by anyone interested in an overview of the craft of filmmaking.

From a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright comes invaluable insights and practical instructions on the art of film directing. Mamet looks at every aspect of directing--from script to cutting room--and draws from a wide variety of sources to make his points.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Noted playwright, screenwriter, and director Mamet offers his views on film directing taken, some in transcript form, from lectures and classes at Columbia. With only two films under his belt, Mamet is an odd choice to publish his opinions here, and his ideas are unsurprising. Although presumably being paid by Columbia, Mamet ``suspects'' film schools are ``useless.'' Citing his heroes Eisenstein (story via cuts) and Hitchcock (pre-planning), he advises shooting scenes simply in the ``least interesting way'' possible and cutting everything extraneous to the story. He suggests reading in myth and psychology and watching a lot of animated cartoons. Refreshingly untheoretical, particularly regarding acting technique, this is fitfully interesting stuff, but a bit of an ego trip, too.-- David Bartholomew, NYPL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140127225
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 1/28/1992
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 158,416
  • Product dimensions: 5.21 (w) x 7.86 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

David Mamet 's Glengarry Glen Ross won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1984. He is also the author of Writing in Restaurants and On Directing Film, both available from Penguin.

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