Share

Writers on Film

The only podcast about books on cinema

The only podcast to focus on film books and to talk to the best authors working in the area of cinema. From Making ofs to biographies, studies to novelisations, I'm fascinated by where the written word intersects with th
5/18/2022

George Stevens Jr finds his Place in the Sun

Season 1, Ep. 56
The son of a celebrated Hollywood director emerges from his father's shadow to claim his own place as a visionary force in American culture. George Stevens, Jr. tells an intimate and moving tale of his relationship with his Oscar-winning father and his own distinguished career in Hollywood and Washington. Fascinating people, priceless stories and a behind-the-scenes view of some of America's major cultural and political events grace this riveting memoir.George Stevens, Jr. grew up in Hollywood and worked on film classics with his father and writes vividly of his experience on the sets ofA Place in the Sun(1951),Shane(1953),Giant(1956) andThe Diary of Anne Frank(1959). He explores how the magnitude of his father's talent and achievements left him questioning his own creative path. The younger Stevens began to forge his unique career when legendary broadcaster Edward R. Murrow recruited him to elevate the Motion Picture Service at the United States Information Agency in John F. Kennedy's Washington. Stevens' trailblazing efforts initiated what has been called the "golden era" of USIA filmmaking and a call to respect motion pictures as art. His appointment as founding director of the American Film Institute in 1967 placed him at the forefront of culture and politics, safeguarding thousands of endangered films and training a new generation of filmmakers. Stevens' commitment to America's cultural heritage led to envisioning the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors and propelled a creative life of award-winning films and television programs that heightened attention to social justice, artistic achievement, and the American experience.Stevens provides a rare look at a pioneering American family spanning five generations in entertainment: from the San Francisco stage in the 19th century to silent screen comedies, Academy Award-winning films, Emmy Award-winning television programs and a Broadway play in the 21st century. He reveals the private side of the dazzling array of American presidents, first ladies, media moguls, and luminaries who cross his path, including Elizabeth Taylor, Sidney Poitier, the Kennedys, Yo-Yo Ma, Cary Grant, James Dean, Bruce Springsteen, Barack and Michelle Obama, and many more.InMy Place in the Sun, George Stevens, Jr. shares his lifelong passion for advancing the art of American film, enlightening audiences, and shining a spotlight on notable figures who inspire us. He provides an insightful look at Hollywood's Golden Age and an insider's account of Washington spanning six decades, bringing to life a sparkling era of American history and culture.
5/11/2022

Keith Phipps celebrates the Age of Cage

Season 1, Ep. 55
Age of Cagemight be the closest we will get to understanding the singular beauty of each of Nic Cage’s always electric performances. You are holding the Rosetta Stone for Cage. Enjoy it.”—Paul Scheer, actor, writer and host of theHow Did This Get Made?andUnspooledpodcastsIcon. Celebrity. Artist. Madman. Genius.Nicolas Cage is many things, but love him, or laugh at him, there's no denying two things: you’ve seen one of his many films, and you certainly know his name. But who is he, really, and why has his career endured for over forty years, with more than a hundred films, and birthed a million memes?Age of Cageis a smart, beguiling book about the films of Nicolas Cage and the actor himself, as well as a sharp-eyed examination of the changes that have taken place in Hollywood over the course of his career. Critic and journalist Keith Phipps draws a portrait of the enigmatic icon by looking at—what else?—Cage’s expansive filmography.As Phipps delights in charting Cage’s films,Age of Cagealso chronicles the transformation of film, as Cage’s journey takes him through the world of 1980s comedies (Valley Girl,Peggy Sue Got Married, Moonstruck), to the indie films and blockbuster juggernauts of the 1990s (Wild at Heart,Leaving Las Vegas,Face/Off,Con Air), through the wild and unpredictable video-on-demand world of today.Sweeping in scope and intimate in its profile of a fiercely passionate artist,Age of Cageis, like the man himself, surprising, insightful, funny, and one of a kind. So, snap out of it, and enjoy this appreciation of Nicolas Cage, national treasure.
4/27/2022

Matthew Page Gets Biblical

Season 1, Ep. 53
John Bleasdale talks to Matthew Page about his new book 100 Bible Films.FromThe Passion of the ChristtoLife of Brian, and fromThe Ten CommandmentstoLast Temptation of Christ, filmmakers have been adapting the stories of the Bible for over 120 years, from first time the Höritz Passion Play was filmed in the Czech Republic back in 1897. Ever since, these stories have inspired musicals, comedies, sci-fi, surrealist visions and the avant garde not to mention spawning their own genre, the biblical epic. Filmmakers across six continents and from all kinds of religious perspectives (or none at all), have adapted the greatest stories ever told, delighting some and infuriating others.100 Bible Filmsis the indispensible guide to this wide and varied output, providing an authoritative but accessible history of biblical adaptations through one hundred of the most interesting and significant biblical films. Richly illustrated with film stills, this book depicts how such films have undertaken a complex negotiation between art, commerce, entertainment and religion.Matthew Page traces the screen history of the biblical stories from the very earliest silent passion plays, via the golden ages of the biblical epic, through to more innovative and controversial later films as well as covering significant TV adaptations. He discusses films made not only by some of our greatest filmmakers, artists such as Martin Scorsese, Jean Luc Godard, Alice Guy, Roberto Rossellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Lotte Reiniger, Carl Dreyer and Luis Buñuel, but also those looking to explore their faith or share it with lovers of cinema the world over.