Reading with Filmmakers

Invited into the home of any of the twentieth century’s most acclaimed filmmakers, most of us would make a beeline for their library. This is exactly what this series of volumes proposes to do: to take us on an intellectual tour of the personal libraries of cinema’s most enduring talents and to reveal the treasures hidden therein. These volumes will explore the bedside books and guiding authors of those towering figures of yore, many of whom also had a literary reputation or were witness to or participant in some of the century’s most momentous intellectual, artistic and political movements. While in many cases we will never know what treasures these libraries held, in others we are fortunate in that all or most of a filmmaker’s books have been preserved. There, we sense, the secrets to their complex film theories and intellectual world view lie, waiting to be unlocked. The volumes in this series will shed new light on their owners’ life and times and on the sources of some of their ideas and aesthetic practices.

Read sample entries from the Jean-Luc Godard, Sergei Eisenstein and Orson Welles volumes. Please visit their respective pages.

As readers we will enter these worlds in a more concrete and engaging way than is possible through conventional survey volumes on a body of films or theories, discovering or rediscovering along the way some of the minor and major publications of the world’s intellectual and artistic heritage. In an era before the Internet, these books mattered, and in these volumes they will come to matter to us, enabling specialists to fill in the gaps of their understanding of their subject’s intellectual tradition and students and general readers to discover unexpected new worlds.

Take a virtual tour of Sergei Eisenstein’s library. Please visit the Eisenstein page below.

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Titles in preparation: