Filmmakers on Film: How They Create, Craft and Communicate

As David Jenkins, editor of the film journal Little White Lies, notes in his introduction to Filmmakers on Film: How They Create, Craft and Communicate, directors have to be a lot of things to make a great film: poets, musicians, photographers, novelists, actors and more. This book, "a celebration of professional multi-hyphenates across the last century and a small fraction of the new one," highlights 50 directors Jenkins loves. For each, Jenkins answers the question, "What makes this filmmaker exceptional?"

In facing pages, Jenkins presents a paragraph about each director next to a still photo from one of their films. Interviews with some of the filmmakers are interspersed throughout the book. Jenkins, to his credit, has compiled a diverse collection of artists, including many women, people of color and directors from places other than the U.S. and Europe. Along with familiar names such as Godard, Hitchcock and Scorsese are the likes of Argentinian Lucrecia Martel, whose four films "zero in on protagonists who are largely blind to the world in which they are cocooned," and Abderrahmane Sissako of Mauritania, who "employs film as an illustrative medium for private quandaries" of the people of Africa. There are also entries for the dreamlike films of Thailand's Apichatpong Weerasethakul and the "lightly warped but always discernible impression of messy reality" in the work of Britain's Joanna Hogg. The result is an excellent introduction to some of the world's greatest and most provocative filmmakers. --Michael Magras, freelance book reviewer

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