It’s Oscars season again and a whopping five of this year’s nominees started out as best-selling novels. To be fair, the adapted screenplay category often serves as a reflection of some of the best movies of the year with historical tomes or novels serving as the creative starting points for award-winning filmmakers.
This year is certainly no different. While you could prepare for the Oscars by reading The Martian, Room, Carol (The Price of Salt), Brooklyn and The Revenant you could also take a slightly different trip down the red carpet…perhaps delve into the world of a movie critic, peek a glimpse at the history of film or even attempt to understand the mind of the director.
Here are our suggestions for the ultimate Oscars preparation.
Awake in the Dark: The Best of Roger Ebert by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert has been writing film reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times for nearly forty years. During those four decades, his wide knowledge, keen judgment, prodigious energy, and sharp sense of humor have made him America’s most celebrated film critic. This book covers many of his reviews, essays and interviews. While it is a celebration of film, it is also a celebration of how we have talked and written about film across the past four decades.
My First Movie, Take Two by Stephen Lowenstein
In these strikingly candid interviews, ten internationally acclaimed directors: Richard Linklater, Richard Kelly, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Takeshi Kitano, Shekhar Kapur, Émir Kusturica, Agnès Jaoui, Lukas Moodysson, Terry Gilliam, and Sam Mendes talk about the struggles and rewards of making their first film.
Each chapter is devoted to a particular director and his or her debut (Slacker, Donnie Darko, Amores Perros, Jabberwocky, and American Beauty among them) and reveals telling details about the inside story of the film-making process: from writing the script to raising the money, from casting actors to gathering the crew, from shooting to editing, and, finally, screening the film.
The Movie Book by Dorling Kindersley
This is another take on the history of film that showcases the impact of individual titles. Beautifully designed and packed with detailed information while staying a fun and straightforward read. A great place to look for movie classics to add to your ‘must-watch’ list.
The Story of Film: An Odyssey, by Mark Cousins
This is an unprecedented cinematic event, an epic journey through the history of world cinema that is a treat for movie lovers around the globe. Guided by film historian Mark Cousins, this bold 15-part love letter to the movies begins with the invention of motion pictures at the end of the 19th century and concludes with the multi-billion dollar globalised digital industry of the 21st.
Enjoy your reading and viewing.