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Steve R
07-27-2010, 12:09 AM
The Damned United - Brian Clough

Patton - Patton
Gods and Monsters- James Whale

BobG
07-27-2010, 12:22 AM
The Ghastly One: The Sex-Gore Netherworld of Filmmaker Andy Milligan by Jimmy McDonough

Matthew BB
07-27-2010, 12:46 AM
Pasolini Requiem by Barth David Scwartz
Phallic Frenzy-Ken Russell and his Films by Joseph Lanza; Russell's autobiography Altered States is also work checking out.

I have plenty of books entirely devoted to filmmakers like Ferarra, Schrader, Fulci, Bresson, Cronenberg, etc. More like collections of critical analysis.

Edit: I was under the impression that this was film people biographies that you're interested in. When I see Patton in the first post, I wondered how many sheets in the wind we are tonight, hehe.

Jon Houghton
07-27-2010, 01:18 AM
A Youth In Babylon--David F. Friedman
Alfred Hitchcock: A Life In Darkness And Light--Patrick McGilligan

Jon Houghton
07-27-2010, 01:19 AM
The Ghastly One: The Sex-Gore Netherworld of Filmmaker Andy Milligan by Jimmy McDonough

if it's as good as his bio on Russ Meyer, I can't wait to read it.

Garrett Sorensen
07-27-2010, 01:26 AM
I second the Andy Milligan book.

I also found that as a collection of biographies The Golden Girls of MGM was wonderfully smutty. They should make a film out of the Jeanette MacDonald chapter, even if it isn't true.

My wife seemed to enjoy the recent one by Cybill Shephard. I mean sex with Elvis, another threesome later and ruining a great director's career must be somewhat readable.

Troy Howarth
07-27-2010, 08:17 AM
Dark Carnival (about Tod Browning) by David Skal

Richard Schmidt
07-27-2010, 09:03 AM
All His Jazz: The Life And Death Of Bob Fosse
Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness

Isaac K.
07-27-2010, 09:04 AM
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Troy Howarth
07-27-2010, 09:55 AM
Sergio Leone by Sir Christopher Frayling

Alyss N.
07-27-2010, 10:11 AM
Not sure if this thread is asking for biographies in any form of media (as if it were just for books I would figure it would be in the book forum...), but I really enjoyed the History Channel biography "How Bruce Lee Changed the World."

John W..
07-27-2010, 10:43 AM
Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast by Patrick McGilligan
Ava Gardner: Love Is Nothing by Lee Server
Robert Mitchum: Baby, I Don't Care also by Lee Server

Troy Howarth
07-27-2010, 10:45 AM
McGilligan's book on Lang is a good one. It took some heat for being a little harsh towards its subject, but let's face it: Lang was no saint.

Steve R
07-27-2010, 10:52 AM
Well, what I had in mind was movies, not documentaries, made about real people. Biopics. Historical figures. Famous people or people who were interesting.
I had just seen The Damned United which was a brilliant character study of one of the most famous, successful soccer coaches in England.
I thought how different it was than say those early Warner Brothers films like Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet, or Young Mr. Lincoln, My Darling Clementine.


So a film like
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, was what I had in mind.

Or really any narrative movie that you thought was a creative and interesting take on someone's life, the impact they made.
That kind of thing. So any films come to mind like that? Sorry for not being more clear.

BobG
07-27-2010, 11:02 AM
Well, what I had in mind was movies, not documentaries, made about real people.

Oh! That's what you meant... I knew it all the time :D

Two of my favotites are Young Mr. Lincoln and I'm Not There (about somebody who might be Bob Dylan).

I also liked Oliver Stone's Nixon more than I thought I would.

Troy Howarth
07-27-2010, 11:17 AM
Ah... I'm not huge on the filmed biography, but some that come to mind:

The Aviator (about Howard Hughes)
Nixon
Capote
Gods and Monsters (though it plays extremely fast and loose with the facts)
Ed Wood (ditto - I almost hesitate to classify it as bio, as it's more of a fantasy, really)

RichardDoyle
07-27-2010, 04:19 PM
Andrei Rublev
Birdman of Alcatraz
Goodfellas
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
Lawrence of Arabia
My Left Foot
Raging Bull

John G.
07-27-2010, 04:38 PM
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
Beat me to it! One of Herzog's best.

Troy Howarth
07-27-2010, 04:39 PM
Can't BELIEVE I didn't think to include Raging Bull or Kaspar Hauser.... I've never thought of Goodfellas (or Casino, for that matter) in that context, but I guess a good case could be made...

John G.
07-27-2010, 04:43 PM
Caligula (1979)
Danton (1983)

The former for, of course, obvious reasons, that latter because it's an absorbing period piece during the French Revolution and the Criterion DVD is spectacular.

Jonathan Douglas
07-27-2010, 05:20 PM
The books "Dwight Frye's Last Laugh" about you know who, and "Fearing The Dark" about Val Lewton are both top biographies.

Steve R
07-27-2010, 05:27 PM
Lawrence of Arabia, Goodfellas - well said, Richard!

Citizen Kane
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Bonnie and Clyde
Phar Lap (Australian race horse)
Buddy Holly Story
Elvis (John Carpenter, Kurt Russell)

RichardDoyle
07-27-2010, 05:39 PM
Caligula (1979)
Danton (1983)

The former for, of course, obvious reasons, that latter because it's an absorbing period piece during the French Revolution and the Criterion DVD is spectacular.

Oh, I haven't seen "Danton" since the 1980's. I must revisit that.

Troy Howarth
07-27-2010, 07:49 PM
Would you really count Citizen Kane, though? It's not REALLY about a real person, though it has definite parallels to William Randolph Hearst.

Steve R
07-27-2010, 10:00 PM
Kane is "about" William Randolph Hurst via Orson Welles. Tha parallels were close enough to drive Hurst right up the wall. I do think the film transcends the simple biopic, yes. But that is the framework that Welles chose to work in. He hung the moon, so to speak, on that man's story. You are right in that it would not be a prime research tool into the man's life, but it sure as hell gives you something to think about...Rosebud.

You saw that film about the making of Kane, RKO 281? The Rosebud story if its true and it certainly seems so, goes a long way toward explaining why Hurst was so pissed off.

Steve R
07-27-2010, 10:01 PM
Samurai I, II, III

Troy Howarth
07-27-2010, 10:04 PM
Kane is "about" William Randolph Hurst via Orson Welles. Tha parallels were close enough to drive Hurst right up the wall. I do think the film transcends the simple biopic, yes. But that is the framework that Welles chose to work in. He hung the moon, so to speak, on that man's story. You are right in that it would not be a prime research tool into the man's life, but it sure as hell gives you something to think about...Rosebud.

You saw that film about the making of Kane, RKO 281? The Rosebud story if its true and it certainly seems so, goes a long way toward explaining why Hurst was so pissed off.

Welles was always insistent, though, that Hearst read too much into it, that he wasn't intending it to be a disguised bio. Given that Welles loved to tweak authority, I'm inclined to believe he was serious in this - it certainly would have played into his methodology to own up to it and even be proud of it. I've never seen RKO 281, but it's an old piece of Hollywood lore that Hearst dubbed his mistress' genitalia "rosebud." I don't know that it's really true, though. Ultimately, Kane's a remarkable movie, but I can't agree that it's a biopic. :)

Steve R
07-27-2010, 10:13 PM
You'd enjoy RKO 281, gives some due credit to Mankiewicz (sp).

I'll concede that Kane is many others things before it is a biopic. And it's really more the rep and persona of WRH that Welles plays with. The legend is likely what fascinated him more than the actual details. Now I've talked myself out of my own point.

Oh well, it gets some class into the thread. Its Summer, gotta boost the ratings around here sometimes.

Troy Howarth
07-27-2010, 10:15 PM
Right you are! And hey - no problem if you choose to view it as a biopic... I was just saying I don't view it that way, myself. Now you mentioned Carpenter's Elvis, the only JC film I haven't seen. I have the new DVD, though, so that WILL be corrected - but I admit: I am neither a fan of Elvis' music, nor of the whole "mystique" that enshrouds his legacy.

Wyatt Doyle
07-27-2010, 10:28 PM
AMERICAN SPLENDOR
BECKET
A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS
MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON
PRICK UP YOUR EARS

There's not a lot of love for it - and I guess on one hand I understand why - but GREAT BALLS OF FIRE (the movie) was something I dug as a live-action cartoon. Real "print the legend" filmmaking.

How about veiled autobiographies ALL THAT JAZZ and 8 1/2?

Matthew BB
07-28-2010, 01:10 AM
Not a masterpiece, but I think THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PETER SELLERS is definitely worth a look.

Considering my tastes, you would think that I'd have at least some admiration for CALIGULA. Aside from the set design, I don't.

Daniel S.S.
07-28-2010, 07:15 AM
Not a biopic in the truest sense but Immortal Beloved (Beethoven) is so damn good I recommend it to everyone I talk films with.

Along a similar vein would be Quills (Marquis de Sade). Make a pretty sweet (but fairly intense) double feature now I think of it.

Troy Howarth
07-28-2010, 08:23 AM
I wouldn't count 8 1/2 - the similarities between Marcello and Fellini are there, but they're a little too tenuous for me to feel comfortable viewing it in a literal manner. All That Jazz is probably nearer to the mark, IMO.

John G.
07-28-2010, 08:55 AM
MOMMIE DEAREST is pretty indespensible for trash-masquerading-as-bio. :)

Troy Howarth
07-28-2010, 09:52 AM
John, Three - THREE -pages in and no Ken Russell biopics? :D

John W..
07-28-2010, 10:31 AM
Donnie Brasco for entertainment value, not necessarily authenticity.
32 Short Films About Glenn Gould - impressionistic, but beautiful.
Edvard Munch - great picture from Peter Watkins.
Impromptu - about the George Sand/Chopin romance - once again, watch it for the entertainment value if nothing else.

Brian Lindsey
07-28-2010, 10:32 AM
I'll toss in a favorable nod for the 2003 TV miniseries Napoleon -- the most expensive Euro-produced miniseries to date. Shot twice (in French, then English), the English version was run on A&E.

Sumptuous production design/costuming and location shooting at many of the actual historical sites (such as Malmaison & Longwood) really elevate it in my eyes. Also, it's very faithful to the real history.

The major downside: Not enough money to convincingly stage the big battles (which would've required thousands & thousands of costumed extras). It tries to mask this inadequacy by reducing much of the combat to only what Bonaparte could see through his field telescope.

Isabella Rosselini is a bit long in the tooth for the role of Josephine -- who was, in reality, older than Nappy -- but she's very good nonetheless.

I've heard that the French language version is superior but only the English version is available on DVD.

John G.
07-28-2010, 10:52 AM
John, Three - THREE -pages in and no Ken Russell biopics? :D
I didn't want to lapse into self-parody. ;)

Troy Howarth
07-28-2010, 10:57 AM
Come on.. you know you want to toss in some Lisztomania... or at least be semi-respectable and go with Mahler.

Troy Howarth
07-28-2010, 10:59 AM
I'll toss in a favorable nod for the 2003 TV miniseries Napoleon -- the most expensive Euro-produced miniseries to date. Shot twice (in French, then English), the English version was run on A&E.

Sumptuous production design/costuming and location shooting at many of the actual historical sites (such as Malmaison & Longwood) really elevate it in my eyes. Also, it's very faithful to the real history.

The major downside: Not enough money to convincingly stage the big battles (which would've required thousands & thousands of costumed extras). It tries to mask this inadequacy by reducing much of the combat to only what Bonaparte could see through his field telescope.

Isabella Rosselini is a bit long in the tooth for the role of Josephine -- who was, in reality, older than Nappy -- but she's very good nonetheless.

I've heard that the French language version is superior but only the English version is available on DVD.

How I wish Kubrick would have been able to get his Napoleon film off the ground. He did MASSIVE research - he told people he wanted to have every day of the man's life accounted for, or as much as humanly possible - and had actors in mind (Ian Holm or David Hemmings if it had to be an Englishman; Jack Nicholson if he was allowed to go with an American) but the failure of Barry Lyndon did it in....

Steve R
07-28-2010, 01:26 PM
Without Limits - Billy Crudup is excellent as track runner Prefontaine. Donald Sutherland plays his coach who invents a well known athletic sneaker