Film Books for Hamptons International Film Festival

Whether you are an aficionado of The Godfather or Disney princesses, live for such classics as The Maltese Falcon or make sure you’re the first person to get tickets for the newest explosion-laden action flick, the movie lover in us all could find no better place to be than the Hamptons right now. The spirit of silver-screen magic is very much in the air as we welcome the 20th Hamptons International Film Festival, and our friends at Books & Books in Westhampton Beach celebrate that spirit with a cinema-centric selection of must-read books for film fans of every type.

Spencer Tracy: a Biography by James Curtis

Known by Frank Sinatra as “The Gray Fox” and by other actors as “The Pope” from his roles in Boys Town, Inherit the Wind, and Bay Day at Black Rock, Spencer Tracy was seen as a pillar of strength. He also shined in his comedic roles opposite Katherine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. In this distinguished biography, Curtis writes of Tracy’s career, Catholicism, devoted marriage, heavy drinking and the 26-year bond with Katherine Hepburn, drawn from personal writing and the tales from his daughter. Follow Tracy from his success on Broadway, Fox Film, Metro-Goldwyn Mayer and through his series of affairs with his co-stars.

John Huston: Courage and Art by Jeffrey Meyers

An actor in the 1920s and scriptwriter in the 1930s, Huston made his directorial debut in 1941 with The Maltese Falcon. His filmmaking career spanned 57 years, yielding 37 feature films. In this dramatic biography, Meyers tells of a nomadic life and the rise of a great masculine artist in the tradition of Melville, Conrad and Hemingway. He focuses on Huston’s amazing ability to turn written word into cinematic image and the repeating theme in his works of the almost-impossible quest. Based on Huston’s personal and professional archives, interviews with his children, friends and colleagues, this is a courageous story of a deeply artistic man.

 The Age of Movies: Selected Writings of Pauline Kael by Pauline Kael

A regular film reviewer for The New Yorker between 1968 and 1991, Kael shaped the tastes of a generation with her gift for capturing the essence of an actor’s gesture or a cinematic image. She noted films to be “the most total and encompassing art form we have.” This thought process allowed her to consider both the film and the world it engages. The Age of Movies is the first new selection in more than a generation, and is sure to sweep the reader into a revealing and entertaining dialogue with Kael at her best. The collection includes her appraisals of Bonnie and Clyde, The Godfather and Last Tango in Paris.

Akira Kurosawa: Master of Cinema by Peter Cowie

Arguably the greatest of all Japanese film directors, Kurosawa is respected around the world as one of the masters of his art form. This is the first illustrated book, produced for the centennial of his birth, with more than two hundred images, many never before published. It includes annotated script pages, sketches and storyboards that reveal the meticulous craft behind his genius. Cowie examines how Kurosawa took the samurai genre to its pinnacle, his literary influences and his take on the modern world.

The Art of Walt Disney: From Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdoms and Beyond by Christopher Finch

First published in 1973, The Art of Walt Disney was the first to reveal the wealth of concept art, animation drawings and archival material created when making animated films. In the newly revised edition, each chapter has been reworked to incorporate the achievements of The Walt Disney Company in filmmaking, theater and theme parks, and includes new chapters on Pixar Animation Studio and Walt Disney Animation. In addition, there are interviews with John Lasseter, chief creative officer, and Ed Catmull, president. This book will capture the heart and imagination of Disney fans, young and old.

Leonard Maltin’s 2013 Movie Guide: The Modern Era by Leonard Maltin

From summer blockbusters to independent sleepers, from the masterworks of Hitchcock to the timeless comedy of the Marx Brothers, from animated classics of Walt Disney to the finest foreign films, this 2013 edition covers the modern era, from 1965 to the present. This must-have guide for movie buffs includes all the greats—from box-office smashes to cult classics—listed alphabetically with date of release, running time, director, summary, updated index of leading actors and up-to-date list of mail-order and online sources for buying and renting. It also includes Leonard’s personal list of 50 notable features.

To find these and other great books during the Hamptons International Film Festival…and any other time…visit Books & Books at 130 Main Street in Westhampton Beach or online at

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