Are you a film buff? If you love everything Hollywood and always want to get a glimpse behind the scenes, then historical books about film history are for you! From old Hollywood to how franchises like Star Wars changed movie history, there’s a book here for any film lover!
No matter what your film tastes might be, we hope you enjoy these books–preferably with a big bowl of popcorn!
by Shea Serrano
Illustrated by Arturo Torres
Movies (And Other Things) is an illustrated guide to...you guessed it! This is a really great book for people who love more contemporary film, as each of the thirty chapters is a fascinating dive into one film or franchise, posed as a question about that film, mostly from the last thirty years or so. This might appeal more to the pop film fan rather than the film scholar or film school graduate, but considering how fun, zany, and expansive it is, this book is entertaining for any modern movie lover who also appreciates great illustration!
by Chris Taylor
When the first Star Wars film was released in 1977, no one had any idea that it would go on to become one of the most lucrative franchises not just in film history, but in all culture. How Star Wars Conquered the Universe is full of fascinating facts that even some of the most diehard fans might not know--such as the fact that Star Wars merchandise outnumbers the population of Earth! This book follows how the kernel of an idea became a film, a trilogy, and then was revived to become the fandom we know today, with so many sidelines, offshoots, sequels, and prequels. This is perfect for Star Wars fans, and for readers who want to know how one film had such a big impact on the world.
by Robert Karen
When the Shooting Stops...The Cutting Begins is a punny title for this nonfiction book about one of the most underappreciacted and yet vital aspects of filmmaking: the editing process. Rosenblum and Roberts, a film editor and a journalist respectively, have written a book that's part exploration of the history of film editing and how the job works, and part personal story about Rosenblum's work on multiple classic Woody Allen films and other movies that have received great acclaim. You'll never think about how a movie is pieced together the same way again after reading this book!
Calling all film noir lovers! The Dark Side of the Screen takes a deep dive in the history of the genre, reaching back to the early days of Hollywood and looking at the elements that have defines the genre, such as murder, sex, betrayal, dread, and dark cityscapes, to the influential filmmakers and screenwriters who've contributed some of the best films to the canon. Packed full of illustrations, the book features over 100 films and is a great way to learn more about the genre and discover new movies to watch.
by Ann Hornaday
For a critical approach to film, Talking Pictures goes beyond what's popular or what you might find personally enjoyable to tell you about how movies are made, from first inception to premiere, and asks: What makes a movie good? While the answer to that question can certainly vary by personal preference, Hornaday seeks to discover how so many people can contribute to the development and success of a film, and how we as viewers can evaluate them and seek out the best movies. She also addresses the important issue of representation in the industry, and why it's so important to creating good movies.
For an up-close look at how things can go wrong in the production of a movie, pick up The Devil's Candy! Julie Salamon made a deal with director Brian De Palma to allow her to shadow the production of what everyone thought would be a hit film: the film adaptation of Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities. Instead, the movie turned out to be a disaster, from the very beginning all the way up until its release, where it was torn apart by critics. This is a fascinating look at the many variables in making movies, and how so much depends on everything falling into place.