Magazine article American Cinematographer

Talking Pictures with the People Who Made Them

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Talking Pictures with the People Who Made Them

Article excerpt

Talking Pictures With the People Who Made Them by Sylvia Shorris and Marion Abbott Bundy The New Press, cloth, 372 pps., $25

If you resent having had the "auteur" theory forcibly shoved down your esophagus for years, you should take heart in the increasing number of books that reflect an awareness that directors and actors aren't alone in the filmmaking process. One reassuring example is Talking Pictures, for which the authors interviewed 38 industry stalwarts who worked in the "Golden Age" of the studio system.

In a foreword, Robert Altman says that "For me, making films has always been about collaboration and surprise. The opinion of a grip, the eye of the editor, the experiment of the cameraman, and all the spontaneous things that happen within the filmmaking family add to the final artistic whole." These good words, from a director who worked his way up through the ranks of "below the line" people, echo throughout the book.

The ASC is well represented in excellent interviews with Al Keller (listed, for some reason, as "first assistant camera operator"), George Folsey and Lin Dunn. …

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