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Reading about cinema

The long-standing allure of celebrity and the explosion in film studies as an academic subject which started in the mid 1960s have combined to produce a massive literature on cinema. Any good book shop will carry a wide selection of biographies, studies of genres and expositions of the work of particular directors, along with information about national cinematic movements. The brief list below is in no way representative of this huge body of work, but is provided as a starting point for those interested to learn more about movies, the people who make them and the wider cultural and social debates that continue to swirl around the industry.


The selection has some general interest and some more academic works.

Guy Austin - Contemporary French Cinema: an introduction (2nd ed.) (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2008)

Peter Biskind - Easy Riders Raging Bulls. How the sex 'n' drugs 'n' rock 'n' roll generation saved Hollywood (London: Bloomsbury, 1998)

Peter Biskind - Gods and Monsters. Thirty Years of Writing on Film and Culture (London: Bloomsbury, 2005)

David Clarke - German Cinema: since unification (London: Continuum, 2006)

Mark Cousins - The Story of Film (London: Pavilion, 2004)

Michael Coyne - Hollywood Goes to Washington. American Politics on Screen (London: Reaktion, 2008)

Stephen Farber and  Michael McClellan - Cinema '62: The Greatest Year at the Movies (New Brunswick; Rutgers University Press, 2020)

Neal Gabler - An Empire of Their Own. How The Jews Invented Hollywood (New York: Anchor Books, 1989)

Susan Hayward - French National Cinema (London: Routledge, 2005)

Charles Lyons - The New Censors. Movies and the Culture Wars (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1997)

Richard Maltby - Hollywood Cinema. Second Edition (Malden, Oxford: Blackwell, 2003)

Dennis McDougal - The Last Mogul. Lew Wasserman, MCA and the Hidden History of Hollywood (New York: Crown Publishers Inc., 1998)

Barry Norman - And Why Not? Memoirs of a Film Lover (London: Pocket Books, 2003)

​Homer Pettey - The Films of Costa-Garvas (Manchester: Manchester |University Press, 2020)

Ronny Regev - Working in Hollywood (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018)

Ian Scott and Henry Thompson - The Cinema of Oliver Stone (Manchester; Manchester University Press, 2016)

Harry Shapiro - Shooting Stars: Drugs, Hollywood and the Movies (London: Serpent's Tail, 2005)

David Sterritt (ed) - Jean-Luc Godard: Interviews (Jackson: University of Missisippi Press, 1998)

Robert Brent Toplin (ed) - Oliver Stone's USA. Film History and Controversy (Lawrence KS: University Press of Kansas, 2000)

Sam WassonThe Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood (New York: Flatiron Books, 2020)


The associated bibliographies will offer many more possibilities.

There are a number of book stores in the centre of Harrogate, including Books For All on Commercial Street, which offers a range of cinema related titles (the film books are upstairs).