Synopses & Reviews
is a treasure, essential for any lover or student of film, and a rare, intimate glimpse into the worlds of two accomplished artists who share a great passion for film and storytelling, and whose knowledge and love of the crafts of writing and film shine through.
It was on the set of the movie adaptation of his Booker Prize-winning novel, The English Patient, that Michael Ondaatje met the master film and sound editor Walter Murch, and the two began a remarkable personal conversation about the making of films and books in our time that continued over two years. From those conversations stemmed this enlightened, affectionate book a mine of wonderful, surprising observations and information about editing, writing and literature, music and sound, the I-Ching, dreams, art and history.
The Conversations is filled with stories about how some of the most important movies of the last thirty years were made and about the people who brought them to the screen. It traces the artistic growth of Murch, as well as his friends and contemporaries including directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Fred Zinneman and Anthony Minghella from the creation of the independent, anti-Hollywood Zoetrope by a handful of brilliant, bearded young men to the recent triumph of Apocalypse Now Redux.
Among the films Murch has worked on are American Graffiti, The Conversation, the remake of A Touch of Evil, Julia, Apocalypse Now, The Godfather (all three), The Talented Mr. Ripley, and The English Patient.
"These conversations allow readers a peek behind the curtain to reveal a man as mysterious as his art." Carlos Orellana, Booklist
"Immensely stimulating....This book should be required reading for anyone working in film and a pleasurable option for moviegoers who wish to deepen and enrich the experience." John Boorman, The Los Angeles Times
"Here's one of the more interesting cross-disciplinary meetings of minds to hit book form in some time....[T]his is compulsive and compulsory reading for anyone in film school or interested in film history." NOW
"It's not often that a quick read provides so much insight." The Ottawa Citizen
"It is the movie book of the season, in fact, the movie book for every season....What the book sparks, aside from rarely probed thoughts about editing, is a desire to see again the movies Murch has edited and to do this at home hand in hand with reading it." The Toronto Star
From the author of "Anil's Ghost" come conversations with the Academy Award-winning film and sound editor, Walter Murch--a rare glimpse into the minds of two of the most creative figures of our time.
About the Author
Michael Ondaatje is the author of four previous novels, a memoir, and eleven books of poetry. His most recent novel, Anil's Ghost
, won the Governor General's Award, the Giller Prize, the Prix Medicis, and the Irish Times
Literature Prize. Born in Sri Lanka, he came to Canada in 1963 and apart from his books has made two documentary films. He lives in Toronto.
Walter Murch, a film and sound editor, has won three Academy Awards. He lives outside San Francisco.