Synopses & Reviews
Featuring insights...analysis...great films and filmmakers from "the most-sought-after screenwriting teacher in the world" (The Hollywood Reporter
A life in film. An extraordinary career. An unforgettable story from noted lecturer, teacher, and bestselling author Syd Field.
What makes a great movie great?...An actor legendary?...A screenplay extraordinary or just ordinary?
Syd Field has spent a lifetime seeking answers to these questions. His bestselling books on the art and craft of screenwriting have become the film industry's gold standard.
Now Syd Field tells his own remarkable story, sharing the insight and experience gleaned from an extraordinary career. Using classic movies from the past and present from Orson Welles's Citizen Kane to Andy and Larry Wachowski's The Matrix Field provides a guided tour of the basic elements common to all great films.
Learn what makes La Grande Illusion a groundbreaking, timeless classic...how Casablanca teaches one of the most important elements of creating memorable characters for the screen...why Pulp Fiction might be one of the most influential films of our time.
Discover the legendary filmmakers, films, and stars who shaped Field's understanding of the medium....Meet Jean Renoir, the great French director who steered his young Berkeley protégé away from medicine into film....Watch a dazzling young Francis Ford Coppola as he directs his thesis film at UCLA....Spend an amazing summer with Sam Peckinpah as he shares the screenwriting techniques behind his classic western The Wild Bunch.
Rich in anecdote and insight, Going to the Movies will both entertain and inform, deepening every moviegoer's appreciation of the magic behind the silver screen.
"Often deliver[s] fascinating, miscellaneous bits of information....Although cloaked in modesty, his illuminating, consistently entertaining memoir displays enough wit, intelligence and empathy to inspire a host of great films." Publishers Weekly
"I based Like Water for Chocolate on what I learned in Syd's books. Before, I always felt structure imprisoned me, but what I learned was structure really freed me to focus on the story." Laura Esquivel, author of Like Water for Chocolate
"Field's passion for cinema shines throughout, and it helps to propel readers through encounters with a variety of types of film. The end result will likely please movie buffs..." Library Journal
"No one sees films quite the way Field does. An engineer's report on film construction and the view of an original thinker worth appreciating." Kirkus Reviews
"[W]hat really makes this book is how well [Field] conducts us on his journey from confused college student...to Hollywood professional and friend to such luminaries as directors Jean Renoir and Sam Peckinpah." Booklist
About the Author
Syd Field is the internationally acclaimed screenwriter, producer, teacher, lecturer, and author of the bestselling books Screenplay, Selling a Screenplay, The Screenwriter's Workbook, Four Screenplays, and The Screenwriter's Problem Solver. Published in 1982, Screenplay has been translated into seventeen languages and is used in more than 350 colleges and universities across the country. At present he is creative consultant to the governments of Mexico, Argentina, Austria, and Brazil, and has been a script consultant for Roland Jaffe's film production company, 20th Century Fox, the Disney Studios, and Tri-Star Pictures. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.