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.
“Walter Murch is a true oddity in Hollywood. A genuine intellectual and renaissance man who appears wise and private at the centre of various temporary storms to do with film making and his whole generation of filmmakers. He knows, probably, where a lot of the bodies are buried.”
About the Author
Michael Ondaatje is an internationally acclaimed novelist and poet. He is the author of five novels, including Anils Ghost
, which won the Irish Times
International Award, The English Patient
won the Booker Prize, and In the Skin of a Lion. He has written a memoir, Running in the Family, and his books of poetry include Handwriting and The Cinnamon Peeler. He has also made two documentary films. He lives in Toronto.
Walter Murch is one of the great master craftsman of the film world a renowned film and
sound editor who has worked on many of the iconic films of our time, including The Godfather I-III, Apocalypse Now and Redux, American Graffiti, The Conversation, The English Patient, and most recently Cold Mountain, and won three Academy Awards. He is the author of In the Blink of an Eye, and is translating the poetry of Curzio Malaparte from Italian. He lives outside San Francisco.