The Film That Changed My Life

The Film That Changed My Life
The Film That Changed My Life

The Film That Changed My Life

30 Directors on Their Epiphanies in the Dark
By Robert K. Elder


304 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF, Trade Paper

EPUB, $9.99 (US $9.99) (CA $12.99)

ISBN 9781569768280

Rights: US, CA, AU, NZ & UK

Chicago Review Press (Jan 2011)


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Critical discussions about cinematic influence

Spanning several generations—from newcomers to Oscar Award-winning veterans—this volume features a discussion of the movies that shaped the careers of these filmmakers and, in turn, cinema history. Here directors, including Peter Bogdanovich, Kimberly Peirce, Arthur Hiller, and John Waters, explore the film they saw at an especially formative moment, how it influenced their own work—or, in some cases, led them to tell stories through movies themselves—and the effects it had on their thoughts about cinema. Revealing stories include how after watching Rebel Without a Cause, John Woo started combing his hair like James Dean and even began talking like him; Apocalypse Now inspired Danny Boyle to take risks and make larger-than-life films; and a line in The Wizard of Oz—"Who could ever have thought a good little girl like you could destroy all my beautiful wickedness?"—has become almost a personal mantra or prayer for John Waters.


"If you love films, and care about filmmakers, you’ll have a hard time putting this book down once you dive in."  —Leonard Maltin

"Elder has done us all a favor: Read this book, then go to your video store or to Netflix and see for yourself why these movies made the cut!"  —Lawrence Grobel, author, Al Pacino: in Conversation and The Art of the Interview

“A great and provocative read. The wonderful thing about being a critic or a lifelong movie lover is that life changes all the time in relation to the spells being cast on the screen. Elder’s book honors that alchemic relationship many times over. It’s addictive.” —Michael Phillips, film critic, Chicago Tribune

Author Biography

Robert K. Elder is a film columnist, a journalist, and the author of John Woo: Interviews and Last Words of the Executed. He has contributed to publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and He lives in Chicago.