Beyond the Epic: The Life and Films of David Lean

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9780813124155: Beyond the Epic: The Life and Films of David Lean

Two-time Academy Award winner Sir David Lean (1908–1991) was one of the most prominent directors of the twentieth century, responsible for the classics The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), and Doctor Zhivago (1965). British-born Lean asserted himself in Hollywood as a major filmmaker with his epic storytelling and panoramic visions of history, but he started out as a talented film editor and director in Great Britain. As a result, he brought an art-house mentality to blockbuster films. Combining elements of biography and film criticism, Beyond the Epic: The Life and Films of David Lean uses screenplays and production histories to assess Lean's body of work. Author Gene D. Phillips interviews actors who worked with Lean and directors who knew him, and their comments reveal new details about the director's life and career. Phillips also explores Lean's lesser-studied films, such as The Passionate Friends (1949), Hobson's Choice (1954), and Summertime (1955). The result is an in-depth examination of the director in cultural, historical, and cinematic contexts. Lean's approach to filmmaking was far different than that of many of his contemporaries. He chose his films carefully and, as a result, directed only sixteen films in a period of more than forty years. Those films, however, have become some of the landmarks of motion-picture history. Lean is best known for his epics, but Phillips also focuses on Lean's successful adaptations of famous works of literature, including retellings of plays such as Brief Encounter (1945) and novels such as Great Expectations (1946), Oliver Twist (1948), and A Passage to India (1984). From expansive studies of war and strife to some of literature's greatest high comedies and domestic dramas, Lean imbued all of his films with his unique creative vision. Few directors can match Lean's ability to combine narrative sweep and psychological detail, and Phillips goes beyond Lean's epics to reveal this unifying characteristic in the director's body of work. Beyond the Epic is a vital assessment of a great director's artistic process and his place in the film industry.

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About the Author:

Gene D. Phillips is a professor of film history and modern literature at Loyola University. He is the author of numerous books, including Creatures of Darkness: Raymond Chandler, Detective Fiction, and Film Noir and Godfather: The Intimate Francis Ford Coppola.

Review:

"For admirers of storytelling on a vast canvas, and of an old master, Phillip's study is an overdue pleasure."―Hollywood Reporter

"I found it hard to stop reading. I was impressed that Gene Phillips had spoken to so many of the people in the Lean circle. His enthusiasm for the films comes through strongly."―Kevin Brownlow, author of David Lean: A Biography

"Gene Phillips provides the final word"―Lester Keyser, author of Hollywood in the Seventies

"An entertaining, in-depth look at Sir David's life and diverse career. . . . A welcome addition."―Library Journal

"An entertaining, in-depth look at Sir David's life and diverse career."―Library Journal

"Phillips brings out the person, the immense talent, and the consummate skills of the director."―Midwest Book Review

"[Gives] its subject a thorough treatment."―San Antonio Current, Armchair Cinephile

"It's a step forward... for the legacy of the man who created The Bridge on the River Kwai , A Passage to India , and Lawrence of Arabia , 'the greatest film ever made.'"―The Week

"It takes a great author to write about a great film director. In Beyond the Epic: The Life and Films of David Lean Gene Phillips matches the excellence and meticulous artistic care Lean brought to the cinema. Utilizing biography, analysis, criticism, historical background, journalistic reporting, and the inner-workings of the moviemake process, Phillips totally captures the total filmmaker. David Lean was a towering genius who demanded emotional and physical perfection as well as the freedom to make his human epics. Gene Phillips is a writer with wisdom, tenacity and the ability to write in the spirit of his subject. Reading Beyond the Epic: The Life and Films of David Lean is like watching a David Lean film. Phillips takes us on a journey to a place beyond the formalities of filmmaking into the heart of the artistic process itself and into the soul of a true cinema artist. The result is beyond definitive and approaches the inner secrets of why movies are both magical and life altering."―Vincent LoBrutto, author of Stanley Kubrick: A Biography and Becoming Film L

"[Phillips] offers an in-depth examination of prominent filmmaker David Lean."―Partners

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Book Description The University Press of Kentucky, United States, 2006. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Two-time Academy Award winner, Sir David Lean (1908-1991) was a prominent director in the world of twentieth-century cinema, responsible for such classics as The Bridge on the River Kwai , Doctor Zhivago , and Lawrence of Arabia . British-born Lean asserted himself in Hollywood as a major artistic voice with his epic storytelling and panoramic depictions of history, but he was also a highly skilled film editor in Great Britain before he became a director who brought an art-house sensibility to big-market films. Lean s approach to filmmaking was far different from that of his contemporaries. He carefully chose his projects and, as a result, directed only sixteen films in a span of more than forty years. Those films, however, are some of the landmarks of motion-picture history. In addition to his epics, Lean also made adaptations of well-known novels, including Great Expectations , Oliver Twist , and A Passage to India , and plays, including Brief Encounter . Using elements of both biography and film criticism, author Gene D. Phillips examines the screenplays and production histories central to Lean s body of work and interviews actors and directors who worked with Lean. Phillips also explores Lean s lesser-studied films, such as The Passionate Friends , unearthing new details. This in-depth examination of Lean in a cultural, historic, and cinematic context makes Beyond the Epic truly unique - a vital assessment of a great director s artistic process and his place in an evolving film industry. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780813124155

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Book Description The University Press of Kentucky, United States, 2006. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Two-time Academy Award winner, Sir David Lean (1908-1991) was a prominent director in the world of twentieth-century cinema, responsible for such classics as The Bridge on the River Kwai , Doctor Zhivago , and Lawrence of Arabia . British-born Lean asserted himself in Hollywood as a major artistic voice with his epic storytelling and panoramic depictions of history, but he was also a highly skilled film editor in Great Britain before he became a director who brought an art-house sensibility to big-market films. Lean s approach to filmmaking was far different from that of his contemporaries. He carefully chose his projects and, as a result, directed only sixteen films in a span of more than forty years. Those films, however, are some of the landmarks of motion-picture history. In addition to his epics, Lean also made adaptations of well-known novels, including Great Expectations , Oliver Twist , and A Passage to India , and plays, including Brief Encounter . Using elements of both biography and film criticism, author Gene D. Phillips examines the screenplays and production histories central to Lean s body of work and interviews actors and directors who worked with Lean. Phillips also explores Lean s lesser-studied films, such as The Passionate Friends , unearthing new details. This in-depth examination of Lean in a cultural, historic, and cinematic context makes Beyond the Epic truly unique - a vital assessment of a great director s artistic process and his place in an evolving film industry. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780813124155

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