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Mat Whitecross's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Mat Whitecross recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Mat Whitecross's favorite book recommendations of all time.


Hitchcock. Edition définitive

En 1955, François Truffaut rencontre Alfred Hitchcock pour les Cahiers du cinéma. En 1962, Jules et Jim vient consacrer son talent de cinéaste et il prépare La peau douce (1964), de son aveu même le plus hitchcockien de ses films. Aux États-Unis, Hitchcock, avec Frenzy (1962), est au faîte de sa créativité et de son succès. Mais les critiques restent réticents.
Naît alors l'idée du «Hitchbook» : un livre dont Truffaut serait l'initiateur, le «provocateur» même, et qui révèlerait la vraie nature de l'homme, vulnérable, sensible, et aussi les secrets perdus que détiennent les grands...
Recommended by Darren Aronofsky, Mat Whitecross, and 2 others.

Darren AronofskyThis book is an amazing guide to Hitchcock’s thought process…Truffaut got Hitchcock to reveal a lot of the different techniques that he used to put together his monumental body of work. (Source)

Mat WhitecrossOne of the best books on film ever written. (Source)

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This Is Orson Welles

Innovative film and theater director, radio producer, actor, writer, painter, narrator, and magician, Orson Welles (1915–1985) was the last true Renaissance man of the twentieth century. From such great radio works as "War of the Worlds" to his cinematic masterpieces Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, Othello, Macbeth, Touch of Evil, and Chimes at Midnight, Welles was a master storyteller, as expansive as he was enigmatic. This Is Orson Welles, a collection of penetrating and witty conversations between Welles and Peter Bogdanovich, includes insights into... more
Recommended by Mat Whitecross, and 1 others.

Mat WhitecrossOrson Welles has always been my favourite director. I remember catching films of his late at night. One of the first films I saw of his was Touch of Evil; I had never seen anything like it. And the book is incredibly inspiring. He is sitting down with his friend Peter Bogdanovich, who is another great film director, and the two of them just talk about Orson Welles’s career. Welles is a great... (Source)

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The film-maker Robert Rodriguez describes how he made El Mariachi for $7000, demonstrating many ways in which a film-maker can do for nothing what professionals spend thousands of dollars doing without a second thought. less
Recommended by Mat Whitecross, and 1 others.

Mat WhitecrossYes, I remember growing up and really wanting to be a film-maker. I didn’t understand how films were made. There wasn’t a huge amount of information at the time. It seemed like an impossible dream to go off and become a director – there was no sure-fire route. There still isn’t. I remember going to the careers adviser at school and saying I want to be a director and he pretty much laughed at me... (Source)

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In her ground-breaking reporting from Iraq, Naomi Klein exposed how the trauma of invasion was being exploited to remake the country in the interest of foreign corporations. She called it "disaster capitalism." Covering Sri Lanka in the wake of the tsunami, and New Orleans post-Katrina, she witnessed something remarkably similar. People still reeling from catastrophe were being hit again, this time with economic "shock treatment" losing their land and homes to rapid-fire corporate makeovers. The Shock Doctrine retells the story of the most dominant ideology of our time, Milton Friedman's free... more

George MonbiotThe Shock Doctrine explains some of the mechanisms by which patrimonial capital acquires power and enhances its wealth. It’s a brilliant piece of work, and one of those rare books that changes the way you perceive the world. (Source)

Mat WhitecrossIt starts with the theory that moments of crisis have been utilised by the right wing in the US and other countries to manipulate people into following their agenda. (Source)

Donna DickensonNaomi Klein’s argument is that capitalism actually requires deliberately engineered shocks to the economic systems. (Source)

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The biography of the late, great self-made Essex lad, Ian Dury. For this book Dury co-operated with author Richard Balls who has produced a vivid portrait, illustrated with many photographs from private collections. less
Recommended by Mat Whitecross, and 1 others.

Mat WhitecrossThere is a new biography on Ian by Will Birch that came out last month, but when I started the film the only thing that was available was Richard’s book, which luckily is very good. It’s 500 pages and it goes into lots of details, which was difficult for me as a film-maker because we were trying to make a 110-minute film. So we decided to cherry pick moments from the biography. (Source)

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