Other books byKevin Brownlow
The Parade's Gone By
The magic of the silent screen, illuminated by the recollections of those who created it.
How It Happened Here
How It Happened Here tells the story of the making of a film and the subsequent reception that the film received and the controversy and alarm that it stirred up when it was first released. The film-makers were two teenagers (18 and 16) and they started out with no budget and a borrowed 16 mm camera. The project took 8 years to complete. Part of the book is a humorous and detailed account of how the boys overcame all the practical and financial hurdles of amateur film making and saw the project through to completion and national release. This in itself would qualify the book as a thoroughly entertaining read and a sound basis for a course in film making or media studies of any kind. But this was no ordinary film. Kevin and his co-director Andrew Mollo took as their theme the "what if?" idea of a conquered and occupied England, after a hypothetical defeat and invasion following the Dunkirk retreat.
The life and its biographer provide a landmark work on the cinema. Emerging from a childhood of nearly Dickensian darkness, David Lean found his great success as a director of the appropriately titled Great Expectations. There followed his legendary black-and-white films of the 1940s and his four-film movie collaboration with Noel Coward. Lean's 1955 film Summertime took him from England to the world of international moviemaking and the stunning series of spectacular color epics that would gain for his work twenty-seven Academy Awards and fifty-six Academy Award nominations. All are classics, including The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, and A Passage to India. Kevin Brownlow, a film editor in his own right and author of the seminal silent film trilogy initiated with The Parade's Gone By. . ., brings to Lean's biography an exhaustive knowledge of the art and the industry. One learns about the making of movies as realized by a master, but also of the highly personal costs of genius. The troubled Quaker family from which Lean came influenced his relationship with his son, his brother, and his six wives. Yet he showed in his work a deep understanding of humanity. The vastness of this scholarly and entertaining enterprise is augmented by sixteen pages of scenes from Lean's color films, thirty-two pages from his black-and-white movies, and throughout the text a vast number of photographs from his life and location work.
Abel Gance's Classic Film
When he was fifteen, Kevin Brownlow saw two reels of the 1927 Napoleon,and it changed his life. The film was more daring, both technically and artistically, than anything he had ever seen. How could it have been forgotten? Brownlow got in touch with the film's director and tracked down members of its cast and crew. He discovered that the making of the film was as much of an epic as the film itself. In 1967, he began an attempt to restore Napoleon.The work took years, but eventually Napoleonwas presented, with live orchestra, to a new generation, and, as one critic put it, it became "the measure for all other films, forever." This book tells the dramatic story of Napoleon's incredible revival and also serves as a wonderful introduction and companion to the film. * Contains free CD of Carl Davis' original score