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"A Killer Life: How an Independent Film Producer Survives Deals and Disasters in Hollywood and Beyond" Christine Vachon w/Austin Bunn

Vachon's book was published in 2006 so it does not deal with her recent successes "First Reformed", "Wonderstruck" and "Beatriz at Dinner". Those titles do, however, give an idea about the kind of film that Vachon is passionate about making. She says, "I love the fact that a movie can still come out of left field...I'm convinced audiences will continue to meet me out there, along with bold, compelling directors and writers and actors." Vachon gives detailed info regarding independent production and the day-to-day tasks required to bring a story to the screen. Vachon has worked with directors Todd Haynes, Mary Harron, and Todd Solondz on numerous occasions, as well as actress Julianne Moore. Insights into their careers and Vachon's experiences at film festivals like Cannes and Sundance are interspersed with her advice to aspiring filmmakers. Anyone interested in independent film will find this book a rewarding read.


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Actor Gabriel Byrne published a new memoir last week titled "Walking with Ghosts". I think it ranks with Sterling Hayden's "Wanderer" as one of the best books by an actor. I review "Walking with Ghosts" in my January 23rd newsletter. Here is the link.Walking with Ghosts Book Review


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In 2011, actor James Garner published his memoir "The Garner Files". Garner's early life is the most startling: his mother died when he was four, his stepmother physically abused him for years, his father abandoned the family when Garner was just fourteen. He did odd jobs, slept at friends' houses, and generally drifted without purpose until he was drafted during the Korean War.

Garner never took acting classes or attended film school. He says his life experiences were the best training for his screen performances - an insight with which I agree.

Garner isn't a writer and doesn't pretend to be. Jon Winokur is credited as the co-writer and the style is conversational - Garner just riffing on his life. Along the way, he does reveal some fun film trivia. Part of his costume for the television series "Maverick" came from Errol Flynn's old wardrobe. The book is a quick read and recommended for any Garner fan.


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