My Life in Film
This is Wajda's own account of his development from an "incredibly naive young man" to a politically aware and sophisticated director of international importance. He writes about the practicalities and pitalls of film making, illustrating his theory with examples from his own films including "Ashes and Diamonds", "Kanal" and "Danton".
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What Reviewers Are Saying
The famed Polish director of Ashes and Diamonds, Kanai, Man of Iron, and many other films outlines his approach to filmmaking and suggests the spirit that gives life to his work. Wajda writes clearly and modestly about being present at the beginning of filmmaking in Poland, where the art/industry is still under state control. He addresses his book to the young people of countries where there is "a desire for an indigenous cinema that would depict and accurately portray the life-style of that country, with all its joys, conflicts, and concerns" - a purpose misty and dullish. Among the subjects in his short-take chapters are getting the original idea, finding the subject in a script, the art of dialogue, casting and inspiration, the uses of accident, set decoration, costumes, camaraderie on the set, lighting, alcohol and the sober camera, editing, sound postsynchronization, changing styles in background music, censorship, and the premiere. About all of these things Wajda has a hands-on practicality and sense of wonder - especially rewarding in his talk about the pared-down script whose dialogue does the talking and about keeping his fingers off the actors. Presold for film buffs, always interesting, never exhilarating. (Kirkus Reviews)