Enjoyable musings for film buffs

Movie buffs will appreciate Brian Beresford's book about film-making, writes Mike Crowl.

And other stories about a life in the arts
Brian Beresford
Text Publishing


This is a bit of a bitzer book, but enjoyable for film buffs. It consists of articles by Australian film director Brian Beresford on his parents, on film, film-making, film-makers, music and art. They were written over the  past 10 years or so, and some have been published elsewhere.

Beresford writes with skill and insight, humour and occasional terseness. Some of the best pieces are about his eccentric family, or his passion for the 1963 EH Holden, or his almost futile attempts to get a replacement passport for his son.

There are a number of delightful portraits of writers, such as playwright Horton Foote, artists  such as Jeffrey Smart and Margaret Olley (both names unknown to me previously, and which sent me  searching online to check out their paintings), producers such as Dino de Laurentiis, or fellow Australians such as Clive James.

And then there are the pieces that focus on the frustrations of getting a film financed — hence the book’s title — or on working with actors and technicians. Beresford has been fortunate to make movies with many top names in the film industry,  despite starting out with more enthusiasm than training in the industry. He’s directed some mediocre films (he admits this) and many excellent ones.

- Mike Crowl is a Dunedin author, musician and composer.

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