By Sidney Lumet
Barely does a book fully live up to the promise of its title, but Lumet’s memoir-cum-manual tells us in vivid and splendid detail how he does what he does. Broken down into nuts and bolts chapters on the principal roles in filmmaking— from director to writer to performer down to costume designer and art director—Making Movies draws deeply on Lumet’s work as a live TV director in ’50s New York and the dozens of features he’s made since. Lumet shares a bottomless fund of experience and technical knowledge acquired on movies as small as The Offence and The Hill and as large as Murder on the Orient Express and Network. What emerges is a sense of Lumet’s commendable generosity as an artist, someone who never seeks credit for himself and is always a patient collaborator and mentor. And he’s only too glad to impart his wisdom to the reader—who ideally, given the book’s extremely practical bent,
will be a filmmaker looking to learn.