Beyond the Epic: The Life and Films of David Lean
University Press of Kentucky, 2006 M11 24 - 592 pages
Two-time Academy Award winner Sir David Lean (1908Ð1991) was one of the most prominent directors of the twentieth century, responsible for the classics The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), and Doctor Zhivago (1965). British-born Lean asserted himself in Hollywood as a major filmmaker with his epic storytelling and panoramic visions of history, but he started out as a talented film editor and director in Great Britain. As a result, he brought an art-house mentality to blockbuster films. Combining elements of biography and film criticism, Beyond the Epic: The Life and Films of David Lean uses screenplays and production histories to assess LeanÕs body of work. Author Gene D. Phillips interviews actors who worked with Lean and directors who knew him, and their comments reveal new details about the directorÕs life and career. Phillips also explores LeanÕs lesser-studied films, such as The Passionate Friends (1949), HobsonÕs Choice (1954), and Summertime (1955). The result is an in-depth examination of the director in cultural, historical, and cinematic contexts. LeanÕs approach to filmmaking was far different than that of many of his contemporaries. He chose his films carefully and, as a result, directed only sixteen films in a period of more than forty years. Those films, however, have become some of the landmarks of motion-picture history. Lean is best known for his epics, but Phillips also focuses on LeanÕs successful adaptations of famous works of literature, including retellings of plays such as Brief Encounter (1945) and novels such as Great Expectations (1946), Oliver Twist (1948), and A Passage to India (1984). From expansive studies of war and strife to some of literatureÕs greatest high comedies and domestic dramas, Lean imbued all of his films with his unique creative vision. Few directors can match LeanÕs ability to combine narrative sweep and psychological detail, and Phillips goes beyond LeanÕs epics to reveal this unifying characteristic in the directorÕs body of work. Beyond the Epic is a vital assessment of a great directorÕs artistic process and his place in the film industry.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - knahs - LibraryThing
This book is entitled The Life and Films of David Lean - however I would say 99% of the book is about the films and there is very little about Lean's life. The author did a good job of research and ... Read full review
Beyond the epic: the life & films of David LeanUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Most movie buffs think of late British director David Lean as an epic filmmaker-his rÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½sumÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½ includesLawrence of Arabia -but he also made intimate dramas (Brief Encounter ... Read full review