Cinema’s Last Great Moralist

While the goal of all movies is to entertain, the kind of film in which I believe goes one step further. It compels the spectator to examine one facet or another of his own conscience. It stimulates thought and sets the mental juices flowing.

– Sidney Lumet (as quoted in his New York Times obituary)

At PDP, we have a reading list of essential books about the art, craft, and business of entertainment.  A couple of years ago, during our Scene From Both Sides class, Nikki and I updated it for the students, and have kept up with it ever since.

I take that list pretty seriously.  And when we were preparing it for that class, I knew that there was one book that had to be on it, the one book that for me is not merely essential, but necessary for everyone who’s serious about film: Making Movies, by Sidney Lumet. Continue reading