"If you love films and care about filmmakers, you'll have a hard time putting this book down. These lively conversations reveal just how much one generation of filmmakers influences the next - and how a single movie can change the course of a young person's life and career."
-Leonard Maltin, author of Leanord Martin's Movie Guide
"A great and provocative read. Elder begins with a simple question and leads a wide variety of filmmakers down all sorts of unexpected paths. Why do we respond so passionately, even irrationally, to the movies that change our lives? The wonderful thing about being a critic or a lifelong movie lover is that life changes all the time in relation to the spells being cast on the screen. Elder's book honors that alchemic relationship many times over. It's addictive."
-Michael Phillips, film critic, Chicago Tribune
Atom Egoyan on Persona :
“In some ways, it’s the quintessential art movie in that it is, on first viewing, quite mystifying and yet, at some level, deeply seductive. It is both simple and impenetrable. And it’s full of an unyielding sense of psychological complexity. It’s one of the most astonishing films about transference ever made. It’s probably the most self-referential work I can imagine.”
Rian Johnson on Annie Hall:
“Annie Hall is one of those legends of film lore that originally the film was written, made, and cut as a completely different film. Originally, it was a little less audacious in its storytelling, and it had more of a narrative hook.”
Michael Polish on Once Upon a Time in America:
“Whether a filmmaker or not, I can be a fan because it has so many symbols and situations that reflect life itself, growing up. Even growing up in the suburbs, you still have friendships the same way these kids have friendships.”
Edgar Wright on An American Werewolf in London:
“Every cliche setup from horror films is subverted with the mundanity of the situation. It keeps putting these extraordinary scenes and really vivid, graphic scenes in everyday settings. That’s what really makes that film.”