I’ve loved Darren Aronofsky‘s films since “Pi“. Whether the subject matter is about a crazy scientist, drug addicts, or a dancer seeking perfection, his skillful use of strong visuals & sound effects always guarantees a cinema treat. There is often a philosophical layer in his film that adds depth to the existing story, and makes the main character a symbolic hero in a journey in quest of something extraordinary.
I recently came across an article in which Darren talks about his top 5 books on filmmaking. It was no surprise when I found that he includes “The Writer’s Journey” by Christopher Vogler in his top 5. To quote Darren Aronofsky’s words: “Vogler’s approach to screenwriting was based on Campbell’s theory that, because of myths, the arc of a hero’s journey was a story ingrained deeply inside all of us. I really incorporated his ideas and techniques into how I structured films—I referred to it a lot.”
The 1st book on his list is “Making Movies” by Sidney Lumet. I can attest that this is a fine book on different aspects of filmmaking. This is a small book which reads like a novel, written by an experienced director. Sidney Lumet brings us onto his movie sets through expressive & humorous writings.
It is also great to know that, as “auteurish” as Darren is, he still learns from all the great films & directors from previous generations. “Easy riders, raging bulls” is another book he mentions that offers a great account of innovative directors in the ’70s.
Darren Aronofsky also talks about “The Ragman’s Son: An Autobiography”- the autobiography of Kirk Douglas and “Hitchcock,” a book based on an interview of Hitchcock conducted by French New Wave director François Truffaut. I came across this link today, where you can download the audio files of the original interviews: The Hitchcock and Truffaut Tapes.
Darren Aronofsky’s Filmmaking Booklist
- Making Movies by Sidney Lumet
- The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler
- Easy Rider, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind
- The Ragman’s Son: An Autobiography by Kirk Douglas
- Hitchcock by François Truffaut
What are some of your favorite books on filmmaking – Please leave a comment below.