Film Business by Lillian Ross / ISBN 9798986446332 / a 293-page hardback published in 2023 by Film Desk Books
Lillian Ross was a staff writer at The New Yorker for seven decades, and wrote on filmmakers regularly over the course of her extraordinary career. Beginning with “Come In, Lassie!”, a 1948 report on Hollywood’s reaction to HUAC through a 2001 visit to the set of Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, Ross covered the people who make the movies with singular insight and humor. Ross’ lengthiest pieces, about Otto Preminger fighting against the television broadcast of Anatomy of a Murder in 1966, and Francis Ford Coppola preparing for the release of One from the Heart in 1982, are legendary portraits of the larger than life personalities that Ross rendered human on the page.
Also features pieces on: Akira Kurosawa, François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Oliver Stone, John Huston, Jacques Tati, Charles Chaplin, Mag Bodard, Alfred Hitchcock, Clint Eastwood, Federico Fellini, Anjelica Huston, Gene Kelly, Donald Shebib, and John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara & Peter Falk
"The recognition, from early in her career, that the center of gravity in the world of movies is indeed the director puts Ross . . . at the forefront of film-centric writers of her generation. The pieces in Film Business reflect her attunement to the art of movies—an attunement that’s also something of a philosophy of life, as befits the work of a writer who, self-consciously approached nonfiction writing as an essentially literary, novelistic venture—and who made that discovery while working on her first major piece about movies.”—Richard Brody, from his Introduction.