I’ve been susceptible to the film-watching perceptions of UCLA prof Howard Suber since the mid ’90s, which is when I first listened to his incisive commentary on the Criterion Collection laser discs of The Graduate, High Noon and Some Like It Hot. Judging solely by how good these audio tracks were, I’m moderately revved about getting a copy of Suber’s “The Power of Film” by mail in a day or two.

“After 42 years of pontificating at UCLA and years of trying to distill what I’ve learned down into one short book, I’m now facing the same kind of problem that independent filmmakers face: how do you get people to even be aware that your work exists?”, Suber said in an e-mail a while back. Wait a minute…short book? The Amazon page says it’s 456 pages. I guess it’s one of those short-seeming books composed of zippy prose and brisk chapters.
I’ll be happy to do my part to spread the word, certain as I am that it’ll have a lot of tastiness and good humor, and knowing that Francis Coppola and David Koepp have logrolled the following respective comments: (a) “Suber’s understanding of film storytelling fills the pages of this wise, liberating book, with much of it is surprisingly contrary to what ‘everyone knows.'” and (b) “What Artistotle did for drama, Suber has now done for film. This is a profound and succint book that is miraculously fun to read.”
I especially love this comment from Howard: “The book is written for people like you who are so overwhelmed they do their reading in life’s most sacred moments, like the three minutes before falling asleep, standing in security lines at airports, and sitting on the toilet.” Aahh…film appreciation for the john!