Great films etch themselves on our brains. But it’s not the whole film we remember—it is a selective scene here and there that has the power to stay with us for a lifetime. Beginning and established filmmakers would do well to remember this important and powerful influence of film and to study great moments that we will always remember—so that they too can pause, reflect, and remember to create “moments of illumination” in their own works. Illuminations: Memorable Movie Moments incorporates contemporaneous reviews and archival appraisals of more than fifty films over nine decades. The book investigates the clashing judgments, the irresistible attractions and the lifelong impact of movies—their exacting moments as well as individual and collective cinematic remembrances. Humorous, nostalgic, melancholic, and historical reminiscences echo the creative effect of movie-making on the imagination and on the accumulated storehouse of memory.
Elected to the permanent collection of The National Media Museum—Bradford, England. Nominated for The Kraszna-Krausz Foundation for the 2011 Best Moving Image Book Award.
“In a world of bigger is better, where films are louder, longer, poorly written, and filled with product placements, it’s always good to remember where film came from. Illuminations is a trip down a cinematic memory lane—a trip everyone should take.” -Matthew Terry, producer, screenwriter, teacher, columnist, www.hollywoodlitsales.com
“In this lyrical memoir, film-editing wizard Richard Pepperman pinpoints the exact frames where, for him, movies became magic. This combo of science and sorcery also returns us to a time when great cinema was as essential to quality of life in New York City as tap water. Read it and fall in love.” -Steven Boone, filmmaker and critic for Global Comment
“Illuminations takes us on a passage through the classics of the classic, movies that remain unforgettable for all cinema lovers. With Pepperman’s detailed and didactic writing, we fully understand the art of storytelling with moving images. Here is a book that every filmmaker must read.” -Cady Abarca, film director
“Reading Illuminations is wonderfully enthralling, Pepperman’s book is a must read for anyone who loves film. His insights give me goose bumps!” -Julia D’Amico, documentary filmmaker
“A priceless collection of films and their pivotal moments. Pepperman takes us on an abundant visual journey.” -Allyson C. Johnson, film editor, <em>Monsoon Wedding <em>and</em> Amelia </em>
Richard D. Pepperman has worked in film for more than 45 years. His credits include work as an editor, post-production supervisor, and consultant on features, documentaries, industrials, and commercials. Richard’s film collaborations have been official selections to many international festivals, including: Aspen, Berlin, Cannes, the Hamptons, Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic), London, Montreal, Munich, Rotterdam, Sitges (Barcelona), Tel Aviv, and Toronto. His articles have appeared in Student Filmmakers Magazine; www.fylmz.com, and www.writersstore.com. Richard is the author of The Eye is Quicker. Film Editing: Making a Good Film Better (2004); Setting Up Your Scenes: The Inner Workings of Great Films (2005) and Film School: How to Watch DVDs and Learn Everything About Filmmaking (2008).
“Illuminations” has been ‘shortlisted’ by The Kraszna-Krausz Foundation for the 2011 Best Moving Image Book Award: “An intimate and accessible approach to moving image writing. Richard D. Pepperman sheds fresh light on the resonance of film watching, its relationship to memory and a sense of place.”
10 COMMENTS from people in the film industry –
“Illuminations is a joyous celebration of ‘movie mind’—that place in time and space where past and present come together in an instant of recognition set off by a moment in the movies. Pepperman replays the films of his childhood (and our past) today and in his mind’s eye theater. A great movie makes visible what, until you behold it, you never knew you always felt and thought. That’s what Pepperman’s book does for the movies. I loved this book. -Robert Gerst, Massachusetts College of Art
“Great book. Great writing. An act of love—love of movies, life, and art. Pepperman has produced a celebration of glorious moments in film, moments that we relive with him, guided by his gently perceptive eye and meticulous memory. This book is a joyful celebration of the genius and art of sublime films.” —Tony Levelle, author, Digital Video Secrets, and co-author, Producing with Passion
“A must read for anyone who’s ever fallen in love at the movies. Pepperman recalls these great cinematic moments as if he were thumbing through a beloved family photo album.” —Nick Basille, director, American Carny: True Tales from the Circus Sideshow
“Illuminations makes me wax nostalgic for those movie moments that affected my life and choice of career. To this day, when I watch these films, I am transported back to a simpler time, and I remember exactly where I was and how I felt while experiencing one of my favorite pastimes. Pepperman recalls those exquisite movie moments down to their infinite details, illuminating the power of film and why we love movies so much.” —Rona Edwards, producer, Killer Hair and Out of Sync, and co-author, I Liked It, Didn’t Love It: Screenplay Development from the Inside Out and Maneuvering Film Festivals
“Pepperman has created a ‘movie moment memoir’ that illuminates not only the cinematic experiences that shaped his critical and creative approach to film, but also the larger movements in the evolution of movies. It inspired me to take a walk down movie memory lane as I recalled my own formative experiences with film. A rich entry on film history and development that is well worth a read for any filmmaker or film buff.” -Derek Rydall, screenwriter, author, I Could’ve Written a Better Movie than That! and There’s No Business Like Soul Business, and founder, ScriptwriterCentral.com, EnlightenedEntertainer.com, Kazuhiro Soda, Peabody Award–winning director, Campaign
“Illuminations is simultaneously entertaining and educational. It reminds me that the best way to learn filmmaking is to examine great moments in great films.” -unknown
“Movies have a magical ability to resonate with our self-concepts. Often a single scene, a character, or even a line of dialogue seems to express who we believe we are. Pepperman’s Illuminations recalls some of the emblematic moments of cinema that have contributed to our visions of ourselves.” —Neill D. Hicks, author, Screenwriting 101: The Essential Craft of Feature Film Writing, Writing the Action-Adventure Film: The Moment of Truth, and Writing the Thriller Film: The Terror Within
“Combining the wide-eyed wonderment of a movie buff with the super-geek analysis of a film professor…” —Dean Georgious, IT manager, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment
“In this moving introduction to those works of cinema that made him the man he is today, Pepperman’s reminiscences are a film school in the making.” —Paul Cronin, editor, On Film-Making: An Introduction to the Craft of the Director and Herzog on Herzog
“Pepperman has a keen sense of what binds us as people, how a great movie moment loosens time’s hold on our lives, and why we are drawn to it over and over again.” —Andrea Odezynska, filmmaker, Yara Arts Group, NYC