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Film

A selection of Edgar Wright's beloved books

Edgar Wright is a bonafide cultural icon, having garnered a mainstream audience as well as a cult following through simply iconic projects such as the beloved Cornetto trilogy. Known for his playful interpretations of genre filmmaking, Wright has conducted memorable experiments in different cinematic domains.

While he has tackled a lot of genres, Wright’s incorporation of a visual language of comedic filmmaking has influenced aspiring artists all over the world. Last year, he went in a different direction by making the psychological horror work Last Night in Soho, which was just as visually striking as the rest of his films.

A prominent figure in popular culture, Wright, makes regular contributions to public discourse by listing some of his favourite films and books from time to time. While curating one such selection of some of his favourite literary works, the English auteur included works by writers such as Stephen King and Bret Easton Ellis, among others. The list below is a composite of titles the director mentioned during various Twitter conversations over the years. With that, one might suspect his definitive list of favourite books would look a little different to this one.

However, among these works, Wright highlighted the importance of David Baddiel’s Jews Don’t Count by describing it as “a fascinating, thought-provoking and thorough account of the biases, blind spots and hypocrisies of progressives. The book is literally a longer conversation than what can be said on Twitter. A must-read.”

He also included Jon Ronson’s Them as one of his top picks, claiming that the groundbreaking book is even more relevant now than ever before: “I’m not sure there’s been a non-fiction book that was more of an ominous bellwether of what was to come… Required reading then, and shockingly ahead of its time, now.”

Check out the full list below.

A selection of Edgar Wright’s favourite books:

  • A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away – Paul Hirsch
  • Jews Don’t Count – David Baddiel
  • Mike Nichols – Mark Harris
  • Five Came Back – Mark Harris
  • Them – Jon Ronson
  • Rebel without a Crew – Robert Rodriguez
  • Clive Barker’s Books of Blood – Clive Barker
  • Seduction – Karina Longworth
  • Tinseltown – William J. Mann
  • Buzz – Jeffrey Spivak
  • Pictures at a Revolution – Mark Harris
  • Hollywood Babylon – Kenneth Anger
  • Never a Dull Moment – David Hepworth
  • The Show That Never Ends – David Weigel
  • On Writing – Stephen King
  • Meet Me in the Bathroom – Lizzy Goodman
  • David Bowie – Dylan Jones
  • Caddyshack – Chris Nashawaty
  • Hard-Boiled Hollywood – Jon Lewis
  • Blitzed – Norman Ohler
  • Little Deaths – Emma Flint
  • Lonely Boy – Steve Jones
  • A Kim Jong-Il Production – Paul Fischer
  • The Sculptor – Scott McCloud
  • Monty Python’s Tunisian Holiday – Kim “Howard” Johnson
  • Black Hole – Charles Burns
  • Who the Hell’s in It – Peter Bogdanovich
  • The Devil in the White City – Erik Larson
  • The Informers – Bret Easton Ellis
  • Shock Value – Jason Zinoman
  • Dolce Vita Confidential – Shawn Levy
  • Funny Girl – Nick Hornby
  • Grasshopper Jungle – Andrew Smith
  • Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses – Chris Nashawaty
  • Members Only – Paul Willetts

Many filmmakers like Werner Herzog advise young directors to seek out inspiration by reading more and that’s exactly what happened to Wright when he first came across Robert Rodriguez’s book Rebel Without a Crew which changed his life forever.

According to the director, it was this work that gave him the motivation to explore filmmaking in a more serious way. Recalling the impact, Wright revealed: “What really inspired me to pick up a camera and start making shorts was this UK doc back in 1988.”

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