Matt Zoller Seitz on Oliver Stone’s movies, his archives and his ability to take criticism for The Washington Post
I wanted to talk about the book as a physical object. … Between this and the Wes Anderson books, you’ve put together a couple of really monumental film books here. What do we lose when we move away from the physical book and into the digital, kind of Kindle-type realm?
When we experience books digitally we lose the bookness of books. … I was really adamant at the very beginning that these have an integrity as objects. And I have a lot of really good film books, coffee table books. But a lot of them are basically an interview with some pictures stuck in. And what I really wanted to do was make this more like the experience of watching a film, where there’s, you know, an aesthetic relationship between the book that you hold in your hand and the subject of the book.
And, in a way, in all four of those books that I did with Abrams are portraits of a subject. There’s two of Wes Anderson, there’s one of “Mad Men,” and there’s one of Oliver Stone. We really tried to make them in the spirit of the thing being discussed. The “Mad Men” book is a small fat paperback, it’s printed on the same paperstock that was used in the first edition of “Portnoy’s Complaint” and the illustrations are done in an early 1970s-style, and, in fact, they’re modeled on the illustrations in a paperback book that I had when I was a child, Ray Bradbury’s “The October Country.” So, yeah, there’s definitely a lot of, we’re thinking about it as a total experience and not just as an interview with pictures. Because if it’s just an interview with some pictures thrown in, you could go to Wikipedia.
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