Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother: Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker

Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother: Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker

by Barry Sonnenfeld

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Overview

Film and television director Barry Sonnenfeld's outrageous and hilarious memoir traces his idiosyncratic upbringing in New York City, his breaking into film as a cinematographer with the Coen brothers, and his unexpected career as the director behind such huge film franchises as The Addams Family and Men in Black, and beloved work like Get Shorty, Pushing Daises, and A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Barry Sonnenfeld's philosophy is, "Regret the Past. Fear the Present. Dread the Future." Told in his unmistakable voice, Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother is a laugh-out-loud memoir about coming of age. Constantly threatened with suicide by his over-protective mother, disillusioned by the father he worshiped, and abused by a demonic relative, Sonnenfeld somehow went on to become one of Hollywood's most successful producers and directors.

Written with poignant insight and real-life irony, the book follows Sonnenfeld from childhood as a French horn player through graduate film school at NYU, where he developed his talent for cinematography. His first job after graduating was shooting nine feature length pornos in nine days. From that humble entrée, he went on to form a friendship with the Coen Brothers, launching his career shooting their first three films.

Though Sonnenfeld had no ambition to direct, Scott Rudin convinced him to be the director of The Addams Family. It was a successful career move. He went on to direct many more films and television shows. Will Smith once joked that he wanted to take Sonnenfeld to Philadelphia public schools and say, "If this guy could end up as a successful film director on big budget films, anyone can." This book is a fascinating and hilarious roadmap for anyone who thinks they can't succeed in life because of a rough beginning.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316415637
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 03/10/2020
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 38,642
File size: 174 MB
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About the Author

Barry Sonnenfeld is a filmmaker and writer who broke into the film industry as the cinematographer on the Coen Brothers' first three films: Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, and Miller's Crossing. He also was the director of photography on Throw Mamma from the Train, Big, When Harry Met Sally, and Misery. Sonnenfeld made his directorial debut with The Addams Family in 1991, and has gone on to direct a number of films including Addams Family Values, Get Shorty, and the first three Men in Blacks. His television credits include Pushing Daisies, for which he won an Emmy, and most recently Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Spooky Action at a Distance xiii

1 Barry Sonnenfeld. Call Your Mother. 1

2 CM the CM, Part 1 9

3 Depression Central 15

4 White Shirts 28

5 Can't Be Beat 35

6 Miami Beach 41

7 Fear of Flying 47

8 A Christian Bar Mitzvah 63

9 "My" Dog 73

10 Eleanor Roosevelt 76

11 The Button 88

12 The Flip Side 92

13 The Promise of Suicide 95

14 Yet More Promised Suicides 100

15 On the Road: Barry Does Kerouac 107

16 NYU Graduate Film School 112

17 Superman 122

18 Kidney Stones 126

19 An Actress Short, a Cum Shot Behind 137

20 Insult to Injury 158

21 My Life Begins. I Meet Sweetie. 162

22 The Cash Machine 174

23 Dolores 176

24 The Coens 183

25 Blood Simple 193

26 Big 209

27 Pay or Play 221

28 Addams Family 232

29 Sophie's Choice 259

30 Kids 268

31 Get Shorty 280

32 A Christmas Miracle 288

33 A Final Promise of Suicide 304

34 Reenactors 307

35 Calabasas 311

36 The Captain's Table 317

37 CM the CM, Part 2 326

38 Burying the Lede 338

Epilogue: "A Miracle Is What Seems Impossible but Happens Anyway" 345

Acknowledgments 347

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