Al Pacino: Anatomy of an Actor

A new book by Karina Longworth,
published in May 2013. Buy it now!

“I’m a guy who really needs four months [to prepare a theater role]. I had four weeks. So I’m thinking ‘Where am I? What is this? What am I doing here? And all of a sudden one of the actors on stage turns to me and says, ‘Shut the f—- up!’”

Lunch with Al Pacino!

I had a great time this week talking to my old friend James Rocchi for his podcast, The Lunch. Though we touched on some recent movies (The Canyons, The Butler) and my current career situation/film critic burnout syndrome, Al Pacino: Anatomy of an Actor was our main topic of conversation. I talked about my research process, the line of thinking that led me to include chapters on movies like Sea of Love and Jack and Jill while ignoring Carlito’s Way and Angels in America, my dream Pacino screening and more. 

If you haven’t picked up the book yet, it’s in stock right now on Amazon. If you have taken the plunge, you could still go to Amazon to leave a review

David Hudson of the great Keyframe Daily blog sent in these photos from the Alpacino boutique in Turkey. From the looks of it, they do not keep Al Pacino: Anatomy of an Actor in stock. 

Al Pacino @SidGrauman

LA-area Al superfans, take note: Pacino will be appearing in person this weekend and next, at double-feature screenings of two related directorial efforts: Salome, his Jessica Chastain-starring film of Oscar Wilde’s play, and Wilde Salome, his non-fiction film documenting the process of turning the play into a film. Neither film has been screened publicly in LA, as far as I know (I have been out of town for a few months so I could well be out of the loop).

Of course, if you want to read more about the virtually unknown director of these films before or after the screenings, Al Pacino: Anatomy of an Actor is available on Amazon and at various stores around the city, including Book Soup, Skylight, Hennessey and Ingalls and more.

Al Pacino Book Party in Paris this Wednesday!

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Exciting news! The Librairie du Cinema du Pantheon, a fantastic bookstore for cinephiles here in Paris, has invited me to come talk about my book, Al Pacino: Anatomy of an Actor, this Wednesday evening. The conversation will be in English and French, translated live by Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter critic and author of James Gray. There will be a little party afterwards. If you’re in or can easily get to Paris this week, please come! It’s at 6:30 PM, 15, rue Victor Cousin 75005, Paris. As the Al of …And Justice For All would say, it’ll be totally out of order! 

On a related note, after three months in France I’m getting ready to return to Los Angeles in August, and I hope to schedule events like this back home — no translator required, obvs. 

Al Pacino: Anatomy of an Actor got a great review!

…from Chuck Bowen at Slant Magazine’s The House Next Door blog.

Chuck called the book “an astute and lively work of Gen-Y criticism,” which is flattering to the book, and also to me personally, because presuming that I am a member of “Gen-Y” is sort of equivalent to a bartender asking your mom to show ID. We’ll take it!

In other news, something exciting is happening on the book front here in Paris next week! More details tomorrow. 

Al Pacino: Anatomy of an Actor has made the Top 100 Movie Biographies on Amazon.com! This is particularly exciting for me, because the number one title in the category is the Kindle edition of my all-time favorite road trip audiobook, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, by Rob Lowe. If you’re going to buy one thing on Amazon this weekend, make it my book. But if you’re going to buy two things, you should also buy Rob Lowe’s audiobook, which he reads himself, and which includes his impressions of Cary Grant, Mike Myers, Patrick Swayze and — my personal favorite — Francis Ford Coppola.  

Al Pacino: Anatomy of an Actor has made the Top 100 Movie Biographies on Amazon.com! This is particularly exciting for me, because the number one title in the category is the Kindle edition of my all-time favorite road trip audiobook, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, by Rob Lowe. If you’re going to buy one thing on Amazon this weekend, make it my book. But if you’re going to buy two things, you should also buy Rob Lowe’s audiobook, which he reads himself, and which includes his impressions of Cary Grant, Mike Myers, Patrick Swayze and — my personal favorite — Francis Ford Coppola.  

“The Godfather films were, to me, the obvious place to start because they’re the defining achievement of both his career and of their Hollywood era; Jack and Jill was the obvious place the end, because — however sadly — it’s emblematic of both the state of Pacino’s film career circa now, and of a certain kind of contemporary Hollywood thinking.”

—   I answered a few questions about Al and Scarface for Badass Digest, pegged to the 30th anniversary of Scarface, which is screening at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin later this month. 

Al Pacino: Anatomy of an Actor is back on Amazon

The book came out while I was at the Cannes Film Festival, where I was interviewing people like Rooney Mara and Alec Baldwin and Will Forte for Grantland. This timing was good, in that I didn’t have time to freak out or become too obnoxious with the self-promotion. But at some point, while my attention was diverted to the new James Grey and Jim Jarmusch movies (both amazing), the book actually sold out on Amazon. Which is amazing! But, it took a few days for them to restock. Now, It’s back — you can buy it here.

Apologies to anyone who tried to buy the book during that time and failed.  I’m trying to compile a list of non-virtual locations where the book is in stock, so if you see it in your local store, let me know. Also, if you have a chance to submit a customer review on Amazon, that would be awesome.

Let’s roar: Al Pacino: Anatomy of an Actor is available tomorrow! Buy it at Amazon, Skylight or anywhere Phaidon books are sold.