Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother: Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker (Hardcover)
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.
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.
"Hilarious, full of heart, and there are no typos."
"I couldn't put it down."
"The most purely enjoyable memoir I've ever read. The content of this neurotic genius's life is fascinating, complimented by his rare gift of storytelling."
"A neurotic, revelatory treat...[Sonnenfeld] spins eye-opening yarns....It's brutally honest...memorable and hilarious."
"The voice of Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother is one for this moment...chock full of humor and pathos."—The Jewish News
"His powers of exposition are impressive....This is both a serious and a comical book--sort of like Sophie's Choice, only funnier."—The East Hampton Star
"Sonnenfeld leavens his many struggles with a substantial dose of humor. He might have endured much, but Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother: Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker reveals Sonnenfeld to be a survivor. It's also a testament to how the rivers of fate can push you in unexpected directions....Sonnenfeld comes up with a wealth of entertaining stories....Revel in the ruminations of a man whose youthful traumas seared but didn't scar him."—Book & Film Globe