Created by Matt Zoller Seitz
Directed by Judith Carter
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
The official illustrated companion book to the winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Russell Crowe), Costume Design, Sound, and Visual Effects.
This is the full-color companion book, featuring excerpts from the screenplay, historical sidebars and illustrations, details on period costumes and epic set designs, behind-the-scenes photographs from the location filming, and interviews with the screenwriters, actors, and director.
Director Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Thelma and Louise, Alien) brings the glorious battles of the ancient Roman arena back to the big screen. Set against the splendor and barbarity of the Roman Empire in AD 180, Gladiator tells an epic story of courage and revenge: The great Roman general Maximus (Russell Crowe) has been forced into exile and slavery by the jealous heir to the throne, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix). Trained as a gladiator, Maximus returns to Rome, intent on avenging the murder of his family by Commodus, now emperor. The one power stronger than that of the emperor is the will of the people, and Maximus knows he can attain his revenge only by becoming the greatest hero in all the Empire. Russell Crowe heads up an international cast that includes Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielson, Oliver Reed, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou, and Richard Harris. Directed by Ridley Scott from a script by David Franzoni and John Logan, Gladiator is produced by Franzoni, Douglas Wick, and Branko Lustig, with Walter F. Parkes serving as executive producer.
Historians not affiliated with the movie Gladiator praise it as the most realistic depiction of Roman combat ever committed to celluloid. Gladiator: The Making of the Ridley Scott Epic illustrates how the filmmakers achieved that authenticity. It's the official tie-in, and one of the handsomest movie books Newmarket Press has ever produced. (No, it's not as fancy as The Art of the Matrix, but it's not that kind of massive book--this one is for the howling yet discerning fans in the cineplex coliseum.) The filmmakers explain how they coped with the considerable weight of Roman movie tradition--"Transcending the Toga," they call it--mostly by drawing their inspiration more from Gérôme's 1872 gladiator painting Pollice Verso ("Thumbs Down"), an evocative rendering of the life-or-death drama subject to the emperor's whim. Ridley Scott is famous as a director (the modern equivalent of an emperor), but he started out as a painter at London's Royal College of Art, and his training has served him well.
Explications of scary stunts and ingenious special-effects scenes, crisp film stills, fascinating storyboards, architectural renderings, thumbnail histories, cast profiles, production drawings of boar-tusk helmets and spiky maces--this little book packs in a lot of information, and enlarges one's appreciation of a very big movie. --Tim Appelo
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
MZS.Press is the online arts bookstore founded by author, critic, and filmmaker Matt Zoller Seitz and directed by Judith Carter. It offers new, used, signed, collectible, and rare books on film, TV, music, photography, and the visual arts. The store was launched in 2019 on a different platform and has expanded to incorporate arts books published by MZSPress's private imprint: titles currently include Seitz's The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon and Dreams of Deadwood, about the HBO Western, and Walter Chaw's A Walter Hill Film.
Our deepest wish is to promote, encourage, and distribute work by small presses, academic presses, and individuals. Extraordinary work tends to get swallowed up on giant platforms like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The store's inventory of nearly 1000 volumes is currently in the process of being reconstructed after its relocation from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas. The titles featured here are personally selected by a group of curators and advisors, including Seitz, Carter, and an array of critics, artists, journalists, educators, publishers, and arts mavens who are known for their ability to suss out what Seitz's jazz musician dad liked to call "the good sh*t."
“Please. Have mercy. I’ve been wearing the same underwear since Tuesday.”
Matt Zoller Seitz
Critic, Author, Filmmaker, MZS Press Creator
Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large and film critic of RogerEbert.com; a staff writer for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. His writing on film and TV has appeared in Sight and Sound, The New York Times, Salon.com, The New Republic and Rolling Stone. Seitz is the founder and original editor of the influential film blog The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine.
Seitz has written, narrated, edited or produced over a hundred hours’ worth of video essays about cinema history and style for The Museum of the Moving Image, Salon.com and Vulture, among other outlets. His five-part 2009 video essay Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style was spun off into the hardcover book The Wes Anderson Collection. This book and its follow-up, The Wes Anderson Collection: Grand Budapest Hotel were New York Times bestsellers.
Other Seitz books include the New York Times bestellers The Sopranos Sessions and Mad Men Carousel; TV (The Book), The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon, and the forthcoming The Wes Anderson Collection: The French Dispatch. He is also an interviewer, moderator, and film programmer who has curated and hosted film and TV presentations for the Museum of the Moving Image, IFC Center, San Francisco's Roxie Cinema, and other venues. He is currently working on a memoir about his marriages and a feature-length documentary about his father, jazz musician and composer Dave Zoller.
His hobbies include exotic dancing, moonwalking, and affixing masking tape labels to every food item in the refrigerator, including eggs. He has the attention span of a gnat.