Each week, Deadline’s Hot Reads presents what Hollywood’s power players are reading now and what they think is special about each book.
This week we feature choices from producer and former studio executive Mike Medavoy, whose latest project is The 33 , an upcoming feature about the Chilean miners stranded underground for weeks after an accident in 2010. The film stars Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Lou Diamond Phillips, Martin Sheen and Juliette Binoche.
“English was not my first language, as I was born in Shanghai and raised in Chile, so one of the ways I felt I could learn the language faster was to get into reading books in what was to become my principle language,” Medavoy says. “In early 1958, I had forgotten my Chinese so I started buying soft-cover books, mostly historical stuff or classics. They were cheap. Then, as I could afford it, I started expanding it – I was a history student at UCLA, so naturally everything on both Latin America and ancient and modern Europe fell into my curiosity bin. In 1962, I was asked to be a teaching assistant in a Renaissance History Class and because it wasn’t my field, I got my hands on everything I could to clearly grade the tests. ”
These are his picks:
David Lean: A Biography by Kevin Brownlow (Wyatt, St. Martin’s Press)
“David Lean was one of the great directors who I was fortunate enough to spend time with. He made at least three films that I consider to be great teaching tools for film making: Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago, The Bridge on the River Kwai.
Preparing for the Twenty-First Century by Paul Kennedy (Random House)
“An intelligent survey of global trends from pop growth to global warming to revolutions in biotechnology and robotics. Pop growth represents the single largest challenge – where are we, how fast is this changing, and where will we be are always interesting questions.”
Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam by Gordon M. Goldstein (Macmillan)
“This book surprised me in its conclusions, which I won’t spoil.”