"Movies are the closest things we have to dreams," says Gyllenhaal in the new book What I Love About Movies

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 30, 2014 06:15 PM
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Talk about an all-star cast: Kristen Stewart, Michael Fassbender, Daniel Radcliffe, Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Helen Mirren, Viggo Mortensen, Ryan Gosling and more all together, between the covers.

That is, they share equal billing and page space in What I Love About Movies, a sprightly new compendium that Opus Books is publishing next week, just in time for holiday gift giving.

Compiled by David Jenkins, editor of the U.K. movie magazine Little White Lies, and writer-critic Adam Woodward, the book takes one question – “What do you love about movies? – and poses it to 50 different bold-faced names involved in the screen biz.

“It’s hard for us to fathom the ramifications of this question,” Jenkins explains in his introduction, “as we are essentially asking these people, why did you dedicate your life to the creation of transitory entertainments which drift through the public consciousness like so many scattered autumn leaves?”

Besides the actors, the book’s roster also includes directors such as Steven Soderbergh, Tim Burton, Quentin Tarantino, Alexander Payne, Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, the Coen Brothers, Pedro Almodovar and Francis Ford Coppola, and illustrates each of their responses with a new portrait of them. (See Gyllenhall and Kunis’s above, while the cover rendering of Jude Law shows his head crowned with celluloid.)

“I love being able to see the world from someone else’s perspective,” is Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s take on the question, while, in a posthumous tribute (the book is dedicated to him), Philip Seymour Hoffman admits, “There’s something that happens when you’re in a dark room watching something that has a certain impact on you that reaches a very deep, subconscious part of you.”

“I love the anarchy,” posits actress Juliette Binoche about making movies, just as Helen Mirren adores “the intimacy [of] the experience of watching a movie.”

For Viggo Mortensen, it’s all about “The places you will go.”

And while Jake Gyllenhaal suggests, “Movies are the closest things we have to dreams,” Alfonso Cuarén, director of Gravity, one of the most solitary experiences ever captured on screen, offers this worldview: “As we go through the mystery of existence, films can’t make us feel less lonely, but they can make us feel that it is okay to be alone.”

Then again, as we all well know, a book is always your very best friend.

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