Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother : Memoirs Of A Neurotic Filmmaker by Barry Sonnenfeld
View book: Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother : Memoirs Of A Neurotic Filmmaker
A New York Times Editor’s Choice selection!
Experience the hilarity and outrageousness of a film and television director’s life in this captivating memoir. Barry Sonnenfeld, known for his work on big film franchises like The Addams Family and Men in Black, takes readers on a journey from his unconventional upbringing to his unexpected rise to success. With his unique philosophy of “Regret the Past. Fear the Present. Dread the Future.”, Sonnenfeld’s memoir, titled Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother, offers a laugh-out-loud account of his coming of age.
Sonnenfeld’s early life was far from ordinary. Threatened with suicide by his overprotective mother, disillusioned by his once-admired father, and subjected to abuse from a demonic relative, he managed to defy the odds and carve out a thriving career in Hollywood. With poignant insight and a touch of real-life irony, Sonnenfeld’s memoir recounts his journey from a French horn player in his childhood to his time at NYU’s graduate film school, where he honed his talent for cinematography.
Interestingly enough, Sonnenfeld’s first job after graduating involved shooting nine feature-length pornos in just nine days – an unexpected start to his career. However, it was his friendship with the Coen Brothers that truly launched him into the industry. Sonnenfeld went on to shoot their first three films, despite having no intention of becoming a director.
Enter Scott Rudin, a persuasive figure who convinced Sonnenfeld to take the helm of The Addams Family. This decision proved to be a turning point in his career, leading him to direct numerous other films and television shows. Even Will Smith jokingly remarked that taking Sonnenfeld to Philadelphia public schools would prove anyone could succeed as a film director in the face of adversity.
Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother is not only a fascinating memoir but also a testament to the power of perseverance. Sonnenfeld’s uproarious journey serves as an inspiring roadmap for anyone who believes their rough beginnings might hinder their chances of triumph.
The Unforgettable Story Behind the Title of Barry Sonnenfeld’s Book
In this article, we will explore the story behind the title of the book “Smoking of Your Mom”. As the only child of a nervous Jewish mother, my experiences during the first Earth Day concert in January 1970 left a lasting impression. At 17 years old, I convinced my mother to let me attend the concert because Peter Paul and Mary, her favorite musicians besides Danny Kaye, were performing.
During the concert, at 2:20 in the morning, Jimi Hendrix was preparing to play his first chord when a shocking announcement came over the PA system at Madison Square Garden. The announcement informed me that my mother had been trying to reach me and instructed me to call her immediately. Suddenly, everyone in the garden was aware of my presence, causing the crowd to chant “Barry’s son” towards Jimi Hendrix, which disrupted his performance.
In that moment, I was overwhelmed with fear and assumed the worst – that my father had passed away and I would have to spend the rest of my life as a virgin, living with my mother. The emotional toll was so heavy that I couldn’t stop weeping.
After regaining some composure, I rushed to a payphone (this was before cell phones were common) and called my mother, tearfully asking her who had died. To my surprise, she responded, “I thought you did.” Confused, I explained that the concert was still going on and that the garden had paged me because I hadn’t returned by the expected time of 2:00 AM.
My mother, with her incredible strength and determination, managed to track me down and call the garden to find out where I was. She has always had a special power to find and connect with people. This incident taught me a valuable lesson about the power of communication and the importance of staying connected with loved ones.