Tesla jolts and flows between the extraordinary life of the inventor Nikola Tesla, the making of a feature film about him by the celebrated director Michael Almereyda, and episodes from the filmmaker’s own restless, quixotic career.
In these pages, we encounter Tesla’s colleagues and friends intermingling with Almereyda’s collaborators and influences: Thomas Edison and David Lynch, Mark Twain and Sam Shepard, Sarah Bernhardt and Ethan Hawke, J.P. Morgan and Orson Welles. A rich array of illustrations – vintage and personal photographs, film stills, drawings and comic-book art – enhance the sense of time travel and parallel histories, as we read of a scheme to transmit wireless energy through the earth, of the electrocution of an elephant, of fortunes made and surrendered, and of the obsessions that propel a scientist seeking to transform the world and a director seeking to make a movie.
“This insightful and entertaining book will let you sink deep into the brain of legendary electrical genius Nikola Tesla. What’s more, you’ll get to know some of his wild and amazing contemporaries. And on top of that, you’re getting into the mind of one of the great American filmmakers, Michael Almereyda, who dared to tackle the mysterious Tesla and a bunch of unlikely supporting characters. Wow!”
“With Tesla: All My Dreams Are True, Michael Almereyda shows the route he took in making his extraordinary sort-of biopic about Nikola Tesla. The dazzling result is part memoir, part biography, part filmmaking diary, a meditation on what it means not just to make a movie, but to will it into being over decades.”
—Stephanie Zacharek, film critic, Time
“This superb, wonderfully illustrated book is much more than a companion to Tesla. In its fascinating detours and observations, we gain an understanding of the meticulousness of Almereyda’s research, his eye for strange and revealing details, and his unique way of blending the past and the present, the historical and the speculative, the intimate and the monumental. It’s a joy to spend time with an artist for whom filmmaking and criticism are so richly intertwined.”
—Andrew Chan, critic and web editor at the Criterion Collection
“Candid and poignant, Almereyda's account of Tesla and himself is illuminating, ironic and intimate. Acrobatic without pretense or strain. A joy to read. (A book to keep.)”
—Hampton Fancher, screenwriter of Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049