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Old 25-08-2006, 08:43   #41
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Just arrived this morning: John Ford and the American West, a beautiful book at a very nice price. Chock full of stills, on-set photos, and reproductions of Remington's and Russell's wonderful western paintings, demonstrating the influence they had on Ford and his compositions. Nice.
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Old 05-09-2006, 19:42   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre07
Can anyone recommend any books on Westerns, Film Noir and Sci-Fi?

Bit of a belated reply but for westerns you could do a whole lot worse than HORIZONS WEST - JIM KITSES
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Old 18-09-2006, 13:16   #43
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My favorite book on westerns is called Westerns by Philip French who has an encyclopedic knowledge of movies, American cultural and political history and anything else required.

Has anyone got David Thomson's latest opus, a life of Nicole Kidman? I kid you not. What on earth is this excellent writer doing, apart from making lots of dosh. Judging from various extracts I've read, Thomson shows all the signs of, um, jerking off over his precious prose, ditto over Kidman and proving to us that he is course far too grand to write a showbiz hagiography.
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Old 18-09-2006, 13:59   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Armbruster
Has anyone got David Thomson's latest opus, a life of Nicole Kidman? I kid you not. What on earth is this excellent writer doing, apart from making lots of dosh. Judging from various extracts I've read, Thomson shows all the signs of, um, jerking off over his precious prose, ditto over Kidman and proving to us that he is course far too grand to write a showbiz hagiography.
I was about to purchase it but from reading a (to put it mildly) embarrassing review, put it off, at least until it hits sales prices. I relish everything he writes but I think this is the limit for me. There's probably some worth in addressing the fantasy aspects of movie-watching but really I don't think I could read about his Kidman dreams, and still take his (wonderful) other books quite seriously.

Along with (previously mentioned) Pauline Kael's writings, his Dictionary of Film has been invaluable. I'd also recommend Showman: the Life of David O Selznick, a super book with plenty about Selznick and by proxy Jennifer Jones and co. In terms of upcoming books I'm looking forward to Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn, already causing a bit of controversy but apparently excellently researched with already some significant praise.
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Old 01-10-2006, 22:49   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livius
Bit of a belated reply but for westerns you could do a whole lot worse than HORIZONS WEST - JIM KITSES
Thanks, that's looks good.
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Old 05-10-2006, 13:05   #46
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Cinema books go OOP very fast & all the good ones are deleted, so its off to
the 2nd hand bookshops. Some of my favs. are:
SWORDSMEN OF THE SCREEN - Jeffrey Richards
a great history of swashbucklers
THE EPIC FILM - Derek Elley
ditto epics
THE PARADE'S GONE BY - Kevin Brownlow
a must have
THE HOLLYWOOD STORY - Joel W. Finler
just cramed with facts & figures - a must have if you're writing about cinema
Those big studo books THE WARNER BROS. STORY ect. the 20th Century
one is esp. good, by the late great Tony Thomes
BRITISH SOUND FILMS-THE STUDIO YEARS - David Quinlan
just about every film made in England in the 30s 40s & 50s
THE STUDIO - John Gregory Dunne
a great read about the 20th Cent.Fox studio's in the late 50s
2000 MOVIES-THE 40s & 2000 MOVIES THE 50s - Robin Cross
The big luxury book DAVID O. SELZNICKS HOLLYWOOD
its the most beautful book I have but it may cost a bit now
& I've just finished David Hemmings autobiography BLOW-UP & OTHER
EXAGGERATIONS - what a great read !
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Old 06-11-2006, 11:43   #47
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The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Industry by Legs McNeil and Jennifer Osbourne. It's a tome on the sleazier side of Hollywood, but valid and fascinating nevertheless...
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Old 06-11-2006, 14:14   #48
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a few of my favourites:

1. Ray Carney's American Vision: The Films of Frank Capra -- a massive, magnificent filibuster against the folksy, populist, "kicked-in-the-head optimist" misappropriation (by lamo legatees like FC Jr.) of Capra's films... Carney places the works in the context of American Romantic expression since the Transcendentalists, and delivers a reading that pre-empts the kinds of discussions that dwell upon the possible applicability of the political "solutions" offered by these plainly allegorical films...

2. Stanley Cavell's Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage -- this book examines, among other things, the various uses and definitions of "genres"; the place of Screwball Comedy (a particular sub-type of Screwball comedy that Cavell centers upon his 7 exemplar-films: Philadelphia Story, Awful Truth, It Happened One Night, Bringing Up Baby, The Lady Eve, His Girl Friday and Adam's Rib) in the history of comedy (since the Greeks) and philosophy (since ditto); and ends by elucidating upon a kind of moral philosophy (a bantering, radically incomplete form of perfectionism in permanent revolt against stasis) that he finds inscribed in these films and nowhere else (this is not one of those books that uses films/comics/TV shows merely as examples of a theory already formulated by someone else)

3. Elizabeth Kendall's The Runaway Bride: Hollywood Romantic Comedy of the 1930s -- a really wonderful discussion of a large group of films, unified by the author's focus upon the relationships between various directors (Capra, Sturges, Stevens, LaCava, McCarey) and star actresses (Stanwyck, Colbert, Lombard, Dunne, Jean Arthur)... In effect, she treats these indissoluble pairs as the gestalt auteurs of romantic comedy (leaving out such directors as Howard Hawks--who could never have opened themselves up to such a collaboration), and the results are incredibly edifying!

4. Ethan Mordden's The Hollywood Studios: House Style in the Golden Age of Movies -- sadly out-of-print at the moment, this was the first book on film that I ever bought (when it--and I!--was new, back in the eighties!)... it's an extremely persuasive argument in favour of treating the Studios (not the directors) as the principle auteurs of classical hollywood films... Mordden has seen EVERYTHING, and, while you (and I) might not agree entirely with his conclusions, you can't say that he doesn't give it his all (no simple generalizations here--there's a wealth of detail in this book--and all of it is so felicitously conveyed, in an erudite-but-off-the-cuff manner that I'm convinced would translate brilliantly to DVD commentary-tracks!)

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Old 06-11-2006, 14:17   #49
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Guys; could you please, when posting links to etailers, affiliate them where you can using the handy 'Affiliate Link' button?
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Old 06-11-2006, 14:19   #50
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yikes! sorry John, I never noticed that giant grey button!
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Old 06-11-2006, 14:43   #51
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Has anyone read Suicide Blonde: The life of Gloria Grahame? or Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, also about Gloria? I'm thinking of buying the former on ebay or amazon but it's a bit pricey....
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Old 06-11-2006, 17:09   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefty
yikes! sorry John, I never noticed that giant grey button!
Jefty; any chance you can re-edit your previous post and put the titles back in (but of course retaining the affiliate links)?
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Old 06-11-2006, 17:25   #53
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Quote:
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Jefty; any chance you can re-edit your previous post and put the titles back in (but of course retaining the affiliate links)?
the thing is done, john!
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Old 06-11-2006, 17:46   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefty
the thing is done, john!


Nice list BTW.
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Old 14-11-2006, 19:21   #55
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Final Cut was excellent, I agree. Cimino's behaviour was apparently outrageous.
Also recommended: Any of the Faber series of directors "On" their own work- every one of these I have read has been brilliant, particularly the Woody Allen and Louis Malle ones.
Sam Fuller's autobiography is the most inspirational film book I have read.
Steven Soderbergh's book of interviews with Richard Lester is wonderful, and has led to me seeking out Lester's work, in particular the brilliant Juggernaut and Robin and Marian. I already knew the Musketeers films and A Hard Day's Night were ace, though. Everybody should know that.
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Old 04-12-2006, 20:11   #56
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My turn, since Christmas is coming you'll either want something to spend those book vouchers on, or suggestions to give people for gifts for yourself, so here are some film books for the discerning fan!

http://mondo-esoterica.net/books/index.html

Reviews of:
Beyond Terror: The Cinema of Lucio Fulci
Cinema Year by Year 1894 - 2006
The Complete Peter Cushing
Hammer Films - The Bray Studios Years
Herzog on Herzog
Shock Horror: Astounding Artwork from the Video Nasty Era
Universal Horrors: The Studio's Classic Films, 1931-1946
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Old 15-12-2006, 10:18   #57
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A couple of personal favourites:

The Ghastly One: The Sex-Gore Netherworld of Filmmaker Andy Milligan - one of the most astonishing biographies I've ever read. It's utterly gripping, readily acknowledging the sheer awfulness of most of Milligan's output but also how totally driven he was to make such work. A fascinating though often appalling man done sterling justice, as well as a mesmerising portrait of the New York grindhouse exploitation circuit in the 60s and 70s.

Ernst Lubitsch - Laughter in Paradise - I've not yet read Scott Eyman's "Print the Legend", but this earlier work is a very fine look indeed at Lubitsch and his career. A perfect holiday book.
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Old 16-12-2006, 15:12   #58
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Billy Wilder fans should read NOBODY'S PERFECT - BILLY WILDER A PERSONAL BIOGRAPHY by Charlotte Chandler (ISBN 0-7432-3209-7). This includes extensive reminiscences from Wilder himself and provides a keen insight into the man and his work.

Less well-known but fascinating for some is TAKE TWO - A LIFE IN MOVIES AND POLITICS by Philip Dunne (ISBN 0-87910-157-1). Dunne was a successful screenwriter and - in my opinion - a journeyman director of mainstream entertainment movies from 20th Century Fox. Because of his fairly left-wing politics, he came under suspicion during the McCarthy period, and had to deploy nimble footwork to avoid the blacklist. His autobiography is admirably free from rancour or self-righteousness, and explains what Hollywood was really like during the witchhunt.
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Old 04-01-2007, 17:36   #59
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I moved house last year and needed to off-load some of my rather large movie book and magazine collection. I was rather disappointed at the sort of money these books fetch and was told by a reputable dealer that there isn't a market for them these days . . .

So today I was trawling in the dark undergrowth of a BFI website and came across an announcement for a new book by Kevin Jackson on Lean's Lawrence of Arabia. The press release made reference to an earlier (1994) book on Lawrence, by Adrian Turner, called The Making of David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia, out of print and selling for not less than £160. So I looked it up on the web and there it was for not less than £260 and offered at £788 by one dealer. Amazing! Is this the most expensive film book in the history of the world? What is going on here? And why were the books I wanted to offload, much older, only worth about a fiver?
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Old 04-01-2007, 17:58   #60
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Hmmm; £265 to £633 on the Amazon Marketplace; I think that some of this is based on the supposition that it's a great big cyberspatial world out there and there simply has to be someone desperate / rich / daft enough to want to hit the 'buy now' button.

You could do worse than try selling yours at Amazon; it's much less hassle than Fleabay, there's no element of auctioneering (unless you choose to go that route) and you have nothing to lose as there is no listing fee. Works for me, and while I've managed some breathtaking amounts for OOP books and DVDs, I've at least salved my conscience by not asking an obscenely breathaking amounts.
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