Elizabeth Taylor (1932 - 2011)
Elizabeth Taylor dies at age 79
Elizabeth Taylor became a leading child actress at the age of 12 when she starred in National Velvet. Her film canon includes such classics as Cleopatra, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Most famous for her violet eyes and eight marriages to seven husbands, Taylor was also admired and respected for her unwavering commitment to AIDS Research. The Hollywood film legend is survived by her four children, ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Find Elizabeth Taylor in the RPL Catalogue
Elizabeth Taylor Wikipedia Page
Elizabeth Taylor at IMDb
This one has a great cover...
I've always been a firm believer in judging a book by its cover. If I'm right in this case, then Christopher Walken A to Z should be a zany read concentrating on eccentricities, with a touch of light-hearted fun.
But hey, don't trust my theory. Check out the product description:
Over a career spanning 30+ years, Christopher Walken has generated an enormous cult following. (If you need proof, just search for “cowbell” on YouTube.) Christopher Walken A to Z offers the first biography of this quirky show-business legend, with entries on everything from Actor’s Studio (the legendary theater workshop where Walken spent 11 years as a janitor) to Zombie Movies (one of his favorite film genres). Along the way, readers will discover that
• Walken has worked as a lion tamer.
• Walken has appeared in music videos for Madonna, Duran Duran, and Fatboy Slim.
• Walken is the most popular guest host in the history of Saturday Night Live.
• Walken has filmed a pilot for a cooking show, Cooking with Chris.
• Most incredibly, Walken has starred in some of the worst films of all time—everything from Heaven’s Gate to Kangaroo Jack and Gigli—and yet his popularity never wanes.
Complete with more than 50 behind-the-scenes photographs and tons of fascinating trivia, Christopher Walken A to Z offers a fascinating portrait of a Hollywood legend.
Horror Cinema (2008) New!
Edited by: Jonathan Penner,
Steven Jay Schneider and Paul Duncan
The Cryptkeeper says: This book is a visual, gory feast -- lavishly illustrated -- for horror movie buffs everywhere. Since film is such a visual medium, it makes sense that it's the pictures that make this book worth a look, certainly not the text -- which falls short. The editors have not offered any new insights or revealed any long held secrets about these iconic films. Most of what the contributors have to say, has been said elsewhere (and better).
The films included are popular and mainstream, and mostly American, so if you're looking for foreign or more cultish selections, you will be disappointed. Who writes a history of horror cinema and fails to mention Sam Raimi's Evil Dead franchise? An unforgivable omission in my books. Also, I don't know how any of these reference books get published without an index! Still ... this is a fun book and a scrumptious display of movie images from both old-style Hollywood to the sleek and inventive Asian horror.
This post appears courtesy of RPL's horror blog
The view from here: conversations with gay and lesbian filmmakers, by Matthew Hays, 2007
"A romp through sixty years of queer film history, respectfully situating trash, indie esoterica, Hollywood compromise, porn, documentary realism, and political activism all within the same rich mosaic. Hays’s interviews are unflinching and upfront but also generous and respectful, bringing out the best in all of his well-chosen subjects, from Almodovar to Waters. This fine book rescues the voice of the filmmaker from the banality of celebrity, rediscovering courage, inspiration, imagination, longing, solidarity¯and perversity¯as twenty-first-century queer virtues."
¯Thomas Waugh, author, Out/Lines, Lust Unearthed, and Hard to Imagine
Independent queer cinema: reviews and interviews, by Gary Kramer
"A celebration of gay and lesbian films and filmmakers Film critic Gary M. Kramer has always looked to films as a mirror to see how gay and lesbian life is represented. Independent Queer Cinema collects 100 of Kramer's reviews and interviews (from 1999 to 2004) that celebrate the latest queer wave of actors, writers, and directors. These are films and filmmakers to be discovered and discussed..." (Amazon.ca)
101 must-see movies for gay men, by Alonso Duralde, 2005
"In this comprehensive must-have guide to queer film, Advocate deputy arts and entertainment editor Alonso Duralde presents 101 films that will resonate soundly with gay audiences for reasons good, better, and outrageous! Whether it's Pee-wee's Big Adventure (for redefining the idea of a movie hero), Mommie Dearest (for making Joan Crawford campier than she already was), or Two for the Road (because some-times you have to glean insights about gay relationships from straight movies with great banter), Duralde brings a quick wit, a gift for analysis, and a lifelong love affair with the -movies to each film recommendation. Along the way, he even outs Casablanca as a gay love story!" (Amazon.ca)
For film buffs and Scorsese aficionados
Scorsese by Ebert (2008)
by Roger Ebert
with a foreword by Martin Scorsese
"A film-by-film chronicling of the professional, yet passionate, Ebert-Scorsese relationship. Packaged together are every Ebert review of a Scorsese title, as well as an array of essays, interviews, and the transcript of an on-stage discussion between the director and writer. ...Ebert has also gone back to write an additional ''reconsideration'' of a half-dozen select Scorsese titles....A work of obvious affection, even adoration, what might surprise readers most is how Scorsese by Ebert emerges as a work of profound identification." -- S. James Snyder Time
"Given their career-long back-and-forth, this collection makes perfect sense. It's a project Ebert has talked about for years, and during his recent recovery from surgery, he finally made it a reality. Ebert has collected all of his original reviews of Scorsese's films, along with interviews and essays on the director. That would be a great thing on its own, but the real strength of this book comes from his new essays about a number of the films. These afford readers a wonderful opportunity to see how someone approaches the same work of art over decades....In these reconsiderations, Ebert invites us into his thought processes, letting us see not just what he thinks, but how he forms his opinions. Ebert's insights into Scorsese are terrific, but this book offers the bonus of further insights into Ebert himself." --Time Out Chicago
Make an informative movie decision...
10 bad dates with De Niro: A book of alternative movie lists edited by Richard T. Kelly
Is Richard E. Grant's Withnail a "far superior" screen drunk to Jimmy Stewart in Harvey? What are the Top Ten movies for making cigarettes look cool? Do good films ever win the Oscar? What is film's most tragic farewell, greatest opening-credit sequence, grisliest murder, loosest screen adaptation, most gratuitous use of sex and violence? How do you make a great movie without a movie camera? And why do Robert De Niro's characters behave so badly to women?
Born of the cinéphile's well-known love of lists, penchant for argument, and obsession with minutiae, TEN BAD DATES WITH DE NIRO is a symposium and celebration of viewing pleasures, private passions, and cinematic lost causes. Contributors to this smart and provocative collection of out-of-the-box Top Tens include a fine cast of leading critics, filmmakers, and writers ranging from Steven Soderbergh and the Coen brothers to Andrew O'Hagan and D.B.C. Pierre.
Movie Greats: a critical study of classic cinema by Philip Gillett
Why are some films regarded as classics, worthy of entry into the canon of film history? Which sorts of films make the cut and why? Movie Greats questions how cinema is ranked and, in doing so, uncovers a history of critical conflict, with different aesthetic positions battling for dominance. The films examined range across the history of cinema: The Battleship Potemkin, The 39 Steps, Modern Times, Citizen Kane, It's a Wonderful Life, Black Narcissus, The Night of the Hunter, Lawrence of Arabia, 8 1/2, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Godfather, Raging Bull, The Piano and Kill Bill: Vol. 1. Each chapter opens with a brief summary of the film’s plot and goes on to discuss the historical context, the key individuals who made the film, and initial and subsequent popular and critical responses. Students studying the history of film, canon formation or film aesthetics will find this book relevant, provocative and absorbing.
--The Library Technician
The man with the haunted heart
Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King (2009)
by Lisa Rogak
The Cryptkeeper says:
Through countless interviews, personal essays, and a best-selling memoir, Stephen King has been quite transparent over the years about his personal life and his vices, his fears and his passions, his writing and that of others. I cannot imagine what a third-person biography would have to offer that we haven't already heard from the man himself. This effort by Lisa Rogak smacks of a cheap sensationalist ploy to cash in on King's gargantuan fame. But maybe I'm being too cynical. For King novices and general interest readers, perhaps a general biography isn't the worst thing. Having said that, Rogak's superficial treatment of her subject (drawing exclusively upon previously published material) offers little insight and fails to present anything original about one of the best-selling authors of our time.
From Publisher's Weekly:
Rogak doesn't probe her subject or his work too deeply. Rather, she strings together the best-known facts of his life with workmanlike efficiency....Rogak structures her text primarily around the chronology of King's scores of books and their film adaptations. Though she interviewed some of King's friends and colleagues, much of the book is derived from secondary sources. Her text is repetitive and cliché-ridden, but the facts she marshals will serve King fans not familiar with his life.
This post appears courtesy of RPL's horror blog.
The Truth About "The Girl Next Door"
Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time, by Valerie Bertinelli
This memoir is a revealing look at the life of a child television star, showing how even with parents who tried to shield her from the worst effects of life in the fishbowl, social pressures to look and act in a certain way were a powerful influence on her self-perception.
Bertinelli chronicles how she felt fat from a very early age, even when she was at a very reasonable weight. She discusses emotional eating, and other coping mechanisms,including drug use.
She portrays her 20-year marriage to rocker Eddie Van Halen, and shows how this added another level of stress to her life, coping with her husband's own set of addictions, demons, and negative self-concepts.
Bertinelli is candid and realistic; she acknowledges when she was at fault, and she discusses how she has tried to deal with the fall-out of her errors in judgment.
There are a couple of less realistic portions of the book - she doesn't mention any issues whatsoever with her only son, and she does rather go on about her success with losing weight with the Jenny Craig Weightloss System. (She is their new spokesperson).
This is an enjoyable read, and we learn a great deal about life behind the scenes in both the television and the music worlds. Bertinelli has an honest, straightforward writing style that makes it feel as though she is chatting with you over a cup of coffee.
Legendary screen icon Bette Davis
Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis
by Ed Sikov
Sikov makes iconic screen legend Bette Davis the focus of his new book. Over the course of her career in film, Ms. Davis became the first woman to receive 10 nominations for the Best Actress Oscar (only Katharine Hepburn and Meryl Streep have surpassed this figure). She won for her roles in Dangerous (1935) and Jezebel (1938). In 1974 at the age of 66, Bette Davis received the Cecil B. Demille Award for Lifetime Achievement.
From Book Description:
The legendary Hollywood star blazes a fiery trail in this enthralling portrait of a brilliant actress and the movies her talent elevated to greatness She was magnificent and exasperating in equal measure. Jack Warner called her 'an explosive little broad with a sharp left.' Humphrey Bogart once remarked, 'Unless you're very big she can knock you down.'
From Publisher's Weekly:
The biggest surprise of Sikov's perceptive and superbly written new Bette Davis biography is that there are still fascinating details to be discovered after more than a dozen full-length biographies have been devoted to her since her 1989 death. Sikov...follows the volatile actress's long career, specifying how her insecurities and craving for love propelled her into the dueling self-medications of liquor and acting. Even she didn't seem to understand the anger that drove her to battle everything she encountered, from Hollywood producers to the tarnished brass doorknobs in her many houses. Her personal life was littered with broken marriages, affairs, abortions, feuds and neglected family members, but professionally she created dozens of unforgettable performances. Both sides of her life make for compelling reading. Sikov spends two-thirds of the book documenting the grueling production of most of the 52 films Davis made under her 18-year contract at Warner Bros. These illuminating tales mix familiar lore with newly excavated material.
Screen legend bio offers real insight
Five Easy Decades (2008):
How Jack Nicholson became the biggest movie star in modern times
by Dennis McDougal
From Publisher's Weekly Starred Review:
"New York Times film writer McDougal has turned out a model biography: exhaustive, full of action, and startlingly illuminating. Nicholson -- flamboyant yet guarded, outrageous yet articulate, charming yet polarizing -- has marched to his own drummer for 50 years, heading up a parade of celebrated films and famous women, eliciting strong opinions in just about everyone; as such, McDougal presents an engrossing showcase of big films and bigger personalities....Los Angeles plays a starring role, giving Nicholson his wild lifestyle, a loyal, eclectic roster of friends and a long-time neighbor in Marlon Brando. Digging up as many roles offstage as on-hardheaded businessman, softhearted friend, master of rude rejoinders, fanatical sports fan and poetic philosopher -- McDougal makes Nicholson's everyday life just as fascinating as his films, which also get considerable, thoughtful attention; in fact, McDougal's research is so deep and detailed, his extensive chapter notes could make a fine book of their own."