by Tony Bill
There are dictionaries and encyclopedias that explain the jargon of filmmaking (best boy, key grip, etc.) but none has approached this task with the humor and brio of veteran producer, director and actor Tony Bill. He not only has such up-to-date terms as Lewinskys (kneepads used by stuntmen—“a recent addition to the argot”) but he infuses his definitions with observations gleaned from hard-earned experience.
by Cari Beauchamp
I could exhaust a thesaurus finding words to describe this book: riveting...revelatory...succulent... jaw-dropping are all adjectives that come to mind. Beauchamp has put in years of painstaking research in order to tell, for the first time, the full story of Joseph P. Kennedy’s adventures in Hollywood during the 1920s and beyond. Although her account of his various takeovers and maneuvers is detailed it is never dull. As Betty Lasky, the daughter of movie pioneer Jesse Lasky, so aptly puts it, “Joe Kennedy was the first and only outsider to fleece Hollywood.” The man who later became
by Mark A. Vieira
Mark Vieira’s name has become synonymous with handsome coffee-table books, but his credentials as a master photographer and photo archivist sometimes obscure his bona fides as a serious film researcher and historian. In his foreword to this beautiful volume he explains his fascination with Irving Thalberg and promises that this picture-and-text compilation is merely a prelude to an exhaustive biography of Hollywood’s legendary “boy wonder.”
by Cheryl Crane and Cindy De La Hoz
I’ve become wary of coffee-table books devoted to great stars. Although they are usually handsome, too often they strike me as a product rather than a book, with text serving merely as filler between photographs. This volume is a notable exception. Not only is the writing compelling and informative, it’s personal, being the work of Lana Turner’s daughter (and coauthor Cindy De La Hoz). What’s more, every aspect of Turner’s life and career discussed in these pages is illustrated with ideally-chosen photographs from the vast collection of Lou Valentino, long acknowledged to be the world’s foremost Lana Turner aficionado.
You might think that everything to be said about Walt Disney and his career has been said by now...but you’d be wrong. Film buffs and scholars are unearthing all sorts of material on the many facets of Walt’s life and career. Ted Thomas, son of legendary Disney animator Frank Thomas, has written and directed a fascinating new documentary called Walt & El Grupo that’s now showing in specialized theaters around the country (and will continue to rack up play dates throughout the fall). It’s an eye-opening look at Walt’s Good Will tour of South America in 1941—the trip that inspired Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros. Thomas uses home movies, photographs, sketches and paintings made by the artists who traveled with Walt, and their eloquent letters home (read aloud by—
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