Cinema by the Bay

Article excerpt

Cinema by the Bay Sheerly Avni. New York: George Lucas Books, 2006.

Cinema by the Bay is the first title from George Lucas Books, and as such it adequately represents some of the valuable contributions of previous Lucasfilm-related volumes as well as some of the drawbacks. A delightful introduction by Baltimore Sun film critic Michael Sragow highlights the legacy of innovation and independence associated with Northern California-based filmmakers, from Eadweard Muybridge's moving horse to Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope. Chapters are divided between "The Studios" and "The Directors," the latter section including short vignettes on Joan Chen, Chris Columbus, Glint Eastwood, John Korty and others. Sheerly Avni's text is sharp and informative, and die-hard Lucas and Coppola fans will find new tidbits in this coffee table book encyclopedia. It is profusely illustrated with rare photographs of the filmmakers and their creations.

With a general audience book such as this, scholars will have to look elsewhere for an in depth evaluation of how the San Francisco Bay Area has become a creative and technological leader in the world of cinema. …