The Bookshelf

By George, George L | American Cinematographer, January 1992 | Go to article overview

The Bookshelf


George, George L, American Cinematographer


The 20th and 21st volumes have been added to the continuing series of reviews published since 1907 in Weekly Variety. Displaying photocopies of the original reviews. Variety Film Reviews 1987-1988 and 1989-1990 cover over 7,000 US and international feature-length theatrical films. Entries, with full production data, complete synopses and critical opinions, constitute an authoritative reference source on individual films, as well as a record of the artistic and social values of the period (Bowker, New Providence, NJ, $175 ea.).

Published by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the 1990 Annual Index of Motion Picture Credits provides an expanded, fully cross-indexed roster of production personnel and releasing companies of the 358 US and foreign features eligible for Academy Awards. Skillfully edited by Ms. Byerly Woodward, it is an official record invaluable as a research tool (AMPAS, Beverly Hills, $80, $60 for subscribers).

In The Making of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Don Shay and Jody Duncan conduct an exciting behind-the-scenes tour of the creation of this sci-fi blockbuster, adding detailed explanations of its special effects and an interview with director James Cameron (Bantam, NYC, $10.95).

The fully illustrated screenplay by James Cameron and William Wisher of Terminator 2: Judgment Day vividly captures the excitement of the film's visuals. Production notes, original storyboards and scenes cut from the final print are included (Applause, NYC, $17.95).

The often obscure terminology used in onscreen credits is deciphered by Alexandra Brouwer and Thomas Lee Wright in Working in Hollywood. This informative volume, now in paperback, describes the various jobs and how they fit into the overall pattern of production (Avon, NYC, $11.95).

The shaky status of Hollywood screenwriters in the '40s and '50s is explored in Backstory 2, Pat McGilligan's compilation of articulate interviews with Garsin Kanin, Daniel Taradash, Richard Brooks and other top writers. They attribute their discontent to frustrating work conditions, intrusions by stars, directors and censors, and the general reluctance of studios to catch up with the changing times (U. of California Press, Berkeley, CA, $29.95).

Ian Hamilton's Writers in Hollywood takes a piercing look at the industry's diffident approach to the writer's professional requirements during Hollywood's years of growth. Singled out is the constraint placed on the creativity of such writers as Ben Hecht, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dorothy Parker (Carroll & Graf, NYC, $11.95).

Writing comedy for film and television is a lucrative field, asserts Sol Saks in Funny Business, a knowledgeable and witty guide to a difficult craft. Saks' pilot script for the successful Bewitched series illustrates his expert discussion of the principles, problems, construction and marketing of comedy (Lone Eagle, Los Angeles, $16. …

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