The Bookshelf

By George, George L | American Cinematographer, December 1988 | Go to article overview

The Bookshelf


George, George L, American Cinematographer


Prof. Bruce F. Kawin's comprehensive text, How Movies Work, covers all aspects of the film medium in a highly readable, informative and scholarly fashion. Theoretical, esthetic and technical aspects of cinema are investigated in extensive detail, offering a thorough understanding of stylistic concepts, artistic considerations, and factual elements of film production and appreciation. Numerous examples clarify the text through references to specific movies, contributions of creative and technical personnel, and common production practices. (Macmillan, NYC, $24.05).

Edited by Wes D. Gehrig, Handbook of American Film Genres classifies, in 18 groups, movies related by a similarity of subjects and/or themes. Each genre, from gangster to parodies and musicals, is significantly discussed in well-documented essays, supplemented by substantial biblio- and filmographies. (Greenwood, Vtestport, CT $55).

Updating an earlier volume, The Great Western Pictures II includes some 400 films released since 1976 and adds some overlooked in the original edition. Compiled by J.R. Parish and M.R. Pitted the book provides extensive cast-&-credits, plot synopses and reviews. (Scarecrow, Metuchen, NJ, $45).

A gifted photographer with a keen eye for the incongruous and the unexpected, David Strick assembles in Our Hollywood 65 stills that sneak brazenly behind Tinseltown's public image. (Atlantic Monthly, NYC, $24.95). In Hollywood Anecdotes, P.L. Boiler Jr. and R.L. Davis compile an entertaining treasury of humorous stories that poke fun at the foibles of the movie capital. (Ballantine, NYC, $10.95).

Ingmar Bergman, in The Marriage Scenarios, collects 3 of his bestknown scripts. They reveal the directors deep understanding of human relationships, further demonstrated in his insightful commentary. (Pantheon, NYC, $9.95). In Uplift the Race, director Spike Lee (with assistant director Lisa Jones) publishes his script of School Daze, together with a detailed and often hilarious account of the film's production. (Fireside, NYC, $9.95).

It is easy, and tempting, for a screenwriter to satirize Hollywood, and Ben Stein does it without remorse or apologies in Hollywood Days, Hollywood Nights. His chronicle takes us to producers' offices, fancy restaurants and hospitable homes, bidding us meet an array of bizarre and outrageous people trying to reconcile reality with Hollywood fantasy. (Bantam, NYC, $7.95).

An historic survey by Richard Abel, French Film Theory and Criticism examines some 150 analytical studies of cinematic concepts published between 1907 and 1939, prior to André Bazin's original essays. Prof. Abel's anthology presents a comprehensive 2-vol. survey of these early writings, contributing notably to the knowledge and understanding of film theory. (Princeton U. Press, Princeton, NJ, $49.50 (Vol. I), $35 (Vol. II)

In Screening the Holocaust, Prof, Ilan Avisar analyzes perceptively the depiction of Nazi atrocities and their victims' suffering in a number of U. …

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