The 1922 murder of director William Desmond Taylor fascinated King Vidor, on whose investigation Sidney D. Kirkpatrick's A Cast of Killers is based. Largely circumstantial evidence points to Charlotte Shelby, mother of actress Mary Miles Minier, in this exciting re-creation of a real-life mystery (Dutton. NYC, $17.95).
The work of the cinematographer and his creative contribution to filmmaking are examined by Kris MaIkiewicz in Film Lighting, a valuable text addressed to film students and independent moviemakers. Using extensive quotes from leading cmematographers and experienced gaffers, the author discusses specific lighting problems in studio and on location, describes current equipment and its appropriate utilization, and clarifies the technique of image manipulation both in the camera and the laboratory (Prentice-Hall. NYC, $19.95).
An exhaustive compilation of production and cast credits for all special effects movies nominated for Academy Awards from 1929 through 1984, Trick Cinematography by R.M. Hayes also includes nominated films and their technicians, and a thorough cross-index (McFar/and, Jefferson, NC, $25.95).
Published by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the 1985 Annual Index to Motion Picture Credits provides a full production personnel roster of 347 feature-length films qualifying for Academy Awards, and adds a 1976-85 cumulative list of film titles. Meticulously edited by Ms. Byerly Woodward, it is an authoritative record, invaluable for scholarly research (AMPAS. Beverly Hills, CA, $80, $60 to subscribers).
The first four volumes of Motion Picture Guide, covering A through K, are now in print. Expertly edited by Jay Robert Nash and Stanley Ralph Ross, this 12-tome encyclopedia will include all English-language films since 1927 with full cast-&-credits, plot summaries, production data, and essays on the films' social, historic and technical aspects. The essays are a distinctive feature of this major source of film documentation (CineBooks, Chicago; Bowker, distributors, NYC, $75/ea., $750/set).
Marjorie Keller's The Untutored Eye examines the representation of children in films by Jean Cocteau, Stan Brakhage and Joseph Cornell, three avant-garde filmmakers who used the child image "to reinvent themselves as artists" (Fairleigh D/ckinson U. Press. Cranbury, NJ, $36.50).
An insightful assessment of the social, cultural and artistic influences of motion pictures, Aaron SuItanik's Film: A Modern Art provides an enlightening analysis of cinema firmly grounded in his familiarity with movies and his grasp of their dynamism (Cornwall. Cranbury, NJ, $24.50).
Films featuring anti-social, rebel characters are reviewed by Terence Pettigrew in Raising HeN, tracing sharply edged portraits of such antiheroes as Cagney, Bogart, Brando and Dean in their memorable movies (St, Martin's, NYC, $17. …