The Bookshelf

By George, George L | American Cinematographer, March 1984 | Go to article overview

The Bookshelf


George, George L, American Cinematographer


In Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Prof. Bernard F. Dick follows the maturation of the director's talent that successfully meshed stylistic theatricality with the visual requirements of cinematic art. Each film is perceptively analyzed, with stress on Mankiewicz's humanism, literate concerns, and versatility in handling comedy, spectacle and romance (G. K. Hall, Boston, $19.95).

Georgia Susan Myrick was hired as technical adviser to insure the authenticity of GWTWs southern locale. Her lively and level-headed columns, collected by Richard Harwell in White Columns in Hollywood, provide a fascinating view of the turmoil of an epic production (Mercer U. Press, Macon, GA, $14.35).

Michael Freeland's colorful saga. The Warner Brothers, chronicles the lives of four siblings who built one of Hollywood's biggest empires. Extensive research and interviews pinpoint their historic achievements in a fast rising film industry (St. Martin's, New York. $13.95).

In Napoleon, Kevin Brownlow recounts his 20-year struggle to resurrect Abel Gance's 1927 film, whose technical and narrative innovations were eclipsed by the advent of sound. His persistence in hunting for its dismembered parts was eventually rewarded and the reconstructed Napoleon finally received well-deserved acclaim (Knopf, New York, $25/14.95).

Luis Bunuel's candid and involved autobiography. My Last Sigh, lays bare the inner conflicts between his religious upbringing and his perception of reality. From the surrealist imagery of L 'Age d'Or to the social critique of The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Bunuel offers uncommonly frank revelations of his private life, his politics and his films (Knopf, New York. $15.95).

The intriguing technology of special visual effects in such films as Star Wars, Tron, Logan's Run and many others is spelled out in a fascinating new ASC large format, abundantly illustrated book. Designed and edited by George E. Turner, The ASC Treasury of Visual Effects was conceived and supervised by Linwood G. Dunn and written by leading experts. From past achievements .to the latest advances, it explores optical, mechanical and photographic effects, electronic and animation effects, the Zoptic device and many other wonders (ASC, Hollywood. $29.95).

The expanding use of electronics in the recording and processing of moving images, and the creative application of video technology to the production process are expertly discussed in Electronic Production Technology. Edited by Richard Patterson and Dana White, it reprints articles originally published in The American CInematographer and provides a thorough coverage of video equipment, production and post-production procedures, and case studies of specific films (ASC, Hollywood, $7. …

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