The Bookshelf

By George, George L | American Cinematographer, September 1973 | Go to article overview

The Bookshelf


George, George L, American Cinematographer


The Busby Berkeley extravaganzas, that high-water mark of Hollywood's distinctive achievements, are brilliantly recalled in a volume as spectacular as its subject, THE BUSBY BERKELEY BOOK (N.Y. Graphic Society $14.95) by Tony Thomas, Jim Terry and Buzz himself. A magnificently illustrated large-size tome, it includes Berkeley's exciting life story and a complete filmography.

Director Tay Garnett, still going strong at 75, fills in the details of his adventurous life and career in LIGHT UP YOUR TORCHES AND PULL UP YOUR TIGHTS (Arlington $9.95). Written with Fredda Dudley Balling, it is one of the lustiest confessions of recent years, reflecting a witty hedonist's pursuit of happiness through film-and-merry-making.

A collection of writings by Soviet director Alexander Dovzhenko, THE POET AS FILMMAKER (M.I.T. Press $8.95) reveals the subtle creative process whereby such classical masterpieces as Arsenal and Earth emerged from Dovzhenko's love for his native Ukraine and its people. His sensitivity, his gift of lyrical vision, his identification with his homeland's myths and realities permeate this unique record of an artist's experiences and motivations. Ably edited and translated by Marco Carynnyk, the book comprises Dovzhenko's autobiography, his wartime diary and notebooks, and a full filmography. A bibliography of Dovzhenko's complete writings is available from M.I.T. Press.

Like many pioneers of the cinema, the British inventor memorialized in Ray Allister's biography, FRIESEGREEN (Arno Press $11.), was also a cameraman. His projector/camera, using a roll of sensitized paper, was demonstrated as early as 1887. His eventual losing out to the brothers Lumière is a vivid tale of perseverance and disappointments against a background of personal drama.

The progress of Jesus Christ Superstar from record album to Broadway show and to film is tracked by Ellis Nassour and Richard Broderick in ROCK OPERA (Hawthorn $8.95/ 3.95). The saga of this unusual metamorphosis dwells at length on the location facilities the Israeli government provided for this Todd-AO super-production directed by Norman Jewison and photographed by Douglas Slocombe.

Kalton C. …

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