RaveLibrary JournalThis is not objective film criticism; these are Tarantino’s personal, very passionate opinions on every aspect of the films and topics he covers. His genre and exploitation film roots are never far from view, but his holistic appreciation of cinema as an art form is front and center. Hopefully, he’ll have further volumes ... Dynamic film commentary from a contemporary legend that is essential reading for cinephiles.
PositiveLibrary JournalHis memoir is both an entertaining and anecdotal tour through his career and a perceptive piece of introspection on his personal life ... He has a marvelous way of sprinkling less than glowing yet informed opinions on various films and actors throughout the text without seeming critical (most of the time), and it’s nice to hear someone being truly forthright ... An enjoyable and conversational backstage pass to the life of a highly respected character actor.
RaveLibrary JournalBrooks is truly a legend of American comedy, and though it has taken him 95 years to write his memoir, it was certainly worth the wait ... a narrative filled with hilarious digressions ... Brooks has told many of these stories countless times over the years, but they remain as funny and endearing as ever, especially when presented in the full context of his life. It’s a story told by an inveterate writer in a wonderfully conversational style, with a hint of childlike wonder ... A must-read for fans of comedy, film, and theater.
RaveLibrary JournalCountless books have been written about Greta Garbo since her self-imposed exile in the 1940s, yet this comprehensive biography may be the final word ... Gottlieb’s research is so complete and his style so engaging that this book almost reads like an oral biography told through a singular voice ... This is a brilliantly written and constructed portrait of a true icon of the cinema.
RaveLibrary JournalAlfred Hitchcock (1899–1980) has been the subject of dozens of books in the last 20 years, but White (The Tastemaker) distinguishes his work with an inspired approach. Bypassing a traditional narrative, this necessary and perceptive study of the filmmaker and his cinematic impact is framed in 12 separate portraits, each focusing on a particular aspect of Hitchcock’s character ... detailed but highly readable ... An absorbing, thoughtful, and balanced look at a master of his medium.
RaveLibrary JournalFrankel...paints the story of the film with a wide and holistic brush ... Tackling questions of censorship and the MPAA ratings, bravura performances by Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman, the costumes, the soundtrack, and the film’s coronation at the 1970 Academy Awards, Frankel expertly brings it all together ... An in-depth, exquisite biography of a legendary film, and a must-read for cinephiles.
RaveLibrary JournalQuite simply, this is the book for which director Christopher Nolan’s many admirers have long been waiting. While his enigmatic and labyrinthine filmmaking style has drawn praise from viewers and critics alike, he has kept a similarly mysterious air about himself and his work. Yet film critic Shone sat with Nolan for numerous conversations over three years, producing what is almost a coauthored exploration of Nolan’s creative process, his extensive influences, and his films ... Shone seamlessly weaves these conversations within a narrative that stretches from Nolan’s formative boarding school days in England to the evolution of his career and his work with key contributors such as composer Hans Zimmer, his screenwriter brother Jonathan, and his wife Emma Thomas, who has served as a producer on all his films. Only a handful of contemporary writer-directors truly merit this kind of mid-career assessment, and Shone has crafted a thoroughly entertaining and fascinating portrait ... For the foreseeable future, this is the definitive word on Nolan and a must for film buffs.
RaveLibrary Journal... a thorough and highly entertaining look at the creation and legacy of what many consider one of the best mob movies of all time ... Every aside, every reference to something as simple as why the coda to Eric Clapton’s \'Layla\' was used in one scene grows into a fascinating behind-the-scenes exploration. Using original interviews, existing criticism, and even the DVD commentary track, Kenny leaves no thread unpulled, no stone unturned.
RaveLibrary JournalVery few musicians merit a biography of 600-plus pages, but such is the case for sitarist, composer, and teacher Ravi Shankar. Craske, who worked closely with Shankar on his 1997 autobiography Raga Mala, covers every aspect of the artist’s life and work, paying close attention to Shankar’s personal and cultural relationship to India, with early chapters detailing his childhood and initial career as a dancer proving particularly evocative ...Compelling, informative, and the definitive book on this musical legend.
PositiveLibrary JournalInimitable Wasson...examines the development of the iconic film ... Wasson argues convincingly that Chinatown was one of the last great Hollywood films; in the years following its release, the industry shifted from a dream factory realizing ambitious visions to a corporate machine churning out blockbusters ... On par with Wasson’s exceptional Fosse, this portrait of a neonoir classic will weave a spell over cinephiles.
William J. Mann
RaveLibrary Journal... deeply engaging and perceptive from page one. Neither hagiography nor scandal sheet, it’s a clear reckoning of a complex man. The author explores the films, of course, but mostly Brando himself ... The curious twist, and possibly the most compelling aspect, is Mann’s decision to conclude with a quiet moment in 1974—leaving the final 25 years of Brando’s life for a brief epilog. The madness of Apocalypse Now, his sporadic retirement, and his increasingly public family issues are thus given the briefest of consideration. While the narrative is bookended by descriptions of son Christian Brando’s 1991 trial for manslaughter, Mann has crafted a fitting end to the story he wanted to tell, and this account may be the richer for it ... A thoroughly enjoyable, illuminating read, and a must for all libraries.
PositiveLibrary Journal... conversational, somewhat authorized ... all the more engaging for being about a talented and charming man who has quietly left an indelible mark on the world of contemporary music ... An enjoyable and personal look at a cult hero who is more working artist than rock star.
RaveLibrary JournalThe most intriguing stories are often found in the details, and this is the case for music writer Scott\'s engaging and conversational look at the creation of the gold-plated records that are still traveling throughout the universe on the two Voyager probes launched in 1977 ... Descriptions of the time and intellect devoted to the process of content selection, as well as the ingenious methods of data transfer used for the nonaudio components, are fascinating, but the personal tales behind this \'message to the stars\' are just as enthralling. Sagan, the leading scientist behind the Voyager recordings, published his own account, Murmurs of the Earth, just after Voyager launched, but Scott has the benefit of a wider range of information and sources and an objective view of the process. This is also a very relatable and human way to approach deep space exploration.
PositiveLibrary Journal... fluid, wide-ranging ... Essential reading for fans of Burroughs, Bowie, Reed, or Smith.
RaveLibrary JournalIn the first proper biography of Warren Zevon since his untimely death in 2003, Kushins crafts a thorough and unvarnished portrait of this legendary yet troubled musician ... Ex-wife Crystal Zevon published a forthright oral biography of Zevon in 2007...and Kushins interviewed many of the same sources for this new book. While the overall story of Zevon\'s life and career is given equal treatment in both works, Kushins\'s benefits from being a more objective overview ... An engaging and worthwhile read for Zevon\'s devoted fans.
PositiveLibrary Journal\"McGilligan has found a good critical balance as he extols his subject’s comedic and artistic virtues while being forthright about Brooks’s occasional stubborn attitude toward creative and financial control. McGilligan is one of the few film biographers not to indulge in extensive criticism of the projects themselves, instead offering commentary through the contemporary reviews or financial results of a given work ... Well researched, engaging, and of interest to all of Brooks fans.\
W. K. Stratton
RaveLibrary JournalMuch has been written about the revolutionary filmmaking of the late 1960s...but Stratton...has added a crucial piece of the puzzle with this 50th-anniversary history ... Stratton paints a wonderfully full portrait of director Sam Peckinpah and his quest for a more realistic depiction of violence at a time when the brutality of the Vietnam War was increasingly penetrating American living rooms ... This engaging, well-researched book belongs in every library and in the hands of every student of cinema.
Ian S Port
RaveLibrary JournalPort explores their trials and tribulations with an expert hand. This is a long-overdue cultural biography of musical innovation ... Thoroughly entertaining and deeply informative, this love letter to American creativity and rock and roll belongs in every library and should be read by all rock fans.