Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My Summer Reading List

It's almost July and my Summer Reading Classic Film Book Challenge is in full swing. If you haven't signed-up yet you have until July 15th! Here is what I'm reading this summer.

The Unconscious Actor: Out of Control, In Full Command
by Darryl Hickman
When I asked Darryl Hickman about fond memories he had of working in Hollywood as a child star, he directed me to his book. He shared a few memories with me during our chat on the TCMFF red carpet but if I wanted to hear anymore I know I'd have to dive into this gem. This book is half autobiography, half a missive on acting and should prove to be an interesting read.

The First King of Hollywood book poster at BEA 2015

The First King of Hollywood: The Life of Douglas Fairbanks 
by Tracey Goessel
My excitement for this title started when I spotted the cover art on display at Book Expo America in 2015. Chicago Review Press is a fantastic publisher with a growing list of excellent classic film books. I'm reading this one now and it'll be my first review for the summer reading challenge.

William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come
by James Curtis
I enjoyed Curtis' 1,000 page biography on Spencer Tracy that I thought I'd try his newest book about master film production designer William Cameron Menzies. I love learning about the people behind-the-scenes beyond just the directors. It takes a team of talents to make films and Menzies left his mark on many of them.

Mark A. Vieira at the 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival

Into the Dark: The Hidden World of Film Noir, 1941-1950
 by Mark A. Vieira
I had a chance to meet Mark A. Vieira at the TCM Classic Film Festival and to get an advance copy of Into the Dark autographed. Content-wise this should be pretty light and I added it to my summer reading list to lighten my reading load. Also I'm still in withdrawal from last year's excellent Summer of Darkness course and noir series hosted by TCM. A little noir during the summer just seems right.

Hitchcock Truffaut (2015) film poster

by François Truffaut
I watched Hitchcock Truffaut (2015), the documentary about the legendary interview between the two directors, which is essentially a film about the making of this book. So of course I had to read this book! Hitchcock by Truffaut had been out-of-print but re-released thanks to the documentary.

The Dawn of Technicolor book

The Dawn of Technicolor 1915-1935 
by James Layton and David Pierce
 I started reading this beauty last year but life got in the way and I had to set it aside. I purchased it at Cinefest 35 and got to meet both authors, got the book signed and attended their Dawn of Technicolor presentation (which they also did at TCMFF that same year). I can't wait to read this one in earnest.

What are you reading this summer?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Profiles in History's Auction & My Top Four Picks

Profiles in History's Hollywood Auction 83, hosted by Invaluable, is a 3-day online auction starting tomorrow June 29th.

Collectibles up for bids include: portraits, production shots, lobby cards, press books, autographed photos, posters, TV and Film negatives, production and costume sketches, shooting scripts, manuscripts, contracts, costumes and more

Stars featured include: Rita Hayworth, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and other legends including an extensive catalog of Bettie Page memorabilia.

The auction starts Wednesday June 29th at 11AM PST with over 1,700 items parsed out over 3 days. You can watch the live Hollywood Auction 83 here. Most of the items from the classic film era are up for auction on the first and second days.

One of their top item is an iconic part of TV history. Lucille Ball's signature Lucy Ricardo polka dotted dress from the I Love Lucy show. It's estimated to go for anywhere between $60-$80k! Another top item includes the original poster art by Maurice Thomas from War and Peace (1956) estimated to sell between $3-$5k.

I don't collect much memorabilia but if I did I would bid on these four lots in particular:

Nancy Drew Reporter

Lot 63: Nancy Drew series (2) vintage original lobby cards from 2 films.

If you know my love for Bonita Granville's Nancy Drew films you'll know why I'm cursing the universe for this temptation!

Lot 79: "James Bond" vintage original advance subway poster from You Only Live Twice. 

I have wall space big enough to house this beauty so of course I should get it. Add it to my cart please.

Lot 92: He Who Gets Slapped vintage original pressbook. 

I'm fascinated by movie marketing, especially how it was done back in the early days of cinema. Plus it doesn't hurt that the film features one of my favorite actresses Norma Shearer. I'm off to look in between the cushions of my sofa. Maybe I can find some spare $100s in there?

Lot 400: Clark Gable vintage original signed photograph.

Oh to be in possession of something the debonair Clark Gable once held in his hands. ::sigh::

Take a look through Profiles in History's offerings and let me know what you'd bid on!

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