Tuesday, June 25, 2019

EXCLUSIVE! Cover Reveal: Cinematic Cities: New York: The Big Apple on the Big Screen

I'm happy to be partnering with TCM and Running Press for this exclusive cover reveal. That's right! You are seeing the cover of their upcoming book here first. 


Cinematic Cities: New York: The Big Apple on the Big Screen
by Christian Blauvelt
On Sale November 5th, 2019
Hardcover ISBN:9780762495429
168 pages
TCM and Running Press

Official Description:

For armchair travelers, film buffs, tourists, and city dwellers alike, Turner Classic Movies takes you on a one-of-a-kind tour of the cinematic sites of New York City.

Highlighting the great films set in the Big Apple since the dawn of cinema to the present, Cinematic Cities: New York City is both a trove of information including behind-the-scenes stories and trivia, and a practical guide full of tips on where to go, eat, drink, shop, and sleep to follow along the path of your favorite films set in NYC. Organized by neighborhood and featuring photographs and illustrated maps throughout, this is a love letter to the city and a one-of-a-kind history of the movies. Featured films and locations include The Godfather, The Seven Year Itch, King Kong, North by Northwest, On the Town, West Side Story, When Harry Met Sally, the films of Woody Allen, and scores of others.

Pre-Order @ AmazonBarnes and Noble

What do you think? I love filming locations and am excited to check this book out. And I'm hoping there will be a Boston one in the future!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Dynamic Dames by Sloan De Forest

Dynamic Dames
50 Leading Ladies Who Made History
by Sloan De Forest
Foreword by Julie Newmar
TCM and Running Press
Hardcover ISBN: 9780762465507
248 pages
July 2019

AmazonBarnes and NoblePowells

"Dynamic Dames share an X-factor; they transcend the narrow confines of their gender role, whether by taking small steps or revolutionary strides. Each of these 50 women, in her unique way, is an architect of her own destiny." - Sloan De Forest

Sometimes a book comes into your life that you didn't know you needed until you start reading. And when you do things start to fall into place. That's Dynamic Dames for me. Film historian and author's Sloan De Forest delivers with this captivating feminist manifesto. Dynamic Dames catalogs 50 strong female characters and the actresses who portrayed them. Each woman gets her time to shine. We learn about how the actress got the role, how the character came to be and what ties the two together. You can't divorce the actress from the part, they breathe life into these characters. This book could have been 50 short biographies. It could have been 50 short characters studies. But it's a lot more than that.

It starts off with a wonderful foreword by Julie Newmar, Catwoman herself, and an introduction by the author. Then come the Dynamic Dames. They are presented thematically instead of just chronologically. Themes include Pre-Codes, Comedies, Mysteries, Biopics, Superhero movies, etc. The grouping feels organic and will prevent those hardcore classic film nerds from abandoning the book at a certain decade. The book starts with the 1920s and goes up to present day. For those of you who want the specifics: out of the 50 women, 29 are from the 1960s or earlier and 21 are from the 1970s and later.

The criteria for inclusion is perhaps one of the strongest elements of the book. The women, fictional and real, are strong, empowered women. They are complicated, headstrong and surpassed expectations for their gender. De Forest did something interesting here. Instead of just going with all the iconic roles, she mixes it up and includes characters fascinating but not necessarily the most well-known. For every Scarlett O'Hara/ Vivien Leigh you'll have Lily Stevens/Ida Lupino.

I was a big fan of De Forest's Must See Sci-Fi, a book that really convinced me to take on a genre I was reluctant to in the past. (Check out my review of that book here). I had high expectations for Dynamic Dames and it delivers. The writing is engaging and the narrative voice is whip smart and clever. There is an appreciation of the past and a look towards the future. And like with the science fiction book, De Forest convinced me to try movies that I hadn't thought to before. I enjoyed reading about women and films that I was familiar with as much I did about ones that were still new to me.

Some of my favorite pieces include:
  • Bette Davis - Helen Bauer - Ex-Lady (1933)
  • Greta Garbo - Queen Christina - Queen Christina (1933)
  • Bonita Granville - Nancy Drew - Nancy Drew… Detective (1938)
  • Ingrid Bergman - Paula Alquist Anton - Gaslight (1944)
  • Joan Crawford - Mildred Pierce - Mildred Pierce (1945)
  • Elizabeth Taylor - Cleopatra - Cleopatra (1963)
  • Dorothy Dandridge - Carmen Jones - Carmen Jones (1954)
  • Grace Kelly - Lisa Fremont - Rear Window (1954)
  • Marlene Dietrich - Christine Vole - Witness for the Prosecution (1958)
  • Sophia Loren - Cesira - Two Women (1960)
  • Pam Crier - Coffy - Coffy (1973)
  • Linda Hamilton - Sarah Connor - The Terminator (1984) & Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
  • Jodie Foster - Clarice Starling - The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • Salma Hayek - Frida Kahlo - Frida (2002)
  • Keira Knightley - Colette - Colette (2018)

My only small quibble with the book is the format. The small hardcover size is easy to hold but I would have preferred a paperback format instead. Or a larger format with bigger and better (and more!) pictures.

Dynamic Dames is the must-have feminist film book. To me it's incredibly important to see other women overcoming obstacles and I found a lot of new-found inspiration in reading about them.
Read it for yourself and share it with others. If there is someone in your life who is weary of classic movies because of what they believe is a lack of strong female roles, this is a nice gateway into appreciating film history.

I filmed a book review video which goes more into detail about the book's structure and my thoughts on it. If you liked the video please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel!

Update: Check out my interview with author Sloan De Forest on the TCM website!

A big thank you to Running Press for sending me a copy of this book for review.

This is my first review for the Summer Reading Challenge.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

New & Upcoming Classic Film Books (13)

It's that time again when I offer my dear readers a bevvy of bookish delights that are ready to make a dent in your bank account and find a home in your personal library. There are so many good offerings this Fall. I know I say that every time but each new round-up continues to amaze me.

Are you new to my list? Here are the details.

Links are to Goodreads or to Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Powell's. When you use my buy links to purchase and pre-order you help support this site. Thank you!

Books include biographies, memoirs, scholarly texts, coffee table books and more from a variety of publishers. Publication dates range from July to December 2019 (with a few May titles thrown in) and these are subject to change.

A few notes about this list. I've included a few books that are not classic film ones per say but might pique your interest. Also, there are some titles that will publish during the July-December time frame that won't be featured here because they were included in my last round-up. So make sure to check that post for more bookish goodness. If something is missing, feel free to contact me with the details and I'll add it to the list!

Happy reading!

edited by Paul Duncan
680 pages – May 2019

by Mary Sheeran
Aquafire Solis
480 pages – May 2019

by David Parkinson
Laurence King Publishing
216 pages – August 2019

Dances in Literature and Cinema
Hannah Durkin
University of Illinois Press
280 pages – August 2019

Now available in paperback
by Marie Benedict
Sourcesbooks Landmark
336 pages – August 2019

50 years of The Italian Job Hardcover
by Matthew Field
Porter Press
176 pages – August 2019

by James D’Arc
Gibbs Smith
320 pages – August 2019

The Women Who Changed the Way We Look
by Tamsin Blanchard
Laurence King Publishing
232 pages – September 2019

Brigitte Bardot: My Life in Fashion
by Henry-Jean Servat and Brigitte Bardot
256 pages – September 2019

Princess in Dior
by Florence Muller and Frederic Mitterrand
foreword by Princes Albert II of Monaco
152 pages – September 2019

by Steven Rea
Chronicle Books
120 pages – September 2019

Her Life and Career
by Peter Shelley
214 pages – September 2019

Inside the Private World of Classic American Moviemaking
by Rocky Lang and Barbara Hall
Foreword by Peter Bogdanovich
352 pages – September 2019

The Life and Career of a Reluctant Star Paperback
by Michael D. Rinella
245 pages – September 2019

A Biography Including Her 1941 Memoir
by Louise Carley Lewisson
175 pages – September 2019

by Melissa J. Hayes
Colin Slater's The Hollywood Photo Archive
Lyons Press
160 pages – September 2019

George Gershwin’s Life in Music
by Richard Crawford
W.W. Norton & Company
560 pages – September 2019

by Allen Glover
256 pages – September 2019

A Lot to Remember
by Rebecca Cline
160 pages – September 2019

A Lifetime of Movie Glamour, Art and High Fashion
by Leonard Stanley and Mark A. Vieira
foreword by Robin Adrian
352 pages – October 2019

The History of Oscar-Winning Women
by Stephen Tapert
Foreword by Roxane Gay
Rutgers University Press
250 pages – October 2019

Stories that Inspired Great Crime Films
edited by Otto Penzler
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
1200 pages – October 2019

by Sarah Broughton
Parthian Books
180 pages – October 2019

Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics
by Sydney Ladensohn Stern
University Press of Mississippi
464 pages – October 2019

A Cat Lover's Introduction to Film Studies
by Daisuke Miyao
University of Hawaii Press
216 pages – October 2019

The Story of Marlon Brando
by William J. Mann
736 pages – October 2019

Faith Bacon, Sally Rand, and the Golden Age of the Showgirl
by Leslie Zemeckis
336 pages – October 2019

The Untold Story of the Costellos
by Terry Chester Shulman
University Press of Kentucky
260 pages – October 2019

Cinema and the Preservation of the British Empire
by Tom Rice
University of California Press
360 pages – October 2019

A Revolution in Design
by Tony Nourmand, Graham Marsh, Christopher Frayling
Reel Art Press
288 pages – October 2019

The Director’s Notebook
by Randal Kleiser
Harper Design
208 pages – October 2019

A Memoir of My Hollywood Years
by Julie Andrews with Emma Walton Hamilton
Hachette Books
352 pages – October 2019

A Comprehensive Guide to Duke’s Movies, Quotes, Achievements and More
by the Official John Wayne Magazine
Media Lab Books
336 pages – October 2019

A Life in Letters
edited by Jo Evans and Breixo Viejo
608 pages – September 2019

Cedric Gibbons and the Art of the Golden Age of Hollywood
by Howard Gutner
Lyons Press
288 pages – October 2019

The Essential 1,000 Films to See
edited by Wallace Schroeder
curated by A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis
1248 pages – October 2019

A Toast to Hollywood
by Cider Mill Press
Cider Mill Press
240 pages – October 2019

The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History
by Nathalia Holt
Little, Brown and Company
400 pages – October 2019

by Simon Brew
240 pages – October 2019

A History of the Film Star
by Michael Newton
Reaktion Books
448 pages – October 2019

Sidney Lumet
The Actor’s Director
by Aubrey Malone
200 pages – October 2019

by Fred Bronson
Carlton Books
168 pages – October 2019

Rod Serling and the Birth of Television
by Koren Shadmi
Life Drawn
168 pages – October 2019

On Cinema, Women and Changing Times
by Laura Mulvey
Reaktion Books
240 pages – November 2019

50 Years of Looking for America
by Steve Bingen
Lyons Press
240 pages – November 2019

edited by Delia Malia Caparoso Konzett
Rutgers University Press
314 pages – November 2019

My Fifty Years Editing Hollywood Hits
by Paul Hirsch
Chicago Review Press
448 pages – November 2019

Jacques Tati and Comedic Modernism
by Malcom Turvey
Columbia University Press
352 pages – November 2019

(Cover pending!)

The Big Apple on the Big Screen
by Christian Blauvelt
Running Press – Turner Classic Movies
168 pages – November 2019

by Maurizio Baroni
Gingko Press Inc.
352 pages – November 2019

New York Genius
by James Kaplan
Yale University Press
416 pages – November 2019

by John Kobal
introduction by Robert Dance
University Press of Mississippi
496 pages – November 2019

Mack Sennett's Fun Factory
A History and Filmography of His Studio and His Keystone and Mack Sennett Comedies, With Biographies of Players and Personnel
by Brent E. Walker
671 pages – November 2019

Mike Nichols as Remembered by 103 of His Closest Friends
by Ash Carter and Sam Kashner
Henry Holt and Co
304 pages – November 2019

by Jeanine Basinger
656 pages – November 2019

The Unsung Heroes & Villains of the Silver Screen
by Steve Carver and C. Courtney Joyner
Foreword by Roger Corman
Edition Olms
256 pages – November 2019

by Sue Matheson
Rowman & Littlefield
480 pages – December 2019

Race and Labor in Post-Civil Rights Hollywood
by Eithne Quinn
Columbia University Press
288 pages – December 2019

His Life and His Films
Maura Spiegel
St. Martin’s Press
384 pages – December 2019

by Robert B. Pippin
University of Chicago Press
312 pages – December 2019

by Michael Hammond
SUNY Press
320 pages – December 2019
Amazon Barnes and Noble


Dynamic Dames
50 Leading Ladies Who Made History
by Sloan De Forest
Foreword by Julie Newmar
TCM and Running Press
248 pages – July 2019

Arthur Penn's Night Moves and the Rise of Neo-Noir 
by Matthew Asprey Gear
Jorvik Press
178 pages – May 2019

New & Upcoming Classic Film Books (1)

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