From Vincent Ward to Burlesque

These latest picks are an eclectic mix, with one of our staff favourites (Dr Horrible) in there providing some comic relief!

Syndetics book coverVincent Ward : the past awaits : people, images, film
Vincent Ward is one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent filmmakers, lauded both at home and internationally for the quality of his compelling and original vision. Ward originally trained as a fine artist, and his strong visual sensibility has always been recognised as one of the defining features of his films. It is this skill as an image maker that is the genesis for this book, which sets out to collect together the remarkable images that form the heart of Vincent Ward’s films. Beginning with his most recent film Rain of the Children, which builds on his groundbreaking documentary In Spring One Plants Along, made between 1978-1981, the book covers all of his feature films, including Vigil, The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey, Map of the Human Heart, What Dreams May Come, and River Queen. While the images in Lives Lived stand on their own. Vincent Ward has added another significant layer to this book by writing a fascinating and revealing text to accompany the photographs, that explains much of how and why these films were made, and the themes that interest and motivate him. This book is about the search to stay whole through making films: of being inspired by the people you work with and make films about, those who offer a lodestone for living. By seeing into the lives of some of the people I have thought above, perhaps in seeing these lives it is easier to see more clearly into my own. Vincent Ward is one of the great creative figures of our generation, whose films have had an enduring influence on the way we see ourself in this country. Lives Lived is an appropriately powerful contribution to that legacy. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDirectory of world cinema. Volume 3, Australia & New Zealand / edited by Ben Goldsmith and Geoff Lealand.
“This addition to Intellect’s Directory of World Cinema series turns the spotlight on Australia and New Zealand and offers an in-depth and exciting look at the cinema produced in these two countries since the turn of the twentieth century. Though the two nations share considerable cultural and economic connections, their film industries remain distinct, marked by differences of scale, level of government involvement and funding, and relations with other countries and national cinemas. Through essays about prominent genres and themes, profiles of directors, and comprehensive reviews of significant titles, this user-friendly guide explores the diversity and distinctiveness of films from Australia and New Zealand from “Whale Rider” to “The Piano” to “Wolf  Creek.” ” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNightmare movies : horror on screen since the 1960s / Kim Newman.
Now over twenty years old, the original edition of Nightmare Movies has retained its place as a true classic of cult film criticism. In this new edition, Kim Newman brings his seminal work completely up to date, both reassessing his earlier evaluations and adding a second part that analyses the last two decades of horror films with all the wit, intelligence and insight for which he is known. Since the publication of the first edition, horror has been on a gradual upswing and has gained a new and stronger hold over the film industry. Newman negotiates his way through a vast back catalogue of horror and charts the on-screen progress of our collective fears and bogeymen, from the low-budget slasher movies of the 1960s, through to the slick releases of the 2000s. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDr. Horrible’s sing-along blog : the book / featuring the script and songs by Joss Whedon … [et al.] ; with contributions from the cast and crew ; sheet music notation by Jane Watkins.
“Joss Whedon’s Emmy award-winning musical tragicomedy tells the story of Billy, aka Dr Horrible, a budding supervillain who wants to beat superhero Captain Hammer and take over the world… and pluck up the courage to speak to his laundromat crush Penny. With exclusive new material from Joss and the production team, new photos, sheet music and more, this official book is a must for fans!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIt’s not really about the hair : the honest truth about life, love, and the business of beauty / Tabatha Coffey ; with Richard Buskin.
“Tabatha Coffey, the outspoken beauty-and business-expert who stars in Bravo’s hit series Tabatha’s Salon Takeover will tell you that the mirror never lies… And neither does she.Tabatha knows that sitting before our reflection in the salon chair somehow induces us all to confide our innermost thoughts to our hairdresser-from our deepest insecurities to our greatest hopes and dreams. By really listening to what the people who come to her for a cut, color, perm-or, more accurately, “a change”-say about themselves, Tabatha has made a career of transforming their outward appearances to match their inner selves. Now Tabatha writes openly about her own transformation-an amazing story that will surprise, amuse, and inspire you to be your very best self, too. Book jacket.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBurlesque : the motion picture / introduction by Cher ; foreword by Christina Aguilera ; Welcome to Burlesque by Steven Antin.
“The official companion to the upcoming musical motion picture event. In “Burlesque,” Christina Aguilera plays Ali, a small-town girl who follows her dreams to Los Angeles and finds work at an ailing theater owned by Tess (Cher). On her way toward stage success, Ali is helped by a sharp-witted stage manager (Stanley Tucci) and fabulous host (Alan Cumming), finds a friend (Julianne Hough) and a jealous enemy (Kristen Bell), falls for a bartender (Cam Gigandet), and receives an enticing proposal from a charismatic entrepreneur (Eric Dane). Breathtaking choreography, outrageous costumes, and original and classic songs make “Burlesque” the kind of brash and bold musical fans go mad for. Filled with scenes from the film, exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, costume sketches, set designs, screenplay excerpts, and contributions from the cast and crew, this is a gorgeous, fascinating, and up-close celebration of the over-the-top glamour and gritty struggles found in “Burlesque.”” (Syndetics summary)