Teen movies, sinking ships and terrible movies skewered

An exciting selection of new books on all things silver screen related. Included the mix are two collections of reviews from Roger Ebert on films from opposite ends of the quality spectrum, with the two-star and less reviews being particularly entertaining.

Syndetics book coverJames Cameron’s Titanic / foreword by James Cameron ; [photography by Douglas Kirkland ; unit photography by Merie W. Wallace ; text by Ed W. Marsh ; project editor, Jain Lemos].
“Describes the monumental efforts that went into the creation of the major motion picture that re-created the final voyage of the “ship of dreams,” otherwise known as the Titanic.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMaking film and television histories : Australia and New Zealand / edited by James E. Bennett and Rebecca Beirne.
“Making Film and Television Histories” approaches film and television texts as primary historical media with the potential to bring historical topics alive through their interplay between past and present. It is a major text, the first to situate in a clear historical context selected New Zealand and Australian films and television programs ranging from highly successful films such as “The Piano”, “Australia”, “Once Were Warriors” and “Heavenly Creatures” to less well-known texts that form the basis for intriguing examinations of history, representation and identity. “Making Film and Television Histories” will be of particular value to teachers and trainee teachers wishing to inspire students to engage with history by putting to use audiovisual media in the classroom.” – (adapted from Fishpond.co.nz summary)

Syndetics book coverStranded at the drive-in : the 100 best teen movies / Garry Mulholland.
“Everyone undergoes some kind of teenage trauma, and a fundamental way of coping, or rite of passage, is the teen movie. Yet until now there has been no book that explores this successful movie sub-genre with any depth. Step forward Garry Mulholland, who, taking his cue from his previous, hugely acclaimed pop culture list books (This is Uncool and Fear of Music) , seeks to create a pantheon of the very finest teen movies. From Kes to Fame, Badlands to the Breakfast Club, and National Lampoon’s Animal House to Twilight, Garry Mulholland re-evaluates a much maligned genre, and brings it all back again: the good, the bad and the traumatic.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverThe great movies III / Roger Ebert.
“Ebert, indisputably the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, returns with a third collection of brief essays on 100 movies worthy of further examination. As before, he balances his selection among classics from Hollywood’s golden age (Top Hat) and modern era (Godfather: Part II), silent movies (Phantom of the Opera), foreign masterworks (Fanny and Alexander), and a smattering of documentaries (Crumb) and animation (three Chuck Jones cartoons). In every case, Ebert offers informed critical appraisals, as well as background on the movie’s making and significance, that make these pieces rewarding for film buffs and ideal introductions for first-time viewers.” – (adapted from Booklist summary)

Syndetics book coverA horrible experience of unbearable length : more movies that suck / Roger Ebert.
“A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length collects more than 200 of Roger Ebert’s reviews since 2006 in which he gave movies two stars or fewer. Known for his fair-minded and well-written film reviews, Roger is at his razor-sharp humorous best when skewering bad movies. Movie buffs and humor lovers alike will relish this treasury of movies so bad that you may just want to see them for a good laugh!” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverDirty dancing : a celebration / foreword by Eleanor Bergstein.
“Named one of the most romantic movies of the past twenty-five years by Entertainment Weekly, Dirty Dancing is a touchstone in the lives of generations of moviegoers. Now, for the first time, millions of fans have the opportunity to own the first-ever book celebrating the magic, music, and memories of the seminal film.With photographs, reminiscences from cast and crew, memorable quotes, trivia, and song lyrics, this gift-able package is a perfect and brand-new way to relive the film. Dirty Dancing is a timeless love story set in the summer of 1963 and its passionate story line and alluring dance numbers made the film a box-office hit and pop-culture phenomenon.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)