New Books on Movies

New books on movies and TV programmes feature intriguing inside stories, including the relationship between James Dean and the photographer Dennis Stock, and Star Trek’s 50 year history. Movie guides such as The Film Buff’s Bucket List give movie lovers a delightful read. Check them out!

Syndetics book coverJames Dean / Dennis Stock ; introduction by Joe Hyams.
“Magnum photographer Dennis Stock met James Dean at the Château Marmont in Hollywood in 1954, and they became fast friends. Stock captured Dean’s essence in a stunning series of images of the actor in the midst of family and friends, as well as alone, sleeping, lost in thought, in the frozen fields of Indiana, and on a rainy day in Manhattan. It was an extraordinary collaboration between two people in full command of their respective talents. Dennis Stock: James Dean reintroduces these iconic photographs with Dennis Stock’s original accompanying text and a later introduction by Joe Hyams.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary) Also, check out the recent movie Life.

Syndetics book coverYoung Orson : the years of luck and genius on the path to Citizen Kane / Patrick McGilligan.
“On the centennial of his birth, the defining wunderkind of modern entertainment gets his due in a groundbreaking new biography of his early years–from his first forays in theater and radio to the inspiration and making of Citizen Kane. In this magisterial biography, Patrick McGilligan brings young Orson into focus as never before. Filled with intriguing new insights and startling revelations–including the surprising true origin and meaning of “Rosebud”–Young Orson is a fascinating look at the creative development and influences that shaped this legendary artistic genius.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe autobiography of James T. Kirk : the story of Starfleet’s greatest captain / by James T. Kirk ; edited by David A. Goodman.
The Autobiography of James T. Kirk chronicles the greatest Starfleet captain’s life (2233-2371), in his own words. From his birth on the U.S.S. Kelvin, his youth spent on Tarsus IV, his time in the Starfleet Academy, his meteoric rise through the ranks of Starfleet, and his illustrious career at the helm of the Enterprise, this in-world memoir uncovers Captain Kirk in a way Star Trek fans have never seen. Excerpts from his personal correspondence, captain’s logs, and more give Kirk’s personal narrative further depth.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSharon Tate : a life / Ed Sanders ; illustrations by Rick Veitch.
“Ed Sanders gave readers their clearest insight yet into the disturbing world of Charles Manson and his followers when he published The Family in 1971. Continuing that journalistic tradition, Sanders presents the most thorough look ever into the heartbreaking story of Sharon Tate, the iconic actress who found love, fame, and ultimately tragedy during her all-too-brief life. Sharon Tate: A Life traces Sharon’s path from beauty queen to budding young actress: her early love affairs, her romance with and marriage to director Roman Polanski, and the excitement of the glamorous life she had always sought–all set against the background of the turbulent 1960s.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe caped crusade : Batman and the rise of nerd culture / Glen Weldon.
“A witty, intelligent cultural history from book critic Glen Weldon explains Batman’s rises and falls throughout the ages and what his story tells us about ourselves. Since his creation, Batman has been many things: a two-fisted detective; a planet-hopping gadabout; a campy Pop-art sensation; a pointy-eared master spy; and a grim and gritty ninja of the urban night. In The Caped Crusade, with humour and insight, Glen Weldon, book critic and author of Superman: The Unauthorized Biography, lays out Batman’s seventy-eight-year cultural history and shows how he has helped make us who we are today and why his legacy remains so strong.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJames Bond : the legacy / John Cork & Bruce Scivally.
“When Dr. No was released in 1962, it had an immediate and lasting impact on film audiences. The character of Bond became an icon of masculine cool and an international idol who would ride the cultural zeitgeist for the next 40 years.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat the eye hears : a history of tap dancing / Brian Seibert.
“Magisterial, revelatory, and-most suitably-entertaining, What the Eye Hears offers an authoritative account of the great American art of tap dancing. Brian Seibert, a dance critic for The New York Times , begins by exploring tap’s origins as a hybrid of the jig and clog dancing from the British Isles and dances brought from Africa by slaves. He tracks tap’s transfer to the stage through blackface minstrelsy and charts its growth as a cousin to jazz in the vaudeville circuits and nightclubs of the early twentieth century.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSet phasers to stun : 50 years of Star Trek / Marcus Berkmann.
“Forty-seven years after NBC killed it off, Star Trek celebrates its half-century in a state of rude health. Boldly going where several other people have been before, Marcus Berkmann tells the story of this sturdy science fiction vehicle from its first five-year mission (rudely curtailed to three), through the dark years of the 1970s, the triumphant film series and The Next Generation, to the current ‘reboot’ films, with a younger cast taking on the characters of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and co. With wit, insight and a huge pile of DVDs, he seeks to answer all the important questions. Why did Kirk’s shirt always get torn when he had a fist fight? What’s the most number of times Uhura said ‘Hailing frequencies open, sir’ in a single episode? (Seven.) And what’s the worst imaginable insult in Klingon? (Your mother has a smooth forehead.)” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReel history : the world according to the movies / Alex von Tunzelmann.
“From ancient Egypt to the Tudors to the Nazis, the film industry has often defined how we think of the past. But how much of what you see on the screen is true? And does it really matter if filmmakers just make it all up? Picking her way through Hollywood’s version of events, acclaimed historian Alex von Tunzelmann sorts the fact from the fiction. Along the way, we meet all our favorite historical characters, on screen and in real life: from Cleopatra to Elizabeth I, from Spartacus to Abraham Lincoln, and from Attila the Hun to Nelson Mandela.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMovie freak : my life watching movies / Owen Gleiberman.
“Owen Gleiberman has spent his life watching movies-first at the drive-in, where his parents took him to see wildly inappropriate adult fare like Rosemary’s Baby when he was a wide-eyed 9 year old, then as a possessed cinemaniac who became a film critic right out of college. In Movie Freak, his enthrallingly candid, funny, and eye-opening memoir, Gleiberman captures what it’s like to live life through the movies, existing in thrall to a virtual reality that becomes, over time, more real than reality itself. For Gleiberman, the moving image has a talismanic power, but it also represents a kind of sweet sickness, a magnificent obsession that both consumes and propels him.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe film buff’s bucket list : the 50 movies of the 2000s to see before you die / Chris Stuckmann.
“Theaters around the world are dominated by comic book heroes, ice princesses, apocalyptic love-struck teens, and whatever masterpiece Pixar is rolling out. It’s clear that cinema is as healthy as ever. But which films are the best of the best? What are the top movies since 2000 to see before you die? Chris Stuckmann, one of YouTube’s most popular film reviewers (70+ million views) gives us his best of the best! In his book debut, Stuckmann delivers his list of the very best 50 Movies since 2000 – with that style and punch that YouTube viewers have come to love. These are the films you must see before you die.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe ultimate binge-watching guide / Chris Roberts.
“Watching a smartly written, well-acted, top-tier TV series is like immersing yourself in a great novel. It’s addictive. And more and more people are gobbling up shows in big bites–sometimes bingeing on an entire season in a weekend. From classics like Seinfeld and Twin Peaks, to Breaking Bad and Sherlock, to Denmark’s Borgen and France’s Les Revenants, here are 100 of the very best, all worth spending hours of time on the couch. In addition to insightful, informative, and spoiler-free overviews of storylines, themes, and characters, you’ll get enough recommendations, trivia, and teasers to make you want to catch the shows you haven’t yet seen–and revisit the ones you have!” (Syndetics summary)