Binge these new movie & TV books

Make sure to check out some newly catalogued books on movies and TV programmes. They include the colourful ‘top 100’ movie guides by Fantastic Press and the insightful guidebooks of the much-loved TV series; Game of Thrones and Orphan Black.

Syndetics book coverTop 100 horror movies / written, edited and designed by Gary Gerani ; Ken Rubin, production coordinator.
“For the first Fantastic Press offering, it’s horror against horror in the ultimate scary movie match-up. Screenwriter/film historian Gary (Pumpkinhead) Gerani presents and evaluates the cinema’s most celebrated shockers, from silent classics to today’s gleefully audacious gorefests. This super-colorful overview contains over 600 rare visuals, and features a brand-new introduction by celebrated horror movie director Roger Corman.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTop 100 comic book movies / written, edited and designed by Gary Gerani.
“From the classic era of super-serials like FLASH GORDON to the current blockbusters that have taken Hollywood by storm, Top 100 Comic Book Movies covers the fascinating universe of live-action theatrical adaptations of comic books and comic strips. Readers will revel in historic overviews of the greatest works of this unique genre, accompanied by dazzling photographs, full-color posters, and countless rare artifacts. Watch the patriotic ’40s give way to the campy ’60s, until the 21st Century explodes with superhero excitement on a scale never before experienced.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTop 100 sci-fi movies / written, edited and designed by Gary Gerani ; Ken Rubin, production coordinator.
“Fantastic Press strikes again with its second trade paperback offering, this time exploring the ultra-fanciful universe of spaceships, exotic planets, time travel, and extraterrestrials. The top 100 sci-fi movies are reviewed and ranked by fantasy screenwriter/film historian Gary Gerani, who covers everything from early silent groundbreakers like A Trip to the Moon to today’s widescreen, computer-generated blockbusters. With over 600 rare visuals, full-color layouts. and an introduction by one of Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers, this exciting new pictorial overview is the ideal companion book to 2010’s Top 100 Horror Movies.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe DNA of Orphan Black / Abbie Bernstein.
“Get under the skin of clone club. This comprehensive guide to Orphan Black has an access-all-areas pass to the most innovative drama on TV. Includes interviews with the show’s creators and cast, exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, production and visual effects secrets, plus everything you need to know about the Dyad Institute, the Proletheans and Neolutionists, Projects Leda and Castor, and more. This is a must-have for all fans of Orphan Black.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe science of Game of thrones. / Helen Keen.
“Award-winning comedian and popular-science writer Helen Keen uncovers the astounding science behind the world’s most popular television show. Join Helen as she sifts the fact from fantasy, discovers the truth beneath the togas, and reveals a world more fantastical than Daenerys Targaryen’s wildest dreams. So pour yourself a bowl of brown, climb on your beast of burden, and prepare yourself for an amazing adventure. It’s time to see the Seven Kingdoms as you have never seen them before.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMakeup man : from Rocky to Star trek : the amazing creations of Hollywood’s Michael Westmore / Michael Westmore with Jake Page.
“Since 1917, there has never been a time when Westmores weren’t shaping the visages of stardom. For their century-long dedication to the art of makeup, the Westmores were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008. In this lively memoir, Michael Westmore not only regales us with tales of Hollywood’s golden age, but also from his own career where he notably transformed Sylvester Stallone into Rocky Balboa and Robert DiNiro into Jake LaMotta, among many other makeup miracles.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBreaking and entering : a manual for the working actor in film, stage and TV : from auditions to agents to a career / Philip Carlson.
“Philip Carlson was the first agent to sign Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Liev Schreiber, Claire Danes, Idris Elba, Kyra Sedgwick, Adrien Grenier and Paul Giamatti. He has represented Viola Davis, Kathy Bates, Brian Dennehy, and W.H. Macy among many and gifted others. He shares his practical trade secrets in this extraordinarily comprehensive guide on how to get into show business.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe actor uncovered : a life in acting / Michael Howard.
The Actor Uncovered is certainly not a set of rigid rules advocating one “method” or one singular “truth.” Departing from the common guidebook format, Michael Howard uses a unique approach to teaching acting, reflecting on his own history and sharing his own experiences as an actor, director, and teacher. How he writes about the process and craft of acting is at once intensely personal and relatable by others.” (Syndetics summary)

New books on Movies & TV

A variety of new books on movies and TV programmes have been added to our collection recently. They include the intriguing study about movies adapted from comics (and vice versa) and the history of Wellington summer Shakespeare. See also the fascinating biographies of Charlotte Rampling and Ava Gardner.

Syndetics book coverWho I am / Charlotte Rampling ; with Christophe Bataille ; translated from the French by William Hobson with Charlotte Rampling.
“Oscar-nominated Charlotte Rampling most recently appeared in hit ITV drama Broadchurch, the BBC’s London Spy and HBO’s Dexter, and the feature film 45 Years. Having shied away from biographies and autobiographies (“too personal”) Rampling has now written Who I Am (first published in French) a lyrical, and intimate self-portrait via reminiscences. Written in a style that gives a unique insight into her screen persona, it is an idiosyncratic and beguiling insight of one of the most consistently adventurous and interesting actors.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKirk and Anne : letters of love, laughter, and a lifetime in Hollywood / Kirk and Anne Douglas ; with Marcia Newberger.
“Film legend Kirk Douglas and Anne Buydens, his wife of nearly sixty-three years, look back on a lifetime filled with drama both on and off the screen. Sharing priceless correspondence with each other as well as the celebrities and world leaders they called friends, Kirk and Anne is a candid portrayal of the pleasures and pitfalls of a Hollywood life lived in the public eye.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAva : a life in movies / Kendra Bean and Anthony Uzarowski.
“Renowned for her screen performances, down-to-earth personality, and love affair with Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner left an indelible mark on Hollywood history. Her adventurous life story is told through authoritative text and hundreds of photos in Ava: A Life in Movies.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJean Renoir : a biography / Pascal Mérigeau ; translated by Bruce Benderson ; foreword by Martin Scorsese.
“Originally published in France in 2012, Pascal Merigeau’s definitive biography of legendary film director Jean Renoir is a landmark work–the winner of a Prix Goncourt, France’s top literary achievement. Now available in the English language for the first time, Jean Renoir: A Biography is the definitive study of one of the most fascinating and creative artistic figures of the twentieth century.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFences / a play by August Wilson ; introduction by Lloyd Richards.
“From legendary playwright August Wilson, the powerful, stunning dramatic work that won him critical acclaim, including the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize. Denzel Washington’s film adaptation received nominations for awards from the Academy Awards, African-American Film Critics Association, American Film Institute, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and NAACP Image Awards, among others.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWellington Summer Shakespeare, 1983-2017 / David Lawrence.
“Since its first production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1983, the Wellington Summer Shakespeare has become an unmissable annual event, staging some of the liveliest Shakespeare productions performed in New Zealand. Over 33 years, the Summer Shakespeare has enthralled audiences, introduced new generations of theatregoers to Shakespeare in performance, and played a formative role in the early careers of many of New Zealand’s leading creatives. Wellington Summer Shakespeare 1983-2017 collects photos, ephemera and memories from some of the plays’ directors to document the evolution of Wellington’s only large-scale, large-cast, outdoor theatre event.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverT2 trainspotting / screenplay by John Hodge ; based on the books Porno and Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh.
“First there is an opportunity, then there is a betrayal. Twenty years have gone by. Much has changed but just as much remains the same. Mark Renton returns to the only place he can ever call home. They are waiting for him, of course: Spud, Sick Boy, and Frank Begbie. But they are not alone. Other old friends are waiting too: sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, diamorphine, self-destruction and mortal danger, they are all lined up to welcome him, ready to join the dance. Mark Renton returns, to the chaos of life and death.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMovie comics : page to screen/screen to page / Blair Davis.
“Adaptations of comics have been an integral part of American cinema from its very inception, with comics characters regularly leaping from the page to the screen and cinematic icons spawning comics of their own. Movie Comics is the first book to study the long history of both comics-to-film and film-to-comics adaptations, covering everything from silent films starring Happy Hooligan to sound films and serials featuring Dick Tracy and Superman to comic books starring John Wayne, Gene Autry, Bob Hope, Abbott & Costello, Alan Ladd, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.” (Syndetics summary)

New Books on Movies and TV for June

We have received a wide variety of new books on movies and TV programmes, including beautifully designed visual guidebooks for Rogue One, The Jungle Book and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Must-read titles are the biography of much-missed actress Carrie Fisher, as well as a history of Wellington’s iconic theatre BATS by Ken Duncum and Rebecca Rodden.

Syndetics book coverBats plays / Ken Duncum & Rebecca Rodden.
“Six seminal plays from Ken Duncum and Rebecca Rodden, whose playwriting partnership powered the vibrant theatre scene round Wellington’s BATS Theatre in the 1980s and 90s. Boldly inventive, darkly comic and ceaselessly imaginative, the plays collected here present a chilling one-woman vision of alienation (Polythene Pam); the comic and tragic impossibility of human connection (Truelove); an irresponsible punk couple horrified to find they’ve become parents to the Messiah (Flybaby); conjoined twins plunged into an off-kilter world of rampant advertising, animal terrorism and a perfume made from monkey semen (cult-classic JISM); a real-life 20th-century martyr tested to his limits in the afterlife by a vengeful gang of defrocked saints (The Temptations of St Max); and the not-so-quiet desperation of a fearful hoarder fighting to survive the night hours (Panic!). Supporting the plays are introductions and selected images from the writers and other BATS practitioners which vividly recapture a crucial time and place in New Zealand’s theatre history.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe princess diarist / Carrie Fisher.
“With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time–and what developed behind the scenes. Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of Rogue One, a Star Wars story / written by Josh Kushins ; forewords by Doug Chiang, Neil Lamont, and Gareth Edwards.
“This book is a visual chronicle of the Lucasfilm art department’s creation of new worlds, unforgettable characters, and newly imagined droids, vehicles, and weapons for the first movie in the Star Wars Story series — Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In the same format and style as Abrams’ The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the book gives readers unprecedented access to hundreds of concept paintings, sketches, storyboards, matte paintings, and character, costume, and vehicle designs.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of The jungle book / written by Ellen Wolff ; foreword by Jon Favreau.
“Beautifully designed and packed with behind-the-scenes details, The Art of The Jungle Book provides an in-depth look at Disney’s latest film. In this finely crafted book, dazzling concept art, behind-the-scenes photography, CG designs, and more come together to highlight the visual spectacle of the film. Delving into the film’s interpretation of iconic Jungle Book elements, from beloved characters such as Baloo and Bagheera to the jungle itself, the book features full-color images and gorgeous double-page spreads to illustrate the magic behind the art of the film.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFantastic beasts and where to find them : the art of the film / Dermot Power ; foreword by Stuart Craig.
The Art of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, edited by Dermot Power, concept artist on the film, takes you on a magical journey through a design process every bit as wonderful as that encountered by Newt Scamander in the wizarding world. Bursting with hundreds of production paintings, concept sketches, storyboards, blueprints and matte paintings, and filled with unique insights about the filmmaking journey from Stuart Craig and the artists themselves, this superb book – officially licensed by Warner Bros. Consumer Products – presents a visual feast for readers, and will welcome fans of Harry Potter films into the world of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBorn a crime : stories from a South African childhood / Trevor Noah.
“Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTim Burton : the iconic filmmaker and his work / Ian Nathan.
“Tim Burton is one of the most popular and remarkable filmmakers of the last 30 years, being responsible for such films as Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride and Alice in Wonderland. He is famed for the visually arresting style of his films that combine with highly original storylines. A truly international filmmaker, Tim Burton has carved a reputation as one of the world’s greatest creative directors. This stunning treasury explores the influences on his development as a filmmaker and assesses how he has captured the fruits of his imagination on screen.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGeorge Lucas : a life / Brian Jay Jones.
“On May 25, 1977, a problem-plagued, budget-straining independent science-fiction film opened in a mere thirty-two American movie theaters. Conceived, written, and directed by a little-known filmmaker named George Lucas, the movie originally called The Star Wars quickly drew blocks-long lines, bursting box-office records and ushering in a new way for movies to be made, marketed, and merchandised. It is now one of the most adored-and successful-movie franchises of all time. Now, the author of the bestselling biography Jim Henson delivers a long-awaited, revelatory look into the life and times of the man who created Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Indiana Jones.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverI loved her in the movies : memories of Hollywood’s legendary actresses / Robert J. Wagner with Scott Eyman.
“In a career that has spanned more than sixty years Robert Wagner has witnessed the twilight of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the rise of television, becoming a beloved star in both media. During that time he became acquainted, both professionally and socially, with the remarkable women who were the greatest screen personalities of their day. Monroe, Gloria Swanson, Norma Shearer, Loretta Young, Joan Blondell, Irene Dunne, Rosalind Russell, Dorothy Lamour, Debra Paget, Jean Peters, Linda Darnell, Betty Hutton, Raquel Welch, Glenn Close, and the two women whom he ultimately married, Natalie Wood and Jill St. John.” (adapted from the book jacket)

Syndetics book coverTelevision : a biography / David Thomson.
“In just a few years, what used to be an immobile piece of living room furniture, which one had to sit in front of at appointed times in order to watch sponsored programming on a finite number of channels, morphed into a glowing cloud of screens with access to a near-endless supply of content available when and how viewers want it. With this phenomenon now a common cultural theme, a writer of David Thomson’s stature delivering a critical history, or “biography” of the six-decade television era, will be a significant event which could not be more timely. With Television, the critic and film historian who wrote what Sight and Sound’s readers called “the most important film book of the last 50 years” has finally turned his unique powers of observation to the medium that has swallowed film whole.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe platinum age of television : from I love Lucy to The walking dead, how TV became terrific / David Bianculli.
“Television shows have now eclipsed films as the premier form of visual narrative art of our time. This new book by one of our finest critics explains–historically, in depth, and with interviews with the celebrated creators themselves–how the art of must-see/binge-watch television evolved. Television has triumphantly come of age artistically; David Bianculli’s book is the first to date to examine, in depth and in detail and with a keen critical and historical sense, how this inspiring development came about.” (Syndetics summary)

New Books on Movies & TV programmes

New books on movies and TV offer a great summer read in a wide variety of topics. They include the lovely biography about Bill Murray and the official guide book of the much-loved TV series Outlander. A Star is Born and The Fashion of Film can be fantastic coffee table books. Check them out!

Syndetics book coverThe Tao of Bill Murray : real-life stories of joy, enlightenment, and party crashing / by Gavin Edwards ; illustrations by R. Sikoryak.
“People love Bill Murray movies, but even more, they love crazy stories about Bill Murray out in the world. For The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment, and Party Crashing, best-selling author Gavin Edwards tracked down the best authentic Bill Murray stories. People savour these anecdotes; they consume them with a bottomless hunger; they routinely turn them into viral hits. The book not only has the greatest hits of Bill’s eye-opening interactions with the world, it puts them in the context of a larger philosophy (revealed to the author in an exclusive interview): Bill Murray is secretly teaching us all how to live our lives.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLast girl before freeway : the life, loves, losses, and liberation of Joan Rivers / Leslie Bennetts.
“Joan Rivers was more than a legendary comedian; she was an icon and a role model to millions, a fearless pioneer who left a legacy of expanded opportunity when she died in 2014. Her life was a dramatic roller-coaster of triumphant highs and devastating lows: the suicide of her husband, her feud with Johnny Carson, her estrangement from her daughter, her many plastic surgeries, her ferocious ambition and her massive insecurities. But Rivers’ career was also hugely significant in American cultural history, breaking down barriers for her gender and pushing the boundaries of truth-telling for women in public life. A juicy, intimate biography of one of the greatest comedians ever-a performer whose sixty year career was borne, simply, out of a desire to make people laugh so she could feel loved-LAST GIRL BEFORE FREEWAY delves into the inner workings of a woman who both reflected and redefined the world around her.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe making of Outlander : the series : the official guide to seasons one & two / Tara Bennett ; introduction by Diana Gabaldon.
“Get an exclusive look behind the scenes of the first two seasons of Outlander with this official, fully illustrated companion to the hit Starz television series based on the bestselling novels. Best of all, The Making of Outlander offers a veritable feast of lavish photographs–including an array of images spotlighting the stars in all their characters’ grandeur and up-close personal portraits. Featuring an introduction by Diana Gabaldon herself, this magnificent insider’s look at the world of the Outlander TV series is the companion all fans will want by their side.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA star is born : the moment an actress becomes an icon / George Tiffin.
“Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Catherine Deneuve… Feted, adored and desired, successful movie actresses are icons of modern culture. But what was it that made them true stars? Was it looks, talent, drive, personality – or just plain luck? What was the first captivating image or unforgettable line that etched them indelibly on our collective memory – and transformed the screen actress of the passing movie credit into the screen goddess of eternal legend? In a sequence of elegant pen-portraits, George Tiffin takes a microscope to the movies and the moments that established 75 female icons of cinema. These penportraits are supplemented by quotes, notes and anecdotes, including script excerpts from key scenes. A STAR IS BORN is a seductive celebration of the eternal feminine at the heart of the movie business – and an informal and engaging history of cinema itself.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe fashion of film : how cinema has inspired fashion / Amber Butchart.
“The Fashion of Film is the perfect book for the fashion fan. In it, fashion historian Amber Butchart takes a journey through the last 100 years of cinema style and its influence on the catwalks. With beautiful imagery and thoroughly-researched text, she looks at how our most iconic movies have transformed the world of high fashion. Karl Lagerfeld was influenced by the dystopian vision of Metropolis, the picture-perfect world of Wes Anderson’s films are echoed in the collections of Miuccia Prada, and Audrey Hepburn was key to Hubert de Givenchy’s work. Fashion designers have long taken their inspiration from silver screen idols, and continue to do so today.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe real James Dean : intimate memories from those who knew him best / edited by Peter L. Winkler ; foreword by George Stevens.
“In the decades following his death, many of those who knew James Dean best–actors, directors, friends, lovers (both men and women), photographers, and Hollywood columnists–shared stories of their first-person experiences with him in interviews and in the articles and autobiographies they wrote. Their recollections of Dean became lost in fragile back issues of movie magazines and newspapers and in out-of-print books that are extremely hard to find. Until now. The Real James Dean is the first book of its kind: a rich collection spanning six decades of writing in which many of the people whose lives were touched by Dean recall their indelible experiences with him in their own words.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe impossible has happened : the life and work of Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek : a biography / by Lance Parkin.
“8 September 2016 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the debut of the world’s most successful science fiction television series: Star Trek. In this new biography Lance Parkin, author of Aurum’s acclaimed Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore, will go in search of the show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry. This book will reveal how an undistinguished writer of cop shows set out to produce ‘Hornblower in space’ and ended up with an optimistic, almost utopian view of humanity’s future that has been watched and loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStanley Kubrick and me : thirty years at his side / Emilio D’Alessandro with Filippo Ulivieri ; translated from the Italian by Simon Marsh.
“This intimate portrait by his former personal assistant and confidante reveals the man behind the legendary filmmaker–for the first time. Emilio was the silent guy in the room when the script for The Shining was discussed. He still has the coat Jack Nicholson used in the movie. He was an extra on the set of Eyes Wide Shut , Kubrick’s last movie. He knew all the actors and producers Kubrick worked with; he observed firsthand Kubrick’s working methods down to the smallest detail. Making no claim of expertise in cinematography but with plenty of anecdotes, he offers a completely fresh perspective on the artist and a warm, affecting portrait of a generous, kind, caring man who was a perfectionist in work and life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn such good company : eleven years of laughter, mayhem, and fun in the sandbox / Carol Burnett.
“Comedy legend Carol Burnett tells the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of her iconic weekly variety series, The Carol Burnett Show. In In Such Good Company , Carol Burnett pulls back the curtain on the twenty-five-time Emmy-Award winning show that made television history, and she reminisces about the outrageously funny and tender moments that made working on the series as much fun as watching it. This book is Carol’s love letter to a golden era in television history through the lens of her brilliant show. Get the best seat in the house for “eleven years of laughter, mayhem, and fun in the sandbox.”” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe birth of a nation : Nat Turner and the making of a movement / edited by Nate Parker.Birth of a Nation: Nat Turner and the Making of a Movement
“This official tie-in to the highly acclaimed film, The Birth of a Nation , surveys the history and legacy of Nat Turner, the leader of one of the most renowned slave rebellions on American soil, while also exploring Turner’s relevance to contemporary dialogues on race relations. Based on astounding events in American history, The Birth of a Nation is the epic story of one man championing the spirit of resistance as he leads a rough-and-tumble group into a revolt against injustice and slavery.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSanford Meisner on acting / Sanford Meisner and Dennis Longwell ; introduction by Sydney Pollack.
“This book, written in collaboration with Dennis Longwell, follows an acting class of eight men and eight women for fifteen months, beginning with the most rudimentary exercises and ending with affecting and polished scenes from contemporary American plays. Throughout these pages Meisner is delight–always empathizing with his students and urging them onward, provoking emotion, laughter, and growing technical mastery from his charges. With an introduction by Sydney Pollack, director of “Out of Africa” and “Tootsie,” who worked with Meisner for five years.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAlan Partridge : nomad / Alan Partridge with Rob Gibbons, Neil Gibbons and Steve Coogan.
“In ALAN PARTRIDGE: NOMAD, Alan dons his boots, windcheater and scarf and embarks on an odyssey through a place he once knew – it’s called Britain – intent on completing a journey of immense personal significance. Diarising his ramble in the form of a ‘journey journal’, Alan details the people and places he encounters, ruminates on matters large and small and, on a final leg fraught with danger, becomes – not a man (because he was one to start off with) – but a better, more inspiring example of a man.” (Syndetics summary)

New Books on Movies and TV

A wide variety of new books on movies and TV programmes include the bestseller autobiography by Amy Schumer, the unique TV show guidebook TV (the book) and Batman v Superman : dawn of justice : the art of the film which features amazing illustrations and photos. If you are an actor or interested in acting, check out the last two books on this list.

Syndetics book coverThe girl with the lower back tattoo / Amy Schumer.
“The Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, writer, and star of Inside Amy Schumer and the acclaimed film Trainwreck has taken the entertainment world by storm with her winning blend of smart, satirical humor. Now, Amy Schumer has written a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of ( extremely ) personal and observational essays. In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is–a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTV (the book) : two experts pick the greatest American shows of all time / Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz.
“Is The Wire better than Breaking Bad ? Is Cheers better than Seinfeld ? What’s the best high school show ever made? Was the Arrested Development Netflix season brilliant or terrible? For twenty years-since they shared a TV column at Tony Soprano’s hometown newspaper-critics Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz have been debating these questions and many more, but it all ultimately boils down to this: What’s the greatest TV show ever? That debate reaches an epic conclusion in TV (THE BOOK). Using a complex, obsessively all- encompassing scoring system, they’ve created a Pantheon of top TV shows, each accompanied by essays delving into what made these shows great.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPlay all : a bingewatcher’s notebook / Clive James.
“Television and TV viewing are not what they once were–and that’s a good thing, according to award-winning author and critic Clive James. Since serving as television columnist for the London Observer from 1972 to 1982, James has witnessed a radical change in content, format, and programming, and in the very manner in which TV is watched. Here he examines this unique cultural revolution, providing a brilliant, eminently entertaining analysis of many of the medium’s most notable twenty-first-century accomplishments. With intelligence and wit, James explores a television landscape expanded by cable and broadband and profoundly altered by the advent of Netflix, Amazon, and other “cord-cutting” platforms that have helped to usher in a golden age of unabashed binge-watching.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSeinfeldia : how a show about nothing changed everything / Jennifer Keishin Armstrong.
“Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly forty million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, acclaimed TV historian and entertainment writer Jennifer Keishin Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDialogue : the art of verbal action for page, stage, screen / Robert McKee.
“Robert McKee’s popular writing workshops have earned him an international reputation. The list of alumni with Oscars runs off the page. The cornerstone of his program is his singular book, Story, which has defined how we talk about the art of story creation. Now, in DIALOGUE, McKee offers the same in-depth analysis for how characters speak on the screen, on the stage, and on the page in believable and engaging ways. From Macbeth to Breaking Bad, McKee deconstructs key scenes to illustrate the strategies and techniques of dialogue.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBatman v Superman : dawn of justice : the art of the film / Peter E. Aperlo ; foreword by Geoff Johns.
“Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice sees Batman and Superman come together for the first time on screen. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: The Art of the Film, takes fans deep into this world, accompanied by insight and interviews with cast and crew, including an afterword by director Zack Snyder. It explores Metropolis and Gotham City from the streets to the skies and showcases the costumes, weaponry, vehicles, allies and enemies of our two heroes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe scientific secrets of Doctor Who / Simon Guerrier and Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer, Royal Observatory Greenwich, London.
“Doctor Who stories are many things: thrilling adventures, historical dramas, tales of love and war and jelly babies. They’re also science fiction – but how much of the science is actually real, and how much is really fiction? The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who is a mind-bending blend of story and science that will help you see Doctor Who in a whole new light. With commentary that explores the possibilities of time travel, life on other planets, artificial intelligence, parallel universes and more, Simon Guerrier and Dr Marek Kukula show how Doctor Who uses science to inform its unique style of storytelling – and just how close it has often come to predicting future scientific discoveries.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOut at the movies : a history of gay cinema / Steven Paul Davies ; foreword by Simon Callow.
“Over the decades, gay cinema has reflected the queer community’s journey from persecution to emancipation. This shift has been matched by the shift of gay films from the fringes to the mainstream: in 2005 this move was so pronounced that that years Oscars were referred to as ‘The Gay Oscars’. In this, the definitive guide to Gay Cinema, this history is told in all its complexity.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStanley Kubrick and me : thirty years at his side / Emilio D’Alessandro with Filippo Ulivieri ; translated from the Italian by Simon Marsh.
“Stanley Kubrick, the director of a string of timeless movies, has always been depicted by the media as the Howard Hughes of filmmakers, a weird artist obsessed with his work and privacy to the point of madness. But who was he really? Emilio D’Alessandro lets us see. A former Formula Ford driver who was a minicab chauffeur in London during the Swinging Sixties, he took a job driving a giant phallus through the city that became his introduction to the director. Honest, reliable, and ready to take on any task, Emilio found his way into Kubrick’s neurotic, obsessive heart. He offers a completely fresh perspective on the artist and a warm, affecting portrait of a generous, kind, caring man who was a perfectionist in work and life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeginning musical theatre dance / Diana Dart Harris.
Beginning Musical Theatre Dance introduces students to basic musical theatre dance techniques from a variety of genres, forms, and styles and explains how to put them into practice for performance on stage. Part of Human Kinetics’ Interactive Dance Series, the text and web resource offer students what they need to know about auditions, rehearsals, performing, and caring for themselves so they can have a successful experience in a musical theatre dance course. Each student-friendly text includes a web resource offering video clips of dance instruction, learning aids, assignments, and activities. The Interactive Dance Series offers students a guide to learning, performing, and viewing dance.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe adventure game : a cameraman’s tales from films at the edge / Keith Partridge.
“Keith Partridge is probably the world’s most experienced and famous practitioner of a rare trade. His filming has recorded expeditions all over the world in some of its most beautiful and hostile environments. The Adventure Game is the story of his life told through several expeditions ranging from the deep caves of Papua New Guinea to the summit of Mount Everest.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe fifty-year mission : the complete, uncensored, unauthorized oral history of Star trek : the first 25 years / Edward Gross & Mark A. Altman.
“The original Star Trek series debuted in 1966 and has spawned five TV series spin-offs and a dozen feature films, with an upcoming one from Paramount arriving in 2016. The Fifty-Year Mission is a no-holds-barred oral history of five decades of Star Trek , told by the people who were there. Hear from the hundreds of television and film executives, programmers, writers, creators and cast as they unveil the oftentimes shocking story of Star Trek ‘s ongoing fifty-year mission. Here is a volume for all fans of pop culture and anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of a television touchstone.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe working actor : the essential guide to a successful career / Paul Clayton.
“Every day do at least one thing that might lead to work, and then get on with living your life.” With this mantra in mind, Chairman of London’s Actors Centre, Paul Clayton, presents a series of invaluable exercises for the newly graduated professional actor to improve their chances of employment.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFacing the fear : an actor’s guide to overcoming stage fright / Bella Merlin.
“The first book of its kind, designed to help performers overcome the crippling fear of stage fright.” (Syndetics summary)