Cinematic places: Recently acquired film books

Kia ora film aficionados! Are you the kind of person who hurries to IMDB after watching a movie? Does the Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival feature heavily in your calendar? If so, this list might be to your liking!

This month, we have stories about iconic filmmakers, including Aotearoa’s own Gaylene Preston, a recipe book inspired by the world of Studio Ghibli, a deep dive into censorship in Thai cinema history and a cinema inspired travel guide.

Cinematic Places (Inspired Traveller’s Guide) / Baxter, Sarah
“Cinematic Places is a guide to 25 essential cinematic destinations around the world, spanning different decades, directors and movie genres. Go beyond the big screen and explore the real places that inspired some of the greatest films of all time – brought to life through comprehensively researched text and stunning hand-drawn artwork.” (Catalogue)

Image sourced from Te Herenga Waka University PressGaylene’s take : her life in New Zealand film / Preston, Gaylene
“Gaylene Preston has always sought out the stories that have not yet been told, and in this book she reveals the challenges and sometimes heartbreak that have come with that ambition. In both wide lens and close-up, she writes of formative experiences: her childhood in Greymouth in the 1950s, working in a psychiatric institution near Cambridge, England in the 70s, interviewing her tight-lipped father about his life in the war, and a mysterious story of her great-grandfather chiselling a biblical text off a gravestone in the dead of night. Along the way she takes us behind the scenes and into the shadows of some of the most enduring popular classics of New Zealand popular cinema.” (Catalogue)

Studio Ghibli : the unofficial cookbook / Vo, Minh-Tri
“Create delicious dishes from My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, and more with this cookbook inspired by the stunning worlds of Studio Ghibli! Whether they offer a moment of family bonding, comfort in difficult situations, or pesky temptations, the kitchen scenes are always of central importance in Studio Ghibli films. Now, with Studio Ghibli: The Unofficial Cookbook, you can recreate more than twenty of these movie-inspired recipes in your own home!”–provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Thai Cinema Uncensored / Hunt,Matthew
“In this first full-length study on the topic, Matthew Hunt–with access to rare and controversial films–provides a history of film censorship in Thailand.” (Catalogue)

But Have You Read the Book? : 52 Literary Gems That Inspired Our Favorite Films / Lopez, Kristen
“For film buffs and literature lovers alike, Turner Classic Movies presents an essential guide to 52 cinema classics and the literary works that served as their inspiration. “I love that movie!” “But have you read the book?”. Within these pages, Turner Classic Movies offers an endlessly fascinating look at 52 beloved screen adaptations and the great reads that inspired them. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Number one is walking : my life in the movies and other diversions / Martin, Steve
“Number One Is Walking is Steve Martin’s cinematic legacy-an illustrated memoir of his legendary acting career, with stories from his most popular films and artwork by New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss. Steve Martin has never written about his career in the movies before. In Number One Is Walking, he shares anecdotes from the sets of his beloved films-Father of the Bride, Roxanne, The Jerk, Three Amigos, and many more-bringing readers directly into his world.”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Acting naturally : the magic in great performances / Thomson, David
“From the celebrated film critic and author of The Biographical Dictionary of Film comes an essential work on some of the cinema’s finest actors and how they have approached their craft”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

All about me! : my remarkable life in show business / Brooks, Mel
“The legendary comedian, actor, and film producer and director traces his rise from a Depression-era kid in Brooklyn to his stellar film career, offering insight into the inspiration for his ideas and the many close friendships and collaborations behind his success.” (Catalogue)

Oscar nominees 2015

This year’s Academy Award nominee list includes a generous proportion of films based on books – hooray! We’ve collected them  here for you – how many have you read? Check out the full list of film nominees in all categories on the official Oscar website.

Syndetics book coverTravelling to infinity : my life with Stephen / Jane Hawking.
“Professor Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous and remarkable scientists of our age and author of the scientific bestseller A Brief History of Time, which sold more than 25 million. In this compelling memoir, his first wife, Jane Hawking, relates the inside story of their extraordinary marriage. As Stephen’s academic renown soared, his body was collapsing under the assaults of motor neurone disease. Jane’s candid account of trying to balance his 24-hour care with the needs of their growing family reveals the inner-strength of the author, while the self-evident character and achievements of her husband make for an incredible tale presented with unflinching honesty.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWild : from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail / Cheryl Strayed.
“At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State–and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStill Alice / by Lisa Genova.
“Fifty-year-old Alice Howland, a Harvard professor of cognitive psychology, is at the top of her game. Her children are grown, her marriage secure, her career on fire when suddenly, after mere months of forgetfulness, she finds herself in the rapidly downward spiral of early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. With no cure or treatment, Alice struggles to find meaning and purpose in her everyday life as her concept of self gradually slips away, leaving her unable to work, read, take care of herself, recognize her loved ones — even understand that she is unwell. Without memory or hope, she is forced to live in the moment, which is in turns beautiful, terrifying, and surprisingly uplifting.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGone girl / Gillian Flynn.
‘What are you thinking, Amy? The question I’ve asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions stormcloud over every marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?’
Just how well can you ever know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife? And what was in that half-wrapped box left so casually on their marital bed? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war…” (Syndetics summary)

Gone Girl is also available to borrow on audio CD.

Syndetics book coverAlan Turing : the enigma / Andrew Hodges.
“Capturing both the inner and outer drama of Turing’s life, Andrew Hodges tells how Turing’s revolutionary idea of 1936–the concept of a universal machine–laid the foundation for the modern computer and how Turing brought the idea to practical realization in 1945 with his electronic design. The book also tells how this work was directly related to Turing’s leading role in breaking the German Enigma ciphers during World War II, a scientific triumph that was critical to Allied victory in the Atlantic. At the same time, this is the tragic account of a man who, despite his wartime service, was eventually arrested, stripped of his security clearance, and forced to undergo a humiliating treatment program–all for trying to live honestly in a society that defined homosexuality as a crime.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverAmerican sniper : the autobiography of the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history / Chris Kyle ; with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice.
“From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyles kills (the previous American record was 109). Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.” (Syndetics summary)

American Sniper is also available to download from our Overdrive collection – there are two different records to download the ebook from (here and here) and we also have the downloadable audio version.