Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Required Reading

The fall season is synonymous with the word new -- new entries in theatre and film,  television and of course, the September fashion issues that weigh more than Oliver, my Maine Coon cat. And it also means new books. Below are a few of my movie-related must reads and be sure and scroll down to Bookperk for a few book related goodies. Now turn off CSI or the Housewives of Beverly Hills and read a book. And don't forget to Tivo.

Movies From the Silent Classics of the Silver Screen to the Digital and 3-D Era
Phillip Kemp
October 4, 2011

1,000 stills can be found in this illustrated book making it the ultimate cinephile's delight (that would be me). The book traces the evolution of cinema from the Golden Age to film noir to 3-D and films of every genre. Can't wait to order here on Amazon.

Breakfast at Tiffany's: The Official 50th Anniversary Companion
Sarah Gristwood with foreword by Hubert de Givenchy

Has it really been 50 years? And does it get any better than this? And will I ever hear Moon River or see Cat being tossed out of the cab without crying? Enough said.

This book has it all - behind the scenes photos, costumes, script, poster art and everything for the ultimate fan of this timeless classic. Available now on Amazon.

Then Again
Diane Keaton
Random House
November 15th

Not just the typical star biography, Diane Keaton's memoir includes the story of her loving yet complicated mother Dorothy Hall. The Academy Award winning actress of Annie Hall, Something's Gotta Give and Reds fame (just to name a few) culled through Dorothy's eighty five journals for a portrait of mom, daughter and an American family that spans four generations and the lessons learned. You can pre-order on Amazon here. And no word yet if she spills the beans on Woody Allen or Warren Beatty.

The Story of Hollywood: An Illustrated History
Gregory Paul Williams
BL Press
October 1st

800 vintage photographs from the author's personal collection accompany the stories of   stars and the land of broken dreams and how Hollywood transformed and revolutionized society with the entertainment business. Available on Amazon.

The Garner Files
James Garner and Jon Winokur
Simon & Schuster
November lst

For those of you too young to remember, James Garner was the Robert Pattinson of his generation. He shared the screen with everyone from Doris Day (Thrill of It All and Move Over Darling), Steve McQueen (The Great Escape), Julie Andrews (Victor, Victoria)  and enjoyed a long run on the small screen in Maverick and The Rockford Files. Devastatingly handsome, he was and is one of the nicest people in Hollywood. His bio is available on Amazon.

Spencer Tracy: A Biography
James Curtis
October 1st

The bio of one of the cinema's most prolific actors covers his twenty six year partnership on and off the screen with Katherine Hepburn and his work from Broadway to Inherit the Wind, Boys Town, Woman of the Year, Captains Courageous and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Available on Amazon. And quite a cool cover.

Harry Potter: Page to Screen - The Compete Filmmaking Journey
Bob McCabe
Harper Design
October 25th

For those of us who cannot get enough of all the machinations of Hogwart's and everything Harry Potter, it's all here. Behind the scenes stories and the artistry of the making of the Harry Potter series is featured in this 500 plus page compendium. Many images are never before seen photographs from closed film sets. You can pre-order here on Amazon.

From the clever marketing department at Harper Collins (and my publisher I might add) comes Bookperk, a site that offers all sorts of books (many of them autographed) with perks in the form of merchandise and sold in a timely flash sale fashion. Below are a few of the items on sale:

What's Your Number? by Karyn Bosnak was made into a movie that premieres on Friday, September 30th. Purchase by October 4th and receive a free signed poster by actress Ana Farris.

In this economy, it may be the only/last Chanel bag you own/buy. Tote bag available with purchase of Justine Picardie's book Coco Chanel: The Legend and The Life. Available through October 3rd here.

Fans of Susan Lucci and/or mourners of the deceased soap All My Children will want to jump on this deal immediately -- an autographed copy of Susan Lucci's All My Life: A Memoir by La Lucci herself. The deal expires October 7th and you can purchase here.

You can sign up for Bookperks newsletter and see more deals at their website.
Happy Reading!

Photo Credits: Rizzoli, Harper Collins, Harper Design, Simon & Schuster, BL Press, Random House

Monday, September 26, 2011

Everything Old Is New Again

Unless you have been living in a cave (or never watch tv), you know the premise...three women (recently coined "gorgeous babes" by the Comcast marketing department) graduate from the Los Angeles police academy only to find themselves relegated to desk jobs and directing traffic. They are hired by a never-before-seen-head of a detective agency, get their orders weekly via a speaker phone and solve high action crime cases parading in a variety of non-feminist roles from roller derby girl to beauty pageant contestant. 

The Original Cast
The wildly successful series (1976-1981) launched the careers of Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith and paved the way for future angels Cheryl Ladd, Revlon model Shelly Hack and model Tanya Roberts as eventual replacements. (Only Smith remained on cast for the five year run). Actors John Forsythe of Dynasty fame played Charlie Townsend, head of the agency while David Doyle played the trusty liaison "Bos."
The show was a huge phenomenon and the women appeared on everything from the cover of Time Magazine to dorm-room posters and lunch boxes. While critics and feminists hated the show, ratings went through the roof as female audiences loved to see women embracing their power while the men loved the "T&A" aspect. What can I say, it was the seventies.

Original cast with Cheryl Ladd (center)
In a classic case of everything old is new again, the Angels made it to the silver screen not  once but twice in 2000 (aptly named Charlie's Angels) and 2003 (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle). This time around Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz portrayed the celestial trio with Bill Murray as Bosley (and the late Bernie Mac as Bosley in part two).

Liu, Diaz and Barrymore above and below

ABC resurrected the series (with executive producer Drew Barrymore at the helm so be on the lookout for lots of Cover Girl ads) as part of their new fall lineup. The show gets a bit of a revamp as the girls are edgier from the original version (a socialite turned thief, a cop on the take and a street racer) and marks the first African American angel in the franchise.

Shot in various resorts and yachts with Miami as a backdrop, the girls essentially kick butt in Manolos and Prada and it's pretty much a complete hour of escapism with great clothes. Think of it as a remake of a remake of a remake and while we are not talking Masterpiece Theatre here, the premiere made me want to take a second look.

Actresses Rachael Taylor, Minka Kell and Annie Ilonzeh 

Ramon Rodriquez as a much younger and sexier Bosley

Victor Garber as the voice of the conference call - you know him from Broadway and Alias
Charlie's Angels airs on ABC Thursday nights at 8/7 central.

And a special thanks for set decorator and interior designer Lydia Marks (Sex and the City fame) for the nice Cinema Style mention. You can read her blog Marks and Frantz with business partner Lisa Frantz here.