As 2013 draws to its end, a few of the new books on film and related fields are presented below for your consideration, as gifts to loved ones, friends, colleagues, or to yourself.
Author and Bloomberg View Columnist Virginia Postrel gives a comprehensive look at glamour in all its guises, from aviation to suntans, including its powerful influence on film, fashion, and advertising. Postrel also delves deeply into the subtle qualities of how glamour works through mystery and concealment. A well researched book and a fascinating read. Beautifully illustrated with color and B&W images. The Power of Glamour, Simon & Schuster, $28.
Robert Osborne has compiled a new edition of the history of the Academy Awards, which he has done in various editions for the past 25 years. Host of Turner Classic Movies and the TCM Film Festival, Osborne provides in this book a history of the early film industry, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a decade by decade history of the Oscar awards themselves. The nominees and winners in each category are cited. 472 pages, 765 illustrations. Abbeville Press/AMPAS $75
Christina Rice has written the first full-length biography of screen beauty and talented actor, Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel. This early Warner Brothers star of movies Scarface,Three on a Match, and Heat Lightning was an early success but then faded from the marquees.The book's subtitle indicates why Dvorak is not better known today. She was one of the first of the actors to have contract problems at Warner Brothers, and in her case, she was forced into a series of minor roles. Dvorak was also a child actor, performed on Broadway and was a WWII ambulance driver. University of Kentucky Press, $40.
Photographer and author Mark Vieira furthers his works on pioneer Hollywood glamour
photographer George Hurrell. In this book he brings new insights, research, and some new photographs organized into photo "sittings" with individual stars, starting with his portrait of Ramon Navarro in 1925 and ending with Sharon Stone just before Hurrell's death in 1992.Hurrell's work is stunning and beautifully presented here. Running Press, $65.
The back-story to this book is almost as interesting as the subject herself, but in short, the project started 20 years ago when Ava Gardner was still alive and needed money. She approached journalist Evans and said, "I'm broke honey, either I write the book or I sell the jewels. And I'm kind of sentimental about the jewels." But by the time the book went to press they were both dead. This is an uncensored, tell-all story from Ava, dishing on her time in Hollywood and, especially about her three husbands: Mickey Rooney; Artie Shaw; and Frank Sinatra. Don't look for nostalgia here, this is the kind of stuff that film noir is made of. Simon & Schuster, $26
Film critic and author David Thomson has written several notable books on Hollywood films, his latest is Moments That Made the Movies, as the title suggests, its about those memorable scenes in movies that can stay fresh for life. Of course his favorite scenes may not be yours, but they come from 70 movies, and they include moments such as the opening from Sunset Blvd. shown on the cover, Meg Ryan faking an orgasm at the deli in When Harry Met Sally, and the long take of Anna (Alida Valli) walking up the long road of the cemetery in The Third Man. The book is fully illustrated. Thames & Hudson, $39.95
The Story of Film by author, producer, and documentary filmmaker Mark Cousins is also the basis of his documentary shown on TCM. Cousins has seemingly a unique grasp of the world-wide history of cinema, and of how each development and event has influenced each country's film-making tradition and its influence world-wide. Pavilion Books, $34.95
My Lunches with Orson is based on the taped private lunch conversations between Orson Welles and director Henry Jaglom, long thought lost, but newly discovered and edited in this book by film historian Peter Biskind. Mr. Welles is candid in his remarks about his career and the many people he knew, all in an irreverent yet sentimental and witty manner. Metropolitan Books, $28
Author Eve Golden separates fact from fiction in this full length biography of the silent film super-star, John Gilbert, who carried on romances with Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich and was married to star Leatrice Joy. His career was parodied in Singing in the Rain but served as an inspiration for The Artist. John Gilbert: Last of the Silent Film Stars. University Press of Kentucky, $39.95.