Music & Film

Music & Film

Little Girl Blue
Little Girl Blue ›
By Randy Schmidt, Foreword by Dionne Warwick
Price 13.99

Published May 2010

An intimate profile of one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century, this first full-length biography of Karen Carpenter details every aspect of her life, from her modest Connecticut upbringing and her rise to stardom in southern California to the real story of her tragic, untimely death. This illuminating depiction of a 1970s icon covers her time as lead singer of the Carpenters—the top-selling American musical act of the decade—and provides insight into their string of 16 consecutive top-20 hits, including "Close to You," "We've Only Just Begun," "Top of the World," and "Superstar," as well as a critical review of her aborted solo career. A behind-the-scenes look into the life of a superstar, from the prolific recordings and the relentless touring to the awards, fame, and fortune, this history also chronicles her struggle with anorexia nervosa and gives important new details from her autopsy that shed new light on her death at age 32. Groups such as Sonic Youth and the Corrs and artists including k. d. lang and Madonna have cited Karen Carpenter among their major influences, and this definitive biography, based on exclusive interviews with nearly 100 of her friends and associates, is a testament to her brief yet remarkable life.
The Best Film You've Never Seen
The Best Film You've Never Seen ›
By Robert K. Elder
Price 16.95

Published Jun 2013

Revealing a festival of guilty pleasures, almost-masterpieces, and undeniable classics in need of revival, 35 directors champion their favorite overlooked or critically savaged gems in this guide. The list includes unsung noir films The Chase and Murder by Contract, famous flops Can’t Stop the Music and Joe Versus the Volcano, art films L’ange and WR: Mysteries of the Organism, theatrical adaptations The Iceman Cometh and The Homecoming, B-movies Killer Klowns from Outer Space and The Honeymoon Killers, and even Oscar-winners Breaking Away and Some Came Running. The filmmakers, including Guillermo del Toro, John Waters, John Woo, Edgar Wright, and Danny Boyle, defend their choices, wanting these films to be loved, admired, and swooned over, arguing the films deserve a larger audience and their place in movie history be reconsidered. Some were well-loved but are now faded or forgotten, others ran afoul of critics or were just buried after a dismal opening run, and still others never even got proper distribution. A few of these titles qualify as bona fide obscurata, but now most can be found on DVD or streaming from Netflix or Amazon. The filmmakers are the perfect hosts, setting the tone, managing expectations, and often being brutally honest about a film’s shortcomings or the reasons why it was lost in the first place.
The Film That Changed My Life
The Film That Changed My Life ›
By Robert K. Elder

Published Jan 2011

Spanning several generations—from newcomers to Oscar Award-winning veterans—this volume features a discussion of the movies that shaped the careers of these filmmakers and, in turn, cinema history. Here directors, including Peter Bogdanovich, Kimberly Peirce, Arthur Hiller, and John Waters, explore the film they saw at an especially formative moment, how it influenced their own work—or, in some cases, led them to tell stories through movies themselves—and the effects it had on their thoughts about cinema. Revealing stories include how after watching Rebel Without a Cause, John Woo started combing his hair like James Dean and even began talking like him; Apocalypse Now inspired Danny Boyle to take risks and make larger-than-life films; and a line in The Wizard of Oz—"Who could ever have thought a good little girl like you could destroy all my beautiful wickedness?"—has become almost a personal mantra or prayer for John Waters.
Buck Owens
Buck Owens ›
By Eileen Sisk
Price 24.95

Published Jun 2010

Retracing the life of Buck Owens—from his poverty-stricken youth as the son of a sharecropper to one of the nation’s best-loved and wealthiest entertainers—this biography pays tribute to the man and his music by revealing his genius, his warmth, his humor, his vulnerabilities, and his flaws. It is based on personal sources, including original and latter-day Buckaroos, the cohost and the producer of Hee Haw, the former president of Capitol Nashville, and numerous country singers, relatives, ex-wives, ex-lovers, and ex-employees. The result is a 360-degree profile of a shrewd businessman—the polar opposite of the aw-shucks image he cultivated on Hee Haw. Owens was the top-selling country act of the 1960s—with 21 number-one hits and 35 consecutive top-10 hits from 1962 to 1972, a total surpassed only by the Beatles. One of his major contributions to this era was his invention of the Bakersfield sound, mixing electric guitars with a rock 'n' roll beat, which became popular with country and rock fans alike. This biography details the rift Buck had with the Nashville establishment, his reasons for never becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry, the number of times Buck married, the truth about Buck posing in the nude for Playgirl, and his strained but professional relationship with Hee Haw cohost Roy Clark.
Another Fine Mess
Another Fine Mess ›
By Saul Austerlitz
Price 24.95

Published Sep 2010

From City Lights to Knocked Up, this history examines American film from the perspective of its unwanted stepbrother, the comedy, and puts the comic titans of the present in the context of their predecessors. The 30 chapters and 100 essays follow the connections that link Mae West to Marilyn Monroe and W. C. Fields to Will Ferrell. Offering unvarnished insight into comedians and directors such as Buster Keaton, Christopher Guest, Eddie Murphy, and Ben Stiller, this eye-opening, entertaining, and enlightening tour encompasses the masterpieces, the box-office smashes, and all the little-known gems in between. Laurel and Hardy, Marilyn Monroe, Peter Sellers, Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, and the Coen Brothers are among others profiled, while a list of the top-100 American film comedies is also included.
Curly
Curly ›
By Joan Howard Maurer, Foreword by Michael Jackson
Price 19.95

Published Sep 2013

While the Three Stooges were the longest active and most productive comedy team in Hollywood, their artistic height coincided with the years Curly was with them, and this is his definitive biography. From 1932 to 1946 Curly was the zaniest of the Stooges, becoming famous for his high-pitched voice, his “nyuk-nyuk-nyuk” and “why, soitenly,” and his astonishing athleticism. He was a true natural, an untrained actor with a knack for improvisation, yet for decades, little information about him was available. Curly’s niece Joan Howard Maurer amassed a wealth of Curly memorabilia—a mixture of written material and rare photographs of Curly’s family, films, and personal life—and her exhaustive research and exclusive interviews resulted in this first and only in-depth look at a crazy comedic genius. Plenty of intimate details are included about his astonishing relationship with his mother, his three marriages, and his interactions with his daughters and friends. The book was so beloved among Three Stooges fans that it even garnered a foreword from Michael Jackson, the King of Pop himself. This new, redesigned edition of a timeless classic is sure to be appreciated by Three Stooges fans new and old.
Every Night the Trees Disappear
Every Night the Trees Disappear ›
By Alan Greenberg, Foreword by Werner Herzog
Price 24.95

Published May 2012

This intimate chronicle about the visionary filmmaker Werner Herzog explores his unorthodox methods in directing the film Heart of Glass. Twenty-four-year-old Alan Greenberg showed up unannounced at Herzog’s Munich home; by the end of their first evening together Herzog urged him to collaborate on his current project—and everything thereafter. Sharing how unusual Herzog’s renegade filmmaking methods could be, Greenberg explains how Herzog hypnotized the actors prior to shooting their scenes, creating a profoundly haunting cinematic experience. More than a conventional journalistic account, this book interweaves the original screenplay with Greenberg’s observations from his work on the film, allowing the married texts to play off each other hypnotically and create a unique vision with the feel of a novel—intimate, penetrating, and filled with mystery.