A mixed bag from the new books shelf, and all the better for that!
Designs on film : a century of Hollywood art direction by Cathy Whitlock and the Art Directors Guild
“Designing a movie is a little like painting a landscape in a hurricane.” A great quote from this book which takes you onto the soundstages and behind the scenes of some of the greatest Hollywood films of all time. In hundreds of beautifully reproduced photographs we get to see the art and craft lying behind those extravagant sets that have become so familiar to lovers of Hollywood film. It’s one thing to look at stills from the movies, but quite another to see these marvellous creations alive with technicians, actors and directors seemingly unaware of their grandeur as they go about the daily grind of studo movie-making.
Public transport systems seem to have brought out the best in designers over the years, and this volume examines the pheneomenonal explosion of creativity unleashed by various arms of the British transport system throughout the 20th century.
Sex, death, superheroes, what more could you ask for? The boom in academic and popular publishing about comic books continues unabated, and in amongst it all some really interesting work is being done. These two authors investigate their love of comics in alternating essays which touch on everything from origin stories to the place of the sidekick (holy-moly Batman!). The chapter headings alone are enough to whet the appetite: How comic books became postmodern, The Fantastic Paper-Man: heroic proportion, the ideal body and me, Sharing a quick look: a gay man reads his comics, and Grown women’s bodies in a young boy’s hands: a memoir. And lots more besides! Read on.
Every poster tells a story! : 30 years of The Frontier Touring Co. edited by Eloise Glanville & Sarah Morgan
Looking through this incredible visual history of Michael Gudinski’s Frontier Touring Company, it would probably be easier to mention those bands and performers who haven’t toured with them over their 30 year history. Mr Gudinski might have been cautioned not to even sing in the shower, but with a rollcall like this he really doesn’t need to!
Speaking of posters, here’s a pleasantly gruesome one from our Alma Conjuring Collection