When Punk rock took off in the seventies it was wholeheartedly embraced by the Los Angeles underground music scene, and photographer Ann Summa was there to capture it in all of its trashy, chaotic splendour. The bands, the venues, the audiences are all here in glorious black and white, which for some reason always seems just right for this scene!
Most of us are probably aware of Jack London as one of America’s finest writers, his novels The Call of the Wild and White Fang among his most famous works. Less well know is his work as a photographer, a situation which this very fine book seeks to resolve, and does so splendidly. Working for various news organisations and magazines London took startling pictures from the midst of tragedies such as the great San Francisco earthquake and fire, and the Russo-Japanese war, creating a style of photojournalism still very much alive today. And no matter what the subject his own innate humanity shines through in every frame. A lovely book.
Outside of America Grant Wood is probably an artist you don’t know that you know, most famous for his iconic painting American Gothic which pictures a very dour pitchfork-holding farmer and his equally dour daughter standing grimly outside a barn. The product of small town America, and harshly influenced by a stern disapproving father, Wood spent almost his entire life concealing his homosexuality from just about everyone, aided and abetted by his mother and sister. This extraordinary new biography brilliantly re-examines Woods remarkable body of work in light of the stresses and desires that dominated his private existence.
Just when you thought that there was nothing left to publish regarding Alfred Hitchcock, we get this very entertaining book from Hitchcock specialist Bouzereau, chock full of memorabilia, correspondence, photos, etc., tucked away in enough pockets and envelopes to satisfy even the most pernickety filmbuff! Great fun! The author’s commentary on some of Hitchcock’s most significant cinematic signatures makes for interesting reading as well, if you can drag yourself away from the fun stuff!