Mixing up the new books a bit this week:

The Hollywood film musical by Barry Keith Grant

Wiley-Blackwell, 2012

A bit like the symphony in classical music, every so often the cry goes up from those who should know better that the film musical is dead. Clearly a load of piffle (and you’ll be pleased to hear that the symphony is very much alive as well), the Hollywood musical just keeps reinventing itself for new audiences. This fascinating book traces its extensive family-history back to the days of Vaudeville and Minstrel Shows, as well as shining a light on some of its more famous and unusual manifestations. And how good it is to see a chapter devoted to Brian de Palma’s fantastic rock musical, The Phantom of the Paradise, from 1974.

Kiki de Montparnasse by Catel & Bocquet (translated from the Belgian edition by Nora Mahony)

SelfMadeHero, 2011

Alice Prin, known to the art world as Kiki of Montparnasse, was as much a part of the Parisian cultural scene during the inter-war years as any of its more well known denizens. Partner to Man Ray and muse to more artists than you can shake a paintbrush at, she lived a liberated and independent life throughout the middle years of the 20th century, and if anyone deserves a graphic telling of their life, it’s Kiki; and here it is!

The Dingoes’ lament by John Bois

Melbourne Books, 2012

The Dingoes came to prominence in Melboure in 1973 with their Top 40 single Way Out West, as well as early appearances at the Sunbury Music Festival. Enticed to America in the mid-seventies they achieved a level of fame that kept them touring and recording, although their chart success continued to be found in Australia rather than overseas. The band finally split up in the late seventies, and were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2009. John Bois, bass player with the band, here takes us on a no-holds-barred road trip with a local band that had big dreams. Great fun!

Korean contemporary art by Miki Wick Kim

Prestel, 2012

It’s probably fair to say that the rise of Chinese contemporary art in recent years has successfully overshadowed other deserving art scenes elsewhere, so books such as this one serve as positive reminders that things are pretty vibrant the world over! Painting, photography, sculpture, installations and much more besides leap out of these pages showcasing some of Korea’s most interesting and adventurous visual artists. Some of the most striking works on display here are those which are informed by the long traditions of Korean art and culture whilst belonging utterly to the 21st century.

From our Picture Collection, a fantastic (and almost modernist) dingo nightmare!


Man in pit, surrounded by dingoes, 1877



This article has 2 comments

  1. Thanks for the kind words.

  2. My pleasure John, and many thanks for a terrific book!

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