Books on Public Performances

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December 11, 2023

791. Books on Public performances

Further Reading:

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Jerry Beck The Hanna-Barbera Treasury, 2007.

The Hanna-Barbera studio produced some of the best-known cartoon series of the 20th century, including multi-generational favorites like “Tom and Jerry,” “The Flintstones,” and “Scooby-Doo.” This book contains illustrations of drawings, concept art, photographs, and posters, providing a print celebration of Bill Hanna’s and Joe Barbera’s works.

Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdman Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History, 2016.

Jim Henson’s film Labyrinth, which starred David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly, is a classic fantasy film with stunning scenery and music. This companion book provides a look behind the scenes at making the film, including rare sketches, concept art, and set photography.

Ken Bloom Hollywood Musicals: The 101 Greatest Song-and-Dance Movies of All Time, 2011.

This book pays homage to 101 of the most popular musical movies ever. The films are presented alphabetically by title, with expert commentary on each. In addition, the casts, plots, song lists, behind-the-scenes stories, and illustrations are provided.

Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life, 2020.

In covering the television show Drag Race, Fitzgerald and Marquez contend that the show serves as a museum of queer cultural and social history. It thus provides a window into queer culture and how it functions in today’s society.

Roger Ebert Life Itself: A Memoir, 2011.

Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic and screenwriter Roger Ebert was known to many through his television program Siskel & Ebert at the Movies. Written after he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which took his life in 2013, it highlights his career in journalism.

Glenn Frankel The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend, 2013.

In 1836, a nine-year-old girl named Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped from her East Texas family by Commanches who raised her. She later married a warrior. At age 33, she was taken back by the U.S. cavalry and Texas Rangers. From that point on, she was miserable until the day she died. The John Ford-directed movie The Searchers, starring John Wayne, demonstrates how Ford used her story to perpetuate the myth of White superiority. Frankel examines what differing versions of Parker’s story reveal about race, sex, and violence in the American West.

Ted Kotcheff Director’s Cut: My Life in Film, 2017.

Canadian film director Ted Kitcheff was famous for movies like North Dallas Forty and First Blood. But his career was not without controversy and opposition. In this memoir, he describes his life in the movie business, devoting ample attention to the craft of telling stories through film.

Trevor Noah Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood, 2016.

The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah shares his childhood in apartheid South Africa where, as the child of a White Swiss father and a Black Xhosa mother, his birth was a crime punishable by five years in prison. After being hidden away in fear, the end of apartheid set both him and his mother free. Noah tells the story of his relationship with his extraordinary mother and how he came to a successful career in North America.

David Riva, ed. A Woman at War: Marlene Dietrich Remembered, 2006.

Marlene Dietrich was one of the first international blockbuster film stars in history. This book tells her story through pictures, documents, and stories from those who knew her.

Walter Kerr The Silent Clowns, 1975.

Theater critic Walter Francis Kerr’s scholarly book about the comedies from silent films provides a valuable history of filmmaking. Kerr also profiles Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, and other performers of the era.

For more information on the Further Reading series, see “Further Reading: Start Here.”

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