Wednesday, May 09, 2007

McFarland New Releases!

Well, McFarland has a bundle of book treats for us this month. There's a book that gazes at the golden age of Sid and Marty Krofft productions by scholar Hal Erickson (and which I'm reading right now...), and also a re-issue of the best book about the Godzilla films ever released. Then there's David Deal's study of 1970s made-for-tv horrors like Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. Add to that a history of female action heroes (like Ripley in the Alien saga). Very cool stuff.

Here's the lowdown:

Universal-International Westerns, 1947–1963

From 1947 through 1963, the merged studios of Universal and International produced mostly highly entertaining westerns that ranged from classics like Winchester ’73 to forgettable films better left unmade. Entries on the 114 Universal-International westerns of the period are collected here. While other films may have contained western elements, only films that truly fit the genre are included.Films are arranged alphabetically by title, and each entry includes release date, alternate title, cast, credits, songs, location of filming, source if the film was an adaptation, running time, plot synopsis, commentary from the author and from the actors and directors, and representative excerpts from contemporary reviews. Also included are tag lines used in the original advertising for each film. An introduction to the book provides details on the Universal-International merger and a history of the studios’ productions.




Television Fright Films of the 1970s

If the made-for-television movie has long been regarded as a poor stepchild of the film industry, then telefilm horror has been the most uncelebrated offspring of all. Considered unworthy of critical attention, scary movies made for television have received little notice over the years. Yet millions of fans grew up watching them—especially during the 1970s—and remember them fondly.This exhaustive survey addresses the lack of critical attention by evaluating such films on their own merits. Covering nearly 150 made-for-TV fright movies from the 1970s, the book includes credits, a plot synopsis, and critical commentary for each. From the well-remembered Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark to the better-forgotten Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby, it’s a trustworthy and entertaining guide to the golden age of the televised horror movie.





Sid and Marty Krofft

H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Land of the Lost: For a generation of children growing up in the late sixties and early seventies, these were some of the most memorable shows on Saturday morning television. At a time when television cartoons had lost some of their luster, two puppeteers named Sid and Marty Krofft put together a series of shows that captivated children.Using colorful sets and mysterious lands full of characters that had boundless energy, the Kroffts created a new form of children’s television, rooted in the medium’s earliest shows but nevertheless original in its concept. This work first provides a history of the Kroffts’ pretelevision career, then offers discussions of their 11 Saturday morning shows. Complete cast and credit information is enhanced by interviews with many of the actors and actresses, behind-the-scenes information, print reviews of the series, and plot listings of the individual episodes. The H.R. Pufnstuf feature film, the brothers’ other television work, and their short-lived indoor theme park are also detailed.




Stanley Kubrick and the Art of Adaptation
Paring a novel into a two-hour film is an arduous task for even the best screenwriters and directors. Often the resulting movies are far removed from the novel, sometimes to the point of being unrecognizable. Stanley Kubrick’s adaptations have consistently been among the best Hollywood has to offer.Kubrick’s film adaptations of three novels—Lolita, The Shining and Full Metal Jacket—are analyzed in this work. The primary focus is on the alterations in the characters and narrative structure, with additional attention to style, scope, pace, mood and meaning. Kubrick’s adaptations simplify, impose a new visuality, reduce violence, and render the moral slant more conventional.







A Critical History and Filmography of Toho’s Godzilla® Series


Though sometimes dismissed by critics, particularly in the United States, the Godzilla movies are some of the best-loved but least understood films in the world. The modifications made by American distributors—adding unsuitable footage, making changes in the musical score, even altering the plot—take away from the subtlety that makes the movies so popular in Japan. Then there are the dubbed voices—a matter of ridicule for American audiences and critics alike.This work is a thorough and critical account of the Godzilla movies focusing on how differences in American and Japanese culture, as well as differences in their respective film industries, underlie the discrepancies in the Japanese and American versions of the film. For each film, there are exhaustive filmographic data for both the Japanese and American versions, including plot synopses, cast, credits, and detailed production notes. The various political and social subtexts of the movies are also thoroughly covered.



Super Bitches and Action Babes

With actress Pam Grier’s breakthrough in Coffy and Foxy Brown, women entered action, science fiction, war, westerns and martial arts films—genres that had previously been considered the domain of male protagonists. This ground-breaking cinema, however, was—and still is—viewed with ambivalence. While women were cast in new and exciting roles, they did not always arrive with their femininity intact, often functioning both as a sexualized spectacle and as a new female hero rather than female character. This volume contains an in-depth critical analysis and study of the female hero in popular film from 1970 to 2005. It examines five female archetypes: the dominatrix, the Amazon, the daughter, the mother and the rape-avenger. The entrance of the female hero into films written by, produced by and made for men is viewed through the lens of feminism and post-feminism arguments. Analyzed works include films with actors Michelle Yeoh and Meiko Kaji, the Alien films, the Lara Croft franchise, Charlie’s Angels, and television productions such as Xena: Warrior Princess and Alias.



2 comments:

  1. Lee Hansen5:55 PM

    The Godzilla one interests me the most.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Howard Margolin1:43 AM

    I'm wondering how many of these John wishes he had written.

    ReplyDelete