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Hollywood Eden: Electric Guitars, Fast Cars, and the Myth of the California Paradise by Joel Selvin ...

By introducing numerous future songwriters, musicians, and music producers, Joel Selvin presents a very colorful and intense picture of a California long gone. When with what he calls the “University High School class of 1958” the groundwork for the powerful American pop music of the 1960s and 1970s was laid, as some of that group […]

The Essence of Film Noir: The Style and Themes of Cinema’s Dark Genre by Diana Royer (2022)

Part of the unique intensity of noir and neo-noir movies is rooted in the combination of masterful scripts, extraordinary directors and the skillful highlighting of the psychological aspects wherever a protagonist needs to take action. But often is sabotaged while trying, to simplify one of many film noir plots. By carefully investigating the genre, several […]

Marvel By Design. Graphic Design Strategies of the … by gestalten & Liz Stinson (eds.) (2021)

For more than 80 years Marvel, one of the most important comic book companies in the world, provided countless fans with adventure, mystery and tales of superheroes in spectacular arrangements.   And over time, also a unique style of communication through layout was created through typesetting, lettering and altogether unparalleled design. The easily recognizable graphic […]

Noir Fiction and Film: Diversions and Misdirections by Lee Clark Mitchell (2022)

With some interesting observations and a huge collection of data about genres in the book under discussion here, there are some good and fresh points concerning style, method and procedure, even when hard-boiled fiction and films noir are reduced to their most basic configurations. Naturally, there are variations of the stereotypes, and with regard to […]

Marvel Comics Library. Fantastic Four. Vol. 1. 1961–1963 by Mark Waid, Mike Massimino … (2022)

With Fantastic Four. Vol. 1. 1961–1963, Taschen celebrates another idea of Marvel’s mastermind Stan Lee. Following the most welcome publication of recent volumes of the Taschen Marvel Comic Library, the superhero family of four is introduced here in a short text by former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino. Followed by a long essay from acclaimed Marvel […]

The History and Politics of Star Wars. Death Stars and Democracy by Chris Kempshall (2022)

As the most successful movie franchise in history, Star Wars has generated millions of fans worldwide, not to mention the billions of dollar revenue it created already. Soon after the first movie release, critics and academics began their study of the background, intentions and inspirations of the saga. This project until today remains mostly incomplete, […]

Italian Giallo in Film and Television: A Critical History by Roberto Curti (2022)

If there is one particular modern genre that is strongly connected with the history of Italian filmmaking, it obviously is the genre of “the yellow ones,” in Italian: “gialli”. The countless movies, dime novels, detective stories and murder mysteries in Italy are subsumed under that titles, similar to “pulp” novels, and crime fiction that got […]