More a notebook than a vital history. (62 b&w illustrations)

REVOLUTION!

THE EXPLOSION OF WORLD CINEMA IN THE SIXTIES

A bland account of a pulsating time in film history.

At a London cinema in 1958, Cowie watched Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. The film stunned Cowie and shaped his career: as a journalist and the author of several books on film (Coppola, 1990, etc.), he went on to cover the “New Wave” of filmmakers who made going to the movies more adventuresome than ever before or since. It was a turbulent, exciting time—Cowie himself feared he might not be able to get out of Cannes when protestors rioted there at the 1968 festival. But he never captures the fervor of the period. In sweeping arcs, he moves from country to country—from Italy to France to Eastern Europe, Great Britain, and the US—as he surveys the films and directors whose work defines the period: Antonioni, Truffaut, Polanski, Godard, and many other auteurs. But as the innovative films of this time used the jump-cut to move without transition from one scene to another, Cowie also jumps from one director, one film, one country to another, often without making the kinds of connections that would give cohesion to his work. He offers, for example, interesting primary material (transcripts of his interviews with the period’s major filmmakers) but merely drops their remarks into the text verbatim, adding little comment. He covers many significant films, but often too briefly—he terms Deliverance a “masterpiece,” but devotes only a half-sentence to it. Anyone who has never seen the film, or the several others he glosses over, will not comprehend their influence. And his pedestrian prose fails to mirror the revolutionary style of the times. Hollywood exerts its “siren call,” movements begin “with a vengeance,” and Pier Paolo Pasolini lives “at the cutting edge of scandal.”

More a notebook than a vital history. (62 b&w illustrations)

Pub Date: June 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-571-20903-3

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2004

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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