ZONA: A BOOK ABOUT A FILM ABOUT A JOURNEY TO A ROOM

An Excerpt by Geoff Dyer

“It’s equally pleasing to read Dyer speak up for the pleasures of watching films, not in domesticated and tamed form on DVD, but at the cinema. Stalker itself, which is an immersive experience as much as it’s a visual spectacle, loses its magnetic force when watched at home. Dyer talks about the “possibility of cinema as semi-permanent pilgrimage site”. He also claims ‘the Zone is cinema.’

Beyond the book’s bravura formalism and in spite of the suspicion that it could be viewed as a highbrow take on live-blogging, it’s Dyer’s ability at moments like this to make pilgrims of his readers and to lead them on a journey in search of truths about love and about the nature of happiness that make Zona such an exhilarating achievement.” Sukhdev Sandhu, The Guardian

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“Call Me Ishmael,” RAY BRADBURY UNBOUND excerpt

John Huston and Ray Bradbury.

John Huston and Ray Bradbury.

This excerpt from Ray Bradbury Unbound, Jonathan R. Eller’s new biography, follows Ray Bradbury’s complex relationship with director John Huston on the making of Moby Dick.

When everyone regrouped in London, tensions were still high between the two men. Casting was finalized during this period, but not before a large dinner at Huston’s private club with some of the production staff and other friends of Huston’s, including the silent film stars Bebe Daniels and her husband Ben Lyon, who had become television entertainers in the U.K. since leaving Hollywood. This group included Jeanie Sims; Lorrie Sherwood; Peter Viertel; Richard Brooks, who had been Huston’s cowriter on Key Largo in 1948; and Jack Clayton, who would go on to direct Room at the Top, The Innocents, and, eventually, Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. Continue reading

Excerpt from HOPE: ENTERTAINER OF THE CENTURY, © 2014 by Richard Zoglin

by Richard Zoglin

 His punchy, two-syllable name, so emblematic of the optimistic American spirit; the unmistakable profile, with its jutting chin and famously ski-slope-shaped nose; the indelible images of Hope performing for throngs of cheering GIs in World War II and Vietnam — it was once impossible to imagine a time when the first question that needed to be answered about the most popular comedian in American history would be: Who was Bob Hope, and why did he matter? Continue reading