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1. My Life So Far
$16.29 list($23.95)
2. Down Came the Rain : My Journey
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3. A Lotus Grows in the Mud
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4. Sinatra : The Life
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5. The Art of Star Wars: Episode
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6. How To Lose Your Ass and Regain
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7. Lion of Hollywood : The Life and
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8. Frank Miller's Sin City : The
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9. MirrorMask : The Illustrated Film
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10. Story: Substance, Structure, Style
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11. Film Directing Shot by Shot :
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12. Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary:
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13. The Making of Star Wars, Episode
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14. Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind
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15. Dressing a Galaxy: The Costume
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16. Star Wars And Philosophy: More
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17. Memories Of A Munchkin: An Illustrated
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18. Writing, Directing, and Producing
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19. By Myself and Then Some
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20. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of

1. My Life So Far
by Jane Fonda
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375507108
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 294
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Amazon.com

One of the most recognizable women of our time, America knows Jane Fonda as actress, activist, feminist, wife, and workout guru. In her extraordinary memoir, Fonda divides her life into three acts: her childhood, early films, and first marriage make up act one; her growing career in film, marriage to Ted Turner, and involvement in the Vietnam War belong to act two; and the third act belongs to the future, in which she hopes to "begin living consciously," and inspire others who can learn from her experiences. Fonda reveals intimate details and universal truths that she hopes "can provide a lens through which others can see their lives and how they can live them a little differently."

Exclusive Letter from Jane Fonda

Stay in Shape: The Jane Fonda Collection
New Workouts

The Complete Personal Trainer Series

The Complete Workout and Stress Reduction Program

Fun House Fitness: Fitness for the Whole Family

Jane Fonda: The Essential DVDs

Barbarella

On Golden Pond

Nine to Five

Coming Home

Klute

See more Fonda DVDs ... Read more


2. Down Came the Rain : My Journey Through Postpartum Depression
by Brooke Shields
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401301894
Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 612967
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Book Description

In this compelling memoir, Brooke Shields talks candidly about her experience with postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter, and provides millions of women with an inspiring example of recovery.

When Brooke Shields welcomed her newborn daughter, Rowan Francis, into the world, something unexpected followed-a crippling depression. Now, for the first time ever, in Down Came the Rain, Brooke talks about the trials, tribulations, and finally the triumphs that occurred before, during, and after the birth of her daughter.

In what is sure to strike a chord with the millions of women who suffer from depression after childbirth, America's sweetheart Brooke Shields shares how she, too, battled this debilitating condition that is widely misunderstood, despite the fact that it affects many new mothers. She discusses the illness in the context of her life, including her struggle to get pregnant, the high expectations she had for herself and that others placed on her as a new mom, and the role of her husband, friends, and family as she struggled to attain her maternal footing in the midst of a disabling depression. And, ultimately, Brooke shares how she found a way out through talk therapy, medication, and time.

Exhibiting an informed voice and a self-deprecating sense of humor, this first memoir from a woman who has grown up before the eyes of the world is certain to attract the attention and empathy of many new mothers and fans alike. ... Read more


3. A Lotus Grows in the Mud
by GoldieHawn
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399152857
Catlog: Book (2005-05-02)
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Sales Rank: 173
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An inspiring and unconventional memoir from one of the world's most beloved actresses.

Goldie Hawn's life is an ongoing tableau of stories, and she has a born knack for telling them. In this candid and insightful book, Goldie invites us to join her in a look back at the people, places, and events that have touched her. It is the spiritual journey of a heart in search of enlightenment.

With her trademark effervescent humor, Goldie tells us about the lessons she's learned and the wisdom she feels she's been given in the hope of giving something back. Not a Hollywood "tell-all," A Lotus Grows in the Mud is a very personal look at moments private and powerful: her delight in her father's spirited spontaneity; the confidence instilled in her by her mother; the unexpected gifts of comfort from strangers many miles from home; and the joy of being a daughter, a sister, a lover, and a parent. This memoir is Goldie's chance to talk about everything from anger and fear to love, compassion, integrity, and friendship, to the importance of family and the challenges of show business.

Goldie writes about her younger self-the little girl who felt like an ugly duckling-and growing up in suburbia dreaming of becoming a ballerina. She takes us on a tour of her go-go dancing years in New York in the sixties, her phenomenal success on TV's Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, and then on to the world of Hollywood stardom and such memorable films as the Oscar-winning Cactus Flower, Swing Shift, and Private Benjamin.

A Lotus Grows in the Mud speaks of her relationship with her family-her partner, Kurt Russell; her children, Kate Hudson, Oliver Hudson, Wyatt Russell, and her stepson, Boston Russell-her growing faith, her curiosity for that which she doesn't yet know, and her unquenchable thirst for knowledge and understanding. Most of all, it is a trip back through a life well lived by a woman well loved.
... Read more

Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful person...
I was walking thru one of my favorite superstores when I came across this book - the always beautiful woman made me notice the cover but the title made me pick up this book containing steps of her journey thru life.

At first I was a little intimidated or should we say annoyed with the size of this book.Memoirs are normally not this large in size and I immediately wondered what piles of conceit can someone so young in life have to say. I expected this from maybe Oprah but not Goldie.And that was not an attack on neither person but more of an explanation of what I have seen from the work and travels of both women. I later became glad the book contained such volume, for there was no way to tell her tale in short for the tale would have been missing all the reasons life is beautiful.

I have not had the fortune of seeing all of her movies, but I will say I have had the fortune of reading this book.And her spirit is lovely.She does not force her beliefs on the reader but more of explains how she came across these beliefs.

How very unfortunate if you don't find this book enjoyable.I or the rest of the reviewers who are watching the Lotus grow from our own version of mud - will not hold it against you.

For those of you who are open, perhaps spiritual and easily touched, don't let the size of this book intimidate you. It's a good read by a good person.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pleasant to ponder
The cover is nice.Some pages are blue or purple with very attractive motifs and graphics inside.Nice pictures too of Goldie at work, rest and play including snapshots of her children and partner Kurt Russell.

The content is only losely biographic.This is more Goldie Hawn's philosophy of life through the window of her journeys and successes in the movie industry.Co-authored with another it reads very well.

Little subchapters called "Postcards" capturing experiences.There are also poems and thoughts: "Is our smile coded for in our DNA or is it nurtured?" (paraphrased).In this sense the book has some fine quotations.

As a woman who represents openness and seems to be something of a spiritual student this book is great for exploring themes on happiness, relationships, death and being human.Designed to bring out the best in anybody.

This book and its sentiments represent a fantastic contribution to genuinely making the world a better place - not by throwing money at problems but by being well inside.

I liked reading it - ideal as a gift or to dip into though not to be read from cover to cover necessarily.Really well edited - not much gossip, thankfully.

2-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get interested
I don't remember Goldie Hawn from Laugh In.I have seen her in only two movies, The Banger Sisters and Butterflies Are Free, and not in the theater but on tv.The book is pretty on the outside and the colored pages are nice.I couldn't get interested in it so I didn't buy it.

1-0 out of 5 stars silly and oh so predictable
A waste of time for me.I borrowed a copy from my friend.Completely light weight.I guess I expected more depth.Now, who is the stupid one?Depth from Goldie Hawn?Well, I had hopes.She canNOT be as dippy as the girl from Laugh In, but I am afraid she is.At least she maintains that image in this new age-y, let-me-enlighten-you piece of froth."All I ever wanted was to be happy," she recalls from her days as a very small child.Right.I'm sure.

It's easy to pontificate about Buddhism and how material things are really meaningless when you're sitting on $200 million.Give up your money, Goldie, your penthouse in NY, your $10million house in Montana, your home in Canada for your son's convenience, your cars, your "assistants", your jewelery, etc., and move into an ashram and then I'll have a little more respect for her views on "life" as a Buddhist.

As for her childhood memories, they seem very "exact words" and although I have a memory and can recall conversations word for word, as well, I find her recollections a little hard to take, re the one on wanting to be happy:I was a very happy kid too and my childhood was wonderful, but I didn't KNOW it until I was able to understand the concept of happiness, to understand how others lived, and that certainly didn't happen to me when I was five.

I hope it was printed on recycled paper.It's a shame any tree had to die for this.

I think she probably babbled on and a ghost writer did the hard part.And if I was him or her, I'd never let ANYONE know I did THIS book.

5-0 out of 5 stars an amazing book.....

This book was hard to put down. Goldie has a wonderful warm, sincere, and open approach to life which is refreshing. She has welcomed us into her life and shared her intimate thoughts and feelings. I enjoyed every page. I am giving this as a gift to my daughter, and recommending it to my friends.

Ruth Nighswonger (Boca Raton, Fl) ... Read more


4. Sinatra : The Life
by ANTHONY SUMMERS, ROBBYN SWAN
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375414002
Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 296
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars The Age of Sinatra
We know Frank Sinatra - we don't know Summers and wife.

"They buried a man in California on May 14, 1998, but they didn't bury Frank Sinatra. Rock 'n' roll couldn't bury him, disco and rap couldn't. Elvis and the Beatles couldn't." What makes you feel you can, Summers?

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book on Ole Blue Eyes
Frank Sinatra was a Man of many faces,but He had a Persona about Him that you would never soon forget.I've read so many books about him&this One truly captures another side of him.nothing changes my mind of Him as a Artist because I always say that you have to seperate the person from there craft they are two totally different beings.Sinatra is One of the Music Worlds Greatest Treasures period. Sinatra did His thing as He wanted to.like He sang"My Way"&He never strayed from that&You can always respect a stand up Cat.very interesting reading&Details.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Latest Sinatra Book is a Winner
This new book on Sinatra is a great read and most people reading the book will find it difficult to put the book down. It deserves to be a best seller. In short, it is a highly entertaining page turner with many photographs that show Sinatra at most stages of his life, and has an excellent free flowing writing style like a magazine article. Furthermore, the authors did a good job and it eclipses prior books - it is a substantial book about 590 pages long with 200 pages of notes.

Most people, especilally older ones, know the Frank Sinatra success story. The present book gives the rest of the story, the not so pleasant but possibly more fascinating hidden side of the Sinatra story - what was going on behind the scenes. Since many parts will be controversial, the authors have been very cautious and very conservative with the details of their story. In any case, I suspect it is probably close to 100% correct - that is my guess. Out of the total of about 590 pages, the authors have an impressive 200 pages dedicated to backing up the facts of their story including many sources, references, public information, etc. and they give much detail on where they got all their information. Fortunately for the reader, all those 200 pages of notes are neatly placed at the back of the book, and the text itself, just under 400 pages, is a free flowing and easy read with many photographs.

The story starts with the family immigration from Italy to America, and then continues with his youth and his parents living in Hoboken, NJ, right across the river from New York city. It is one of a number of New Jersey ocean port towns in the area that had strong mob ties- and Hoboken was made famous by the 1954 Marlon Brando movie On The Waterfront. The story continues through his start as a singer, his breaks in show business, the movies, his wives including first wife Nancy and their children then on to Ava Gardner and the other marriages. Ava Gardner was an obsession that lasted until her death according to the book. Then it is on to the numerous girlfriends including Bogart's wife Lauren Bacall. The authors take us through the criminal charges for assault on a reporter, assault against a 20 years old actress, the days in Las Vegas, his connections with Marilyn Monroe, his numerous contacts with politicians including the Kennedy family and more.

The reason that some will not like this book is that some of the details are not pretty, and they are linked to organized crime. This can be traced to Sinatra's father who comes from the same small town in Sicily as some of the most famous mob leaders of his time; the mob link was previously widely known and it is not new to this present book. Frank had ongoing and continuous contacts with these people as did his father. His parents ran an illegal bar during prohibition using mob supplied liquor, supplied by their Sicilian connections.

It is claimed that he got his singing start with these connections, and later in his career he got his part in the movie From Here to Eternity, in a style similar to that depicted in the Godfather movie, i.e.: serious and credible death threats aimed at the movie producers if they failed to hire Sinatra. However, once he became famous he continued a strong interaction with many mob figures including Sam Giancana in Chicago. According to the book, Sam Giancana was not an isolated incident - there were many. One or a few incidents like Giancana might have been considered an error of judgement, but the authors detail perhaps dozens of other crime figures, many with photographs and notes and other information. They even claim that Sinatra transported cash for the mob. Sinatra would deny all of this in public, even years later after many of the other people were dead, but there are too many references to come to any conclusion other than what is described in the book.

The other not so pretty part of the story involves his famous temper, impatience, and similar behaviour with women and associates, and even beating a reporter. With his fame and success came sex appeal and power. He was diverted from his first marriage to Nancy by many women including Ava Gardner and others, many being the most famous and most beautiful of the day, and sometimes many decades younger than himself such as Mia Farrow. But he was unable to maintain the relationships and marriages, due largely to his temper, his expectations, and his manner or life style.

This is a fascinating read, and I highly recommend the book. It is similar to some prior biographies on Sinatra but refined and expanded. It has a lot of back up material and an excellent collection of photographs. My opinion of him did not change from reading the book. I already new he was a fairly independent and strong headed guy who did things his own way oblivious to the social norms - as per his song "My Way". Maybe this tough guy connection percolated through to his public image and that is one reason why he was famous?

Fascinating book, this is a buy: 5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Book on Sinatra So Far
We have had the records. We have the CDs and Videos.And finally we have THE BOOK! The most carefully researched and factually presented document on Sinatra the man. It tells the complete story, for the first time, of the twentieth century legend who thrilled us with his wonderful gift of story telling in music. It is simply the best book on Sinatra so far.

2-0 out of 5 stars Whose "Life" Is It Anyway
Frank Sinatra is generally regarded as the finest popular singer of his time so it seems logical that any book entitled "Sinatra-The Life" would have to take off from the music.

Without the music there would be no "Mob", no starlets, no movie roles,no bodyguards...none of the egocentric trivia the Sinatra biographers generally like to focus on.

Kitty Kelley in her 1986 hatchet job spent so little time on Sinatra's artistry one would be hard put to realize she was writing about a musician.

Anthony Summers and Robin Swann, authors of "Sinatra The Life" are not quite as mean spirited in their tone as Kelley was, but they spend so much time dwelling in the gutter, it's almost as if it was an inconvenience for them to touch upon the music (some of which they get wrong--there was no "recitation" on the "Watertown" album


Summers and Swan devote a huge portion of the book trying to finally cement Sinatra's connection to the Mob....

Does anyone really care at this point if the "Mob" helped get Sinatra the role of Private Maggio?....did the "Mob" give Sinatra's terrific Oscar winning performance--did the "Mob" record a body of musical work that remains unparalled in the history of American popular culture?Did the "Mob" make worldwide standards out of obscure showtunes such as "Lady Is A Tramp" and "I've Got You Under My Skin?"...Is the "Mob" responsible for the fact that millions can date the events of their lives by what Sinatra album was in release at the time.

An artist of Sinatra's stature and longevity deserves at least the same sort of 2 volume treatment that Elvis received from the excellent Peter Guralnick.


Suffice it to say that amazingly enough the definitive biography of Frank Sinatra has yet to be written...

"Sinatra-The Life" ain't it........................


... Read more


5. The Art of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
by JONATHAN RINZLER
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345431359
Catlog: Book (2005-04-02)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 284478
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6. How To Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life: Reluctant Confessions of a Big-Butted Star
by Kirstie Alley
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 159486232X
Catlog: Book (2005-03)
Publisher: Rodale Books
Sales Rank: 4114
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

She captured our hearts with her award-winning performances on screen.Now Kirstie Alley is poised to do it again as she laughingly explores our American obsession with fat, food, love, sex, beauty, and weight loss.

If anyone in Hollywood knows about weight obsession, it's Kirstie Alley.After she rose to fame on Cheers as the svelte and gorgeous Rebecca Howe, she watched as the tabloids mercilessly chartered her fluctuating weight.Well, look out, Hollywood, because this beloved star is ready to strike back - with a starring role in a new, unscripted comedy series on Showtime calle Fat Actress.She plays a fictionalized version of herself as she searches for work and love in the land of glitter and glamour.The show, which promted a huge media buzz when Showtime announced plans for it, premieres just as this witty and wry new book hits bookstores across the nation.

Alley's accounting gives readers and intimate look into her life while providing a hilarious view of being overweight in a skinny-obsessed world.Whether readers are struggling with weight or personal integrity - or if they're just looking for love and happiness - they'll identify with Alley's experiences.She tells it like it is and helps us laugh at ourselves (and others.)

... Read more

Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not a Weight Gain/Loss Tell All, Light and Forced at Times
This was a very quick read.Kirstie opens the book with a funny sexcapade story about her and a former love interest.This intimate yet funny story makes readers thinks that Kirstie is really going to "open up," in this book.Not really.She shares some intimate details, like how the press was insensitive when she suffered a miscarriage.Don't get me wrong, I am not wanting Miss Kirstie to divulge all of the details of her life, but being that this story was about weight to a degree, I didn't really get the feeling that the book was authentic.I felt like the journal entries (which are very short) were written after the fact, like maybe after looking at one's day planner after they ink a book deal.There were also a lot of pictures of people in this book that took up full pages, as if they might be serving as fillers for a book trying it's best to make the 200 page mark.I hope this doesn't sound harsh because I like Kirstie and somewhat enjoyed the book.

If you enjoy "Fat Actress" as I do, you will find in the book that several of the scenes in the show were inspired by real life events.I just thought the book would dig deeper into how she gained weight, if her divorce and the time after the divorce made her eat more, just more about her feelings regarding food and the struggle to lose the weight.The book is very "now," meaning the journal entries were from like the 2004 to now era.I wanted to know about the "fat" Kirstie after "Veronica's Closet" and before "Fat Actress."I am sure there was a deeper story to tell.This is kind of light."Yeah, I am losing weight on Weight Watchers," that kind of thing.She also details selling her show "Fat Actress" to Showtime.There are also numerous John Travolta mentions. In the last pages of the book she tells a story about a child hood friend, it just seemed out of place as the book was supposed to be wrapping up. I love Kirstie and am so proud of what she has done with "Fat Actress," and with bringing to light the drama that celebrities deal with.I am an author and an entertainment journalist and when I have to do promo or special appearances there are many times I feel very fat and I am always trying to lose that 10 pounds, and as Kirstie in the book discusses how happy she is with her children, the book really makes you wonder about why women work so hard to lose weight for society when they are really happy.In conclusion, the book seems like a tie in for the big Kirstie come back, kind of forced and not very deep.Would have liked to see more detailed journal entries and more about how she got to the point that she did verses the standard PR line we have all heard about deciding to stay home with the kids and eating.

5-0 out of 5 stars laughed my ASS OFF
Funny book, funny lady. I can't recall ever laughing this much from a book.. I admire and respect Kirstie for being able to extract the humor from lifes "little" adversities. You go girl!

5-0 out of 5 stars fun book
This is a fun book. Kirstie writes with a sharp wit and candor I found very entertaining. She jokes about herself and speaks with love & respect for her family, parents, and grandparents.
Her food & weight issues are mentioned often. I really loved the story about her Grandfather paying her a dollar to spend Saturday night, watching the fights with him on TV, serving the then 6 year old Kirstie lightly salted beer in a "thimble" sized shot glass. I'm glad I bought this book so I can reread it whenever I want.

5-0 out of 5 stars "BRAVA MS. ALLEY!"
"How To Lose Your Ass And Regain Your Life: Reluctant Confessions Of A Big-Butted Star," by "funny lady," Kirstie Alley, was such a FUN BOOK!Be ready to stay awake all night once you begin reading this FABULOUSLY FUNNY BOOK!You will not want to put it down.

I love this writer/actress.Kirstie Alley is one terrific lady and talent.I admire her and her efforts as she tries hard in life to turn her stumbling blocks into stepping-stones!

We briefly met once right after her first few tapings of "Cheers" after Shelly Long left the scene.What an amazing woman!I'm such a fan.

If you enjoy this genre in your reading material then this is one book you won't want to miss.It is well-written, entertaining, and insightful.You'll enjoy it as much as I did.That's a promise.

4-0 out of 5 stars A quick & fun read
I was so drawn in by the title I couldn't resist picking this one up.I also am currently enjoying Fat Actress on Showtime.

Kirstie is very blunt and funny.This autobiography is basically just a brief glimpse into different periods of her life and how they've shaped her into who she is.

For those who are offended by bad language and what not, Kirstie is not for you.But, I think she's pretty well known for being outspoken, so this shouldn't be a surprise for anyone, so it's unfortunate that this affects the books ratings.

A good read for even mediocre fans, and certainly anyone looking for motivation in their own life.
... Read more


7. Lion of Hollywood : The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer
by Scott Eyman
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743204816
Catlog: Book (2005-04-19)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 755
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Lion of Hollywood is the definitive biography of Louis B. Mayer, the chief of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer -- MGM -- the biggest and most successful film studio of Hollywood's Golden Age.

An immigrant from tsarist Russia, Mayer began in the film business as an exhibitor but soon migrated to where the action and the power were -- Hollywood. Through sheer force of energy and foresight, he turned his own modest studio into MGM, where he became the most powerful man in Hollywood, bending the film business to his will. He made great films, including the fabulous MGM musicals, and he made great stars: Garbo, Gable, Garland, and dozens of others. Through the enormously successful Andy Hardy series, Mayer purveyed family values to America. At the same time, he used his influence to place a federal judge on the bench, pay off local officials, cover up his stars' indiscretions, and, on occasion, arrange marriages for gay stars. Mayer rose from his impoverished childhood to become at one time the highest-paid executive in America.

Despite his power and money, Mayer suffered some significant losses. He had two daughters: Irene, who married David O. Selznick, and Edie, who married producer William Goetz. He would eventually fall out with Edie and divorce his wife, Margaret, ending his life alienated from most of his family. His chief assistant, Irving Thalberg, was his closest business partner, but they quarreled frequently, and Thalberg's early death left Mayer without his most trusted associate. As Mayer grew older, his politics became increasingly reactionary, and he found himself politically isolated within Hollywood's small conservative community.

Lion of Hollywood is a three-dimensional biography of a figure often caricatured and vilified as the paragon of the studio system. Mayer could be arrogant and tyrannical, but under his leadership MGM made such unforgettable films as The Big Parade, Ninotchka, The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St. Louis, and An American in Paris.

Film historian Scott Eyman interviewed more than 150 people and researched some previously unavailable archives to write this major new biography of a man who defined an industry and an era. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars :LB: THE MAYER OF MGM CITY WAS A GREAT MOGUL!!!!
Louis B. Mayer (1885-1957) was in this reviewer's opinion the greatest of the studio heads in the days of Hollywood's golden
age. Mayer rose from a difficult childhood.Mayer was born in
Eastern Europe, had a difficult relationship with his father;
adored his mother and was always busy in his new beloved land
of America! He grew to manhood in Canada, moved to the east coast of the USA and developed a string of successful theatres
in the east. Mayer went to HOllywood and climbed the slippery slope to the top at Metro.
Scott Eyman has written an outstanding, well balanced view of the complex producing and executive genius of LB! Mayer had a
scant education, rarely read books and wanted Metro to be the
studio of clean, wholesome entertainment. Mayer had a difficult family life with his first wife Margaret and his two difficult
daughters Irene and Evie.
In this book you will hear the gossip spoken around the water coolers in Culver City. You will meet the pantheon of MGM stars
from Garbo, Gable, McDonald, Garland, Rooney, Montgomery, Loy,
Powell, Crawford and Garson (and a cast too numerous to mention).
One caveat about fans wanting the scoop on stars should be voiced-in many Hollywood books the author usually takes several pages to explain in detail how movie deals were financed and
distributed. I personally found this of interest.
Mayer and his chief lt. the boy wonder of MGM Irving Thalberg
built MGM into the greatest studio in Hollywood. Due to changing
social mores, the advent of television and other factors the studio faltered and declined sharply under the leadership of
Dore Schary who ousted Mayor. Plots and counterplots among the Hollywood bigwigs populate these many pages!
Mayer was far from a candidate from sainthood! He had affairs,
could be cold, cruel and vindictive. He was also a man who loved the movies and his studio. Take him all in all-he was a giant of the industry.
Scott Eyman has done another fine job with this outstanding
biography.
The Lion of MGM in the incarnated form of Louis B. Mayer roars
again!

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Great Book By Scott Eyman
I was anxiously awaiting the publication of this book, and it was well worth the wait. Finally a book about the much maligned Louis B. Mayer that is balanced and objective.

While the book primarily is devoted to telling the story of how Mayer went from dealing in scrap metal to running the classiest movie studio in Hollywood (o.k., Culver City) and then describing Mayer's eventual fall from grace, a wide cast of characters fills out Mayer's story. This book relates commonly circulated stories as well as some new ones. However, Eyman meticulously has researched his subject and allows his readers to draw their own conclusions by evaluating the validity of some of these stories which would be considered questionable.

Eyman also provides his reader with an exacting description of the dynamics that came into play while Mayer was running a large movie studio as well as the dynamics within his own family.

The list of those people Eyman interviewed while writing this book is mind-boggling. Many of his interviewees have died since he began this book which makes a lot of the information provided in this book even more significant.

This book was long overdue and I am glad the author took this project on while there were still enough people alive who could provide first hand information about the subject.

I am hoping that I don't have to wait too long for Mr. Eyman's next book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another winner from a terrific biographer
You can always rely on Scott Eyman for a readable, well-researched and even-handed bio. This is no exception: it's fascinating to see L.B. Mayer not as the monster so many have painted him, but as a well-rounded human being.

Eyman also gives his readers credit for intelligence and judgment: he repeats the questionable stories (John Gilbert hitting Mayer; Mayer cheating Marie Dressler out of money), but then cites his sources and lets us make up our minds as to how legitimate these stories are.

No doubt Mr. Eyman is taking a well-deserved breather after this book, but I al already anxiously awaiting his next project. ... Read more


8. Frank Miller's Sin City : The Making of the Movie
by Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
list price: $30.00
our price: $19.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1933104007
Catlog: Book (2005-04-25)
Publisher: TroubleMaker Publishing
Sales Rank: 14243
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Director Robert Rodriguez teams with comic book legend Frank Miller to bring the acclaimed comic book series to the screen. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars a bit too analog for something so digital.
If you're a Frank Miller fan I think you'll love this book. If you're a Robert Rodriguez fan you might want to wait for the DVD.

In this book you'll find some great photography of the actors and scenes from the movie (no nudity). You'll find the entire script, which along with the photos accounts for 75% of the book.

The other 25%: The cast and crew pat each other on the back a lot. A number of comic book drawings are presented alongside the same scene in the movie. There's a good overview of the creation of the makeup effects, custom weapons, costumes and jewelry.

What's missing is a discussion of the digital process. There are a couple green screen photos in color, but most set photos are in black and white. There's no mention of the software used to create anything nor the companies or artists involved in that creation. Since so much of this movie was created in the computer I found that a little odd. If that's what you think you're buying then don't.

Perhaps they thought computer stuff was too technical and not as interesting as showing the casting process for the weapons etc. You decide.

If you love the movie and Frank Miller I think you'll be happy with this book. The hardback makes a nice coffee table book for the household without young children.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great insight on a great film.
This book is really awesome. It has the script for each story in the movie, great behind the scenes pictures, cast and film makers thoughts on the project, all of the different posters they put out to promote the movie, and just a bunch of great stuff. This book is definitely well worth the money,I spent $30 on it at Borders, so I suggest you buy it from here for such a great bargain. ... Read more


9. MirrorMask : The Illustrated Film Script of the Motion Picture from The Jim Henson Company
by Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean
list price: $34.95
our price: $23.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060798750
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 23103
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From the incomparable imagination and lucid visions of Sandman creator Neil Gaiman and acclaimed artist and director Dave McKean -- and the innovative minds at The Jim Henson Company -- comes MirrorMask, a breathtaking journey through a strange and magical looking-glass world where anything can happen ... and frequently does.

Here is the complete film book of the new high-water mark in family fantasy entertainment. The story of young Helena, daughter of the circus, comes vividly alive as we accompany her on her remarkable mission to a place far beyond wonder; a phantasmagorical quest to rescue a realm from the devouring forces of chaos and shadow in order to win back her stolen "real" life from a runaway interloper from the other side.

Containing the full screenplay and more than 1,700 illustrated storyboards of the major motion picture -- as well as movie stills, comments, appreciations, and memories from the authors and filmmakers -- this one-of-a-kind volume is destined to become a classic, a keepsake to be cherished by fans of all ages.

For all who believe in the glorious reality of dreams, for everyone who longs to ride their imagination to miraculous places, the door is now open wide. See the world anew through the MirrorMask ... and nothing will ever look the same again.

... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Inside access to this magical film
In 2001, the Jim Henson Company contacted writer Neil Gaiman and artist Dave McKean about doing a film. Now, four years later, the product of all their hard work has come to fruition in the form of MirrorMask. While the film is slated for release later this year, Gaiman and McKean have put together a collector's book --- a companion that enhances one's understanding of how a film of this design comes into creation.

Complete with over 1,700 of McKean's storyboards, as well as the full screenplay written by Gaiman, MIRRORMASK is a fairy tale adventure that follows the story of Helena, the daughter of a circus family whose only wish is to abandon her life amongst performers and enter the real world. She engages in a heated discussion with her parents about her future with the circus, and soon after her mother falls gravely ill.

On the night before her mother goes in for surgery, Helena dreams she is in a mysterious and magical new world. In this world of two kingdoms, one land is eternally filled with light while the other is always shrouded in darkness. The balance is shifting in this new world as the daughter of the Dark Queen steals the MirrorMask from the castle of the White Queen. The White Queen then slips into a sleep from which she cannot be awakened. The only way to restore her is to seek out and bring her the MirrorMask.

The question Helena comes to ask is whether it is all a dream or is it something else entirely. She comes to believe that what she changes in the dream world will affect the real world. Thus, using the logic of dream worlds, her mother will be healed if she helps the White Queen. With the aid of the crafty juggler, Valentine, Helena sets out to retrieve the MirrorMask.

Gaiman weaves a beautiful tale where much is familiar and yet wholly new. The cast of characters is colorful and engaging, especially Valentine, who is both hysterically funny and also suspicious enough to be wary of. His writing style always has been one of great visual impact --- when reading a Gaiman work you can close your eyes and see his images in your mind. MIRRORMASK is no exception. Although McKean's artwork accompanies the text, you still can feel the visual component of Gaiman's words calling you to this new world.

Of equal interest are the letters sent between Gaiman and McKean that are included in the back of the book. These 20+ pages offer us insight into how the film came to be, from its creation in Gaiman's mind to its refining in McKean's hands. It also affords the reader the opportunity to see the editorial process as names and actions from Gaiman's initial vision changed by the time the screenplay was complete.

The germs of this tale came to life while Gaiman and McKean stayed in Jim Henson's house. Surrounded by all the magical elements of Jim's world, they set about the writing of the film. In reading the resulting book, they have succeeded in creating a world easily accessible to children and adults, and reawakened the wonder in all of us.
[...]

3-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book object; a less-than-satisfying read
I don't read screenplays.So reading Neil Gaiman's screenplay of the forthcoming Dave McKean-directed, Jim Henson Co.-produced MirrorMask left me wanting something more - that something being either the Gaiman novella based on the film (which will be out this fall) or the movie itself (which is without a release date).

I wasn't prepared for the lack of emotion evoked by the text, which, I believe, has less to do with Gaiman's writing than with the medium of screenplays - or, should I say, my aversion to screenplays.With that said, it's clear that Gaiman's text is an effective blueprint to what I believe will be a beautiful and haunting film.And in this book, that blueprint is brought to life by Dave McKean's accompanying storyboards, which serve as both utilitarian and atmospheric visual guides, making one wish that Gaiman and McKean collaborated on a full-blown MirrorMask comic book.

But, quite frankly, this book is more than a screenplay.It's a beautifully bound book object, with 32 color stills that hint at the final product.It's these stills, taken along with Gaiman's text, that make me a believer in this film.Not to mention, in the appendices that appear at the book's end, the Gaiman/McKean creative process is revealed in a series of reproduced e-mail correspondences.

I hope my stolid response to the screenplay is a fault of my own and rectified after the movie's release.But for now, from this book reader's perspective, MirrorMask: The Illustrated Screenplay works better as an object of art than as a moving piece of storytelling.
... Read more


10. Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting
by Robert McKee
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060391685
Catlog: Book (1997-12-17)
Publisher: Regan Books
Sales Rank: 1997
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Writing for the screen is quirky business. A writer must labor meticulously over his or her prose, yet very little of that prose is ever heard by filmgoers. The few words that do reach the audience, in the form of the characters' dialogue, are, according to Robert McKee, best left to last in the writing process. ("As Alfred Hitchcock once remarked, 'When the screenplay has been written and the dialogue has been added, we're ready to shoot.' ") In Story, McKee puts into book form what he has been teaching screenwriters for years in his seminar on story structure, which is considered by many to be a prerequisite to the film biz. (The long list of film and television projects that McKee's students have written, directed, or produced includes Air Force One, The Deer Hunter, E.R., A Fish Called Wanda, Forrest Gump, NYPD Blue, and Sleepless in Seattle.) Legions of writers flock to Hollywood in search of easy money, calculating the best way to get rich quick. This book is not for them. McKee is passionate about the art of screenwriting. "No one needs yet another recipe book on how to reheat Hollywood leftovers," he writes. "We need a rediscovery of the underlying tenets of our art, the guiding principles that liberate talent." Story is a true path to just such a rediscovery. In it, McKee offers so much sound advice, drawing from sources as wide ranging as Aristotle and Casablanca, Stanislavski and Chinatown, that it is impossible not to come away feeling immeasurably better equipped to write a screenplay and infinitely more inspired to write a brilliant one.--Jane Steinberg ... Read more

Reviews (104)

5-0 out of 5 stars Better than any other writing book or course
This book is by far the best book on narrative writing that I've ever read, and is also more useful to me than the many writing courses I've taken over the years. I'm a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop (MFA) and also took many writing courses as an undergraduate -- this single book beats them all put together.

It's truly extraordinary how McKee is able to distill universal forms and principles from a huge variety of narrative writing (primarily screenplays, of course, but his insight extends beyond screenplays). One would think such an approach would be limiting and reductive, but the reverse is true: by helping the reader understand why and how effective narratives work, and how a writer should approach the creation of a screenplay, a universe of possibilities emerges.

The main problem with writing workshops is that they focus on a student's work and what's wrong with it -- it's a very negative approach, the opposite of a support group, that rarely results in genuine improvement. As McKee notes, a lot of writers go through endless revision cycles in the hope of salvaging what's good in their work. But the problem with most narrative writing seems to be in its elemental structure -- the story and its progression -- which occurs on a "pre-writing" level. Once a story is committed to novel or screenplay form, the battle to forge this elemental structure is almost lost. McKee teaches the principles that writers should follow in this critical pre-writing stage as they develop the progression of their narrative.

There's a lot of baloney being spewed in academia and elsewhere that creative writing can't be taught and that plot is relatively unimportant. McKee shows the lie in all this -- that narrative writing *can* be taught and that well-developed plot is critical. Save your money and time, skip the MFA programs, read this book and dedicate yourself to learning from it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent First Book
Robert McKee's STORY is an excellent book, especially for those starting out in screenwriting or, for that matter, other forms of fiction. While his style is sometimes a bit pompous and aloof, his focus on "the story" as the most fundamental component of a film is right on target. In laying out what "works" for screenwriting, he also shows how film is unique from other forms of writing. As a novelist, currently adapting one of my works to a screenplay with another more experienced screenwriter, his insights were particularly helpful.

What McKee's book will not do is provide the novice with a sense of format, lay-out, and terminology. This is very much a book targeted toward getting the fundamentals--the principles--of screenwriting down. While all readers may not agree with everything he suggests (indeed, I didn't), he lays out the basic structure, typologies, and analytics of screenwriting in an insightful and practical way.

I noticed another reviewer thought this book was too formula driven. While McKee offers a basic formula to structure, he also acknowledged the diversity of good films and screenplays--there's plenty of room for creativity. What he provides is basic insight into what makes a "successful" screenplay--one that will be bought, produced, and be successful at the box office. (More appropriately, one that will cover its costs and make at least a small profit for its producers.)

This was a very valuable book, and I highly recommend it as a stable of your writing library.

5-0 out of 5 stars The real thing . . .
I have now ploughed through seven different books on screenwriting. Robert McKee's "Story" distinguishes itself as the best in one significant way: It provides real insight into the strucure of story-telling, the techniques that make stories work and the traps that many writers fall into. This is not a paint-by-numbers approach. This book challenges you to think about the ways that people really behave, and how that can be translated in a meaningful way to the silver screen.

If you are going to read just one book on screenwriting, this is the one. I am not sure I will mention Robert McKee in my acceptance speech when I receive my Academy Award for best screenplay , but I might send him a case of champagne ;-)

1-0 out of 5 stars CHARLATAN MCKEE
I attended Roberth Mckee's the I've-Never-Written-A-Screenplay-In-My-Life-But-Here's-How-In-Three-Hours "workshop". We all sat back and watched the glory and splendor of a few well-lit scenes from Casblanca as McHack droned on and on about their cinematic significance. I found myself occassionally embarrassed at having to wipe the sleep drool from my face. (Luckily I was smart enough to sneak in and not pay $450 for it). The book was worse. The class reminded me more of a cinematography class back at ole USC film school than ANYTHING related to literary theory. I have had one screenplay optioned and directed a short which was at Sundance and gone through developement hell and worked with a good script consultant (Ann Zald - Schindler's List) on my recent script, etc., etc. I'm no Larry Gelbart, but I've been a working, represented writer in this town. McKee's text is more of a rambling, seething mass of amateur exploration than anything resembling the intricacies and time tested princibles of narrative theory and execution. You'll be more confused and stupid reading this text than any other from my estimation. He's a hack. Actually he's not up to the title of hack because he hasn't written anything. Therefore he's a charlatan. For more correct information in my humble opinion and experience, get your feet wet with: Seger's How To Make A Good Script Great, Lajos Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing; Howard and Mabley's The Tools Of Screeenwriting, Iglesias' 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters; THEN get more serious with Michael Rabiger's Developing Story Ideas and Gerard Genette's Narrative Discourse Revisited. Of course even better than all that, read the few greats of all time (w/o Cliff Notes, or anybody else's interpratations/footnotes/opinions, etc.): ALL the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, ALL the plays of Shakespeare, ALL of Moliere's comedies, ALL of Tolstoy, Shaw, Twain, Ibsen, Dickens, Austen, Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller. I also found How To Read A Book by Mortimer Adler/ Charles Van Doren useful- originally published in 1940 (get the revised and updated edition). Great Writers are Great Readers- Great Comprehenders. I have a lot to learn and read from many geniuses. McKee is not one of them. "There's a sucker born every minute and some people love to be snookered." - PT Barnum

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Book on Writing Ever
Not an exaggeration at all. I've never read a better book on writing (and not just screenwriting either). This book transcends all forms of literature. Absolutely amazing. ... Read more


11. Film Directing Shot by Shot : Visualizing from Concept to Screen
by Steven Katz
list price: $27.95
our price: $27.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0941188108
Catlog: Book (1991-07-31)
Publisher: Michael Wiese
Sales Rank: 5525
Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Film Directing Shot by Shot offers a good introduction to the rudiments of film production. Steven D. Katz walks his readers through the various stages of moviemaking, advising them at every turn to visualize the films they wish to produce. Katz believes that one of the chief tasks of filmmaking is to negotiate between our three-dimensional reality and the two-dimensionality of the screen. He covers the number of technical options filmmakers can use to create a satisfying flow of shots, a continuity that will make sense to viewers and aptly tell the film's story. Katz provides in-depth coverage of production design, storyboarding, spatial connections, editing, scene staging, depth of frame, camera angles, point of view, and the various types of stable compositions and moving camera shots. ... Read more

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars ...fantastic
I wish I had this book when I was in 6th form. If I had, the last 5 years of my life could have been very different. Unfortunately, I only got hold of this book 6 months ago, and quickly read it cover to cover.

I'm not going towrite an in depth review, but I will tell you the 2 most important things that this book deals with...

1) Shot composition/storyboards
2) Blocking

It tells you everything they don't have time for when you take media studies in your senior high school years. It quickly gets past the basic information about shot types etc, and then takes you WAY BEYOND into a far more in depth and professional level, the kind of stuff you pay tens of thousands for in a film school.

The book is that...good.

If you only ever buy 1 book on filmmaking/directing, this is the one to get. I'm not kidding.

3-0 out of 5 stars Far from complete
A competent text in regards to the visualization of camera placement and movement required of directors. At the very least, it will aid you in communicating with the various people necessary to make films. However, this book falls far short of being a complete manual for a film director. It fails to address basic directing principles, such as the director's roles in shaping performances for the screen and breaking down the script emotionally. The latter being an essential step in "visualizing from concept to screen." Using this book as a resource as a director is fine, but make sure you supplement it with other texts, such as "Directing Actors" by Judith Weston. Do not buy this book assuming you are getting a comprehensive guide. If it's a more comprehensive guide you seek then I would recommend Michael Rabiger's "Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics."

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Buy for film makers
This reference is worth the money. I learned everything I needed to know about setting up shots for my first two films from this book. Diagrams, pictures, instructions. Wonderful!

5-0 out of 5 stars The title says it all
If you're expecting, that you will learn how to direct actors or get dramatic an unique performances with this book you're wrong, this book it's about visualizing, how to move the camera, why, continuity styles, storyboarding, etc,

It is an excellent tool for the film & videomaker, you can use it for quick reference, if you're shooting a conversation, it explains, how you can do it without breaking the axis..

If you're starting to study film, let Steven Katz, be your teacher, and make your first shorts knowing how to doing them right

3-0 out of 5 stars Katz takes simple concepts and makes them seem confusing
This book really gets you thinking about shot design and blocking, but Katz uses four times as many pages as he should. Katz takes simple concepts and makes them seem confusing. ... Read more


12. Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary: The Ultimate Guide to Star Wars Characters and Creatures
by David West Reynolds, Alexander Ivanov
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0789434814
Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing
Sales Rank: 1430
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Watch the Star Wars trilogy enough times and you'llfind yourself straining to catch all the little details. Not thesubtle plot points (Darth is Luke's dad, check; Luke and Leia arebrother and sister, check), but all the cool gear and gadgets thatkeep flashing in front of the camera. Like what are those pointythings on Boba Fett's kneepads? And what's with all that ammo onChewie's bandolier? And does an Imperial Probe really need thatmany legs? Finally, we've got some answers.

David West Reynolds, a boyish Ph.D. in archaeology who lookslike he just rode in on the last Bantha, has catalogued theartifacts and inhabitants of the Star Wars universe withthe same clinical thoroughness one typically reserves for studyingMesopotamia. His oversized, eye-pleasing picture book is packedwith scrutinizing photos of actual props and characters from themovies, complete with systematic, scientific labels. AndReynolds's friendly, pseudo-academic style seamlessly blends newinformation with old. (In the Sand People description, you can'thelp but hear Alec Guinness's voice when Reynolds reveals that"Sand People ride in single file to hide their numbers.") In a fewinstances, the book shines an embarrassing light on the movies(Max Rebo is clearly no alien lifeform, just a poofy, blueelephant muppet), but the countless close-ups of thermaldetonators, imperial blasters, and gaffi sticks more than make upthe difference. --Paul Hughes ... Read more

Reviews (30)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Must for Fans of the Original Star Wars Trilogy
This is an excellent guide for anyone who has seen and liked the trilogy set in a galaxy far, far away. The book is written like a non fiction dictionary as if the Star Wars planets and creatures were actually real. This is a must for die hard Star Wars fans and even those who are not huge fans will still get something out of this book. This book was also written before the terrible prequel movies so it only covers the three classics.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty cool book chalk full of the props
This book shows just about every prop that they could have or did use in the Star Wars film. While parts of it are cheesy, it is a pretty solid book on those who want to know a little more information behind the scenes of Star Wars. The dictionary offers both fictional references and also references to how the movies were made. I recommend this to all Star Wars fans and maybe even to fans of movies in general.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very nice job
It is an amazing book related to Lucas' trilogy. It depicts all hardware used in the films. I have only a missing point: the starships are not all in the book and it would be better have them, but it is not a problem for a very nice illustrated book.

4-0 out of 5 stars You May Fire When Ready...
The Visual Directory complements the Pictorial Directory and really gets into the characters of this famous trilogy.

My only bickbat is the lack of information on Peter Cushing's villianous charcter, Grand Moff Willif Tarken. He was the main central player in the orginal Star Wars but because of his demise in this movie he dosen't get the full coverage he deserves.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!!
This is a superb book from the original and the special edtions of the Star Wars triogy! It has great details on every major character and everything else! This is great for beginners and and hardcore fans of the first three films is the Star Wars saga! ... Read more


13. The Making of Star Wars, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
by JONATHAN RINZLER
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345431383
Catlog: Book (2005-04-02)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 2740
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (10)

3-0 out of 5 stars Ends well short of the films completion
Beware! If you buy this book the final chapter must to be downloaded as a 56-page .pdf (complete with ads for other Del Ray Star Wars products) from www.readstarwars.com. This is a decent book, but it's really bothersome that it was published well before the movie was even completed!

The information in the book, presented diary style, ends in the summer of 2004 with months of post-production work still to be done on Episode III. (The online chapter ends at the end of February 2005.) Unless you download the final chapter you will not be able to read about such "minor" things as John Williams musical score, final effects work, sound design, and editing the final film.

Sorry, but this book was a rush job. A `making of' book should take the reader right up through a films completion, not leave them hanging somewhere in the middle.

What is there is well done and the first chapter that documents the artists designing new characters, vehicles, and entire worlds before Lucas even supplies a rough draft of the script is very interesting. Throughout the book there are nice on-set photos and artwork from the production. The diary entries will most definitely give the reader an insiders' view of what its like to work on a Star Wars film.

There are some amazing artists that bring these films to the screen, too bad this book stops short of giving us the complete picture. I'd rather spend a few more dollars for a completed book than have to waste the time (and the ink in my printer) to get what should have been included to begin with.

If the final chapter were included, this is a four or five star review.

5-0 out of 5 stars A superb eyewitness account of a technological masterpiece
If you're the type of person who enjoys the behind-the-scenes documentaries of moviemaking, this book will make you feel like a Hollywood insider.Regardless of your opinion of the movie itself, most can successfully argue George Lucas has once again managed to raise the bar in the realm of visual effects and digital production.

You may be surprised to know the entire movie was shot in less than two months.The book is laid out like a diary, with day-by-day discussions of the various scenes and what the actors and crew were going through as the movie was being shot.Considering over half the movie was digitally animated, the book is also chock full of art and photographs from initial concept to finished product.

Beware, this book covers the movie inside and out, so there are plenty of spoilers.However, once you've seen the movie, this book will likely make you want to see it again to catch everything you missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER MUST HAVE ITEM FOR STAR WARS FANS
you really have to give George Lucas a lot of credit.I mean maybe he's just looking at more dollar signs but he, and many other filmmakers, are doing a great job these days in documenting the making of their films from day one.Whether it be for a making of book like this or for extras on the eventual DVD release, I think it's wonderful that they are taking fans into consideration.This book isn't just some fluff piece like some others that's desgigned to make a few bucks.This is a comprehensive, daily journal book written by Mr. Rinzler who was along for the entire movie-making process from the creation of storyboards and animatics to post-production editing and final touches.Rinzler lets readers become a fly on the wall to watch the entire creative process unfold.You'll see first hand the hard work and incredible pressure placed on everyone involved to not only get the movie completed, but to get it done right since this will be the last chance (as far as we know).Throughout the book there are behind the scenes photographs and conceptual drawings showing the development of various characters from initial renderings to the final, on-screen look.This is just a fascinating look inside movie-making, well worth it for Star Wars fans or anyone interested in working in film.

5-0 out of 5 stars Magic and Mayhem behind the scenes....
As thrilling as the movies themselves, these accounts of making them add to any hardcore "Star Wars" fan's enjoyment. Mishaps, inside jokes, the pressure of deadlines, meticulous attention to detail, the intricate choreography of the space battles and duels, and how those fabulous special effects are done are almost as exciting as the finished product. The demands placed upon the actors, who must "interact" convincingly with characters and weaponry that isn't even there (added later by special effects artists and computer animators) is astounding. The reader gains a new appreciation for the genius of George Lucas and crew...as well as a hope that this won't REALLY be the last of this magnificent saga.I also recommend the excellent "Once Upon a Galaxy" which is the making of "The Empire Strikes Back."

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!
This book is everything i expected and MUCH MORE!

It gives a great insight into the making of Ep. III, and i gotta say i always wondered how everything comes about when making a Star Wars movie: this book details it!!

Amazing pictures, great stories and a lot of details into the movie making process.

I got this book with The Art of Episode III one, and they complement each other beautifully.

This book is a must for any Star Wars fan!! ... Read more


14. Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China
by Rachel DeWoskin
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393059022
Catlog: Book (2005-05-09)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 636
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A smart, funny, insightful peek into modern China through the eyes of a "foreign babe."

Hoping to improve her Chinese and broaden her cultural horizons, Rachel DeWoskin went to work for an American PR firm in China. Before she knew it, she was not just exploring but making Chinese culture—as the sexy, aggressive, fearless Jexi, star of a wildly successful soap opera. A sort of Chinese counterpart to Sex in the City revolving around Chinese-Western culture clashes, the show was called Foreign Babes in Beijing.

Living the clashes in real life while playing out a parallel version onscreen, Rachel forms a group of friends with whom she witnesses the vast changes sweeping through China as the country pursues the new maxim that "to get rich is glorious." In only a few years, billboards, stylish bars and discos, international restaurants, fashion shows, divorce, foreign visitors, and cross-cultural love affairs transform the face of China's capital. Foreign Babes in Beijing is as astute and informative as it is witty, moving, and entertaining. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Out of the mouths of babes ... come the truest words . . .
This is one of the most entertaining and informative books I have read in a very long time.I have been to Beijing once and I now live in thevery multicultural city of Toronto.The author deftly weaves the scripted story of the soap opera in which she acts with her real story on the streets and clubs and offices of Beijing.In a style of writing that is clear but deeply nuanced and humorous, she relates the lives of young men and women in a rapidly changing China, dealing with their own kind of culture shock, even as she deals with hers.

The chapter "Model workers" talks of the emerging, very non-Maoist profession of runway models.Brief, capsule biographies of the author's friends in China who are both typical and extraordinary, painters, actors, and fellow office workers, provided me insights that I will long carry with me.The story is told in part with quotations from her actual conversations, quotations from the show script, lyrics from popular songs, and brief quips about historical women recorded in the ancient "Lives of Eminent Women." Together these constribute to a fine tapestry that reveals many truths about our complex multicultural lives without judgement and with considerable affection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Crisp, Clever, Fast-paced, and Funny
This book is both smart and fun. On the one hand it is about an American babe who stars in a Chinese TV soap with funny stories to tell; and on the other, a glimpse into China's vast cultural landscape that is shifting as we speak.The seduction by the foreign babe is a metaphor for the impact of the West on the middle kingdom. DeWoskin has a smooth as silk grasp of language that is kind to the reader. Well done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Social Commentary - Served Hot and Spicy
Rachel DeWoskin arrived in Beijing during the mid-90s, among the first wave of Westerners to see the city since the protests and reprisals at Tiananmen Square a few years earlier. During her stay, China relented from rigid socialism, opened up to foreign capital, and incorporated western business practices. On one level, "Foreign Babes" is the story of this process. DeWoskin's descriptions of these cultural convulsions are pithy and delightful. From the introduction of Coke and McDonald's (and the resulting obesity epidemic), to the latest trends in Chinese rock music and performance art, she was a witness and an insider - the perfect guide.

DeWoskin was not just an anonymous tourist, though, she was a pop-sensation. Starring as an American temptress in China's version of Beverly Hills 90210, her weekly seductions were seen by half a billion people each week. Hundreds of fans mobbed her on the streets of Beijing and followed her through stores, buying whatever random products she put in her bag.

But the heart of "Foreign Babes" is not the fascinating backdrop of Beijing in bloom, or the glamorous and sexy soap opera, but the relationships between the characters. Sparring across a huge divide of language, politics, and culture, they must shed stereotypes and find a personal space in which to understand each other - not as American or Chinese, but as individuals and friends. DeWoskin possesses an astute social sensibility, a pitch-perfect ear for conversation, and the gift of spot-lighting the most awkward - and revealing - moment in any interaction.

Just going to China after college was adventurous. Signing on for the TV-show was audacious. Most impressive, however, was DeWoskin's ability to bridge the gaps and surround herself with friends in a foreign country. Impressive, but not surprising, since the author's warmth and grace are apparent on every page.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Telling Look at Late 1990's Beijing
Having lived for much of the period from 2001 - 2004 in Suzhou, (about 50 miles west of Shanghai), I can categorically say that Rachel DeWoskin's new book, FOREIGN BABES IN CHINA, gets nearly everything right when it comes to Chinese culture and interpersonal relations. Her book is a fascinating account of a city, a country, and a culture in transition. The people around her, and she herself, suffer the contradictions of tradition versus modernity, socialism versus entrepreneurial capitalism, blind patriotism versus Westernization, and government control versus individual freedom, yet everyone zooms ahead to find their own way even as the book's timeline approaches the millennium.

Ms. DeWoskin arrives in Beijing on something of a lark, a college grad with an English degree, a little Mandarin, and a desire for something adventurous. She has taken a position with the Beijing office of an international public relations firm (we later learn that "P.R." sounds uncomfortably like the Chinese word for an unflattering body part) but quickly finds the work empty of content. She unexpectedly gets offered a spot as one of the two foreign female leads in a new Chinese soap opera entitled "Yang Niu Zai Beijing," or "Foreign Babes in Beijing." She is duped into signing a contract for far less than she's worth to the producers (there are still relatively few attractive young Western women in Beijing in 1995), and a series of acting misadventures and cast romances ensue. DeWoskin can barely separate her real-life feelings for her hunky co-star Wang Ling from their respective romantic roles in the soap opera. In the end, "Foreign Babes" is a huge success throughout China, and Ms. Dewoskin is recognized everywhere she goes as Jiexi, the "loose" Western woman who steals a married Chinese man (Wang Ling's character, Tianming) from his wife and takes him to America.

The author eventually quits her P.R. job and takes on a series of small acting and spokesperson roles, and even takes a brief turn as a runway model. Along the way, she meets and briefly profiles four young Beijingers (two female and two male, despite oddly labeling their chapters, "Biographies of Model Babes") and describes their lives, beliefs, and aspirations. Each is fiercely independent and nontraditional, seeking to find their own identity and purpose in a newly-opened society. These four people are sometimes misinformed and often obstinate, even foolishly obstreperous, but there's no doubt they are brave, going where relatively few in their country have gone before.

DeWoskin develops close relationships with each of her four Beijingers, including a live-in relationship with the actor/screenwriter Zhao Jun. The last one-third of the book details her post-Jiexi life, which seems to devolve into clubbing and bar-hopping punctuated by occasional vague hints at working. Two tragedies -- the sudden death of a close Chinese friend juxtaposed against the mistaken U.S./NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade -- bring DeWoskin's relationships and her Chinese life to an abrupt end just as the 20th Century is drawing to a close. It is time to go home, to find her place in her native country.

Ms. DeWoskin tells her story in casual prose with easy pacing. Her writing is sometimes poignant and other times humorous. The reader feels her confusion about Chinese life and language; she doesn't even learn until later that her Chinese name, Du Ruiqiu (Du for DeWoskin, Ruiqiu to sound like Rachel), actually means "Bumper Harvest." She finds huge cultural gaps and differences with everyone around her. She makes repeated cultural faux pas, but muddles through nonetheless, just like any American in her place. Interlaced with her story are bits and pieces of Chinese history and language. Ms. DeWoskin also offers a number of surprisingly on-target, passing observations about Chinese life and culture: the importance of face, women covering their mouths when laughing, lack of winter heating, foreigners' prices, women holding hands but not hugging, and a host of others. Combined, these little bits add to a greater whole, creating a "Beijing atmosphere" that effectively complements her personal story.

It is hard not to see FOREIGN BABES IN CHINA as a coming of age story, both for the naïve, young college graduate author and for the country in which she is perpetually an outsider. She uses China and the Chinese for her own adventure story as surely as they use her for her "exotic" foreignness. This book is also a story about cross-cultural personal relationships, about roles assumed and played out, about what is thought and said, and not said, between any two people, complicated a hundredfold by cultural differences and ways of thinking. In the end, Ms. DeWoskin's confused, conflicted, and ultimately lost relationship with Zhao Jun may well serve as a metaphor for the instability, and perhaps the utter hopelessness, of the larger Sino-American relationship.

3-0 out of 5 stars interesting, and impressionistic
A good read, funny at times. In a way, this book is not exactly about the "new new China," but "recent new China," for the described events happened more than 5 years ago, a generational period on the Chinese time scale. DeWoskin is charming, self-deprecating, and going out with interesting people including Cui Jian. Do not look for any substantial, observant description of the capital and its people in this chattery book. She is after all a babe, living a half-real, half-dreamy life in Beijing. Never an insider, she is but a sweet, lovely guest who is invited to watch China and be watched at the same time. ... Read more


15. Dressing a Galaxy: The Costume of Star Wars Limited Edition with DVD
by Trish Biggar
list price: $295.00
our price: $185.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 081095964X
Catlog: Book (2005-10-01)
Publisher: "Harry N. Abrams, Inc."
Sales Rank: 3834
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Book Description

· While the Star Wars saga is famous for its elaborate sets and for revolutionary visual effects, it also features some of the most unique and ornate costumes in modern film. In this exquisite volume, the intricate and beautiful fashions that have appeared in all six Star Wars films are on display-from military gear to royal gowns and the iconic garbs of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. Every costume is brilliantly displayed in intimate detail, from preproduction sketches to the final creations. Actors, including Natalie Portman and Samuel L. Jackson, provide commentary on their experiences during principal photography, while writer-director George Lucas and producer Rick McCallum contribute their thoughts on this exploration of Star Wars costume design. Accompanied by an exhibition at the The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) Museum & Galleries at FIDM in Los Angeles, this unique visual treat is a must-have for any Star Wars fan. This limited-edition run of this book will be released with lavish gatefolds, fabric swatches, a special dvd, and a cast replica of a Wookiee belt-buckle, sure to be the ultimate Star Wars collectible.

Limited Edition Special Features

Hardcover with French-fold jacket encased in an elegant clamshell box with an Obi Wrap cloth overlay. Special features include six bound-in booklets and eight 6-page gatefolds, a costume index by character for all six films in the Star Wars Saga, 16 additional pages of color photographs and fabric swatches cut from the same bolts as the Saga's actual costume material originating from the Lucasfilm archives including swatches made from the same fabric used for Darth Vader's cape as well as a cast replica "Wookiee Belt-Buckle" symbolizing the valor and loyalty of these ferocious warriors. Also includes a Certificate of Authenticity for the Wookiee Belt Buckle replica and Costume Swatches.

Package Features
*Clamshell box wrapped in Japanese silk
*Wookie beltbuckle replica
*Darth Vader cape material
*Fabric samples (includes piece of Darth Vader's cape)

*Limited Edition Lucasfilm DVD

Edition Features
*Gatefolds (Six 6-page gatefolds)
*1.Jedi council
*2. Royalty: fabric details (embroidery, edgings, beading, sewn-in embroidery sheet)
*3. Military (featuring the Wookiees)
*4. Senators incl. Padmé outfit
*5. Rogues Gallery (Jawas, Ewoks, Cantina, Jabba's place)
*6. Farmers: Padmé outfit

Additional Signature

*Costume Archeology" (antique fabrics and pieces) | "Trisha's Scrapbook" of her travels w/passport stamps; 16 additional pages. Special Insert (accordion-fold )

"Building 37" - workroom, inspirations, pictures of JAK folders, pictures of fabricsamples, etc. of top 20 costumes, fabric samples. This special insert depicts costume evolution inside Trisha Biggar's workshop.

Eight (8) Bound-in Booklets and Inserts (loose)


1. Headresses
2. Classic character costumes
3. CG "Costume Booklet"
4. Footwear (in silhouette)
5. "Dressing Bail Organa"
6. Costume breakdown with transparent overlays
7. Jewelry
8. Darth Vader
... Read more


16. Star Wars And Philosophy: More Powerful Than You Can Possibly Imagine (Popular Culture and Philosophy)
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812695836
Catlog: Book (2005-03-10)
Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 4385
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Star Wars films continue to revolutionize science fiction, creating new standards for cinematographic excellence, and permeating popular culture around the world. The films feature many complex themes ranging from good versus evil and moral development and corruption to religious faith and pragmatism, forgiveness and redemption, and many others.

The essays in this volume tackle the philosophical questions from these blockbuster films including: Was Anakin predestined to fall to the Dark Side? Are the Jedi truly role models of moral virtue? Why would the citizens and protectors of a democratic Republic allow it to descend into a tyrannical empire? Is Yoda a peaceful Zen master or a great warrior, or both? Why is there both a light and a dark side of the Force? Star Wars and Philosophy ponders the depths of these subjects and asks what it truly means to be mindful of the "living force." ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thinking about the Force
The Popular Culture and Philosophy Series can be hit or miss as it tries to wrap in familiar characters or stories in the teaching of philosophers throughout the ages. This volume stands as one of the best produced so far. The Star Wars films have always held some deeper meanings than what appear on the surface, from the concepts of good and bad, light and dark, interconnectedness in the Force, and downfall and redemption.Decker and his fellow authors mine this rich source and bring up many topics or ideas that will make the reader go "Hmmm." Definitely riding on the wave of growing Star Wars mania, this book contains numerous references to the upcoming Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith film and the dark story that lies in the fall of Anakin. Being that this is a series with it's own resident philosopher in the wise Yoda, the writers have been able to spread out and discussion actions and thoughts of other characters in the Star Wars universe. Surprisingly, and somewhat disappointingly, they mine many of the same characters over again, so that while Anakin and the Emperor are well represented, of course, as are Yoda, Luke and Obi-Wan, characters such as Leia, Padame and Chewbacca get the short shrift. Maybe something for volume 2 perhaps? This is a great book for sitting back and letting you experience the saga at a whole different level. And if you are not as familiar with philosophy, this is a great introduction, relating a deeper subject to something so familiar and beloved. May the Force Be With You.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Love this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My dad kevin edited this book and i read it.it is so cool!!! while i want to tell you about the book, you should read it if you like star wars! thanks for the great book dad, i love you!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT FOR STAR WARS FANS AND PHILOSOPHERS
This is truly a marvelous book that uses the Star Wars saga to explain many of the different philosophical viewpoints from around the world.It also applies this same concept to many of the philosophical questions that man has been asking for years.All of this is done through the lens of the Star Wars saga, which has been perceived by many to not only be great enjoyment but great philosophy.I believe that fans of Star Wars and lovers of philosophy will both find this book very hard to put down. ... Read more


17. Memories Of A Munchkin: An Illustrated Walk Down The Yellow Brick Road
by Meinhardt Raabe, DANIEL KINSKE
list price: $39.95
our price: $26.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0823091937
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Backstage Books
Sales Rank: 11444
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Dear Readers,

I will never forget the morning that Meinhardt Raabe’s agent called me and insisted on stopping by my office that very same day. "I’ve got a Wizard of Oz project that you have to see to believe." From the moment I looked at Mr.Raabe’s charming memoir and his remarkable collection of Oz memorabilia, Iknew this would be a book unlike any that I have published.

Memories of A Munchkin, written by Meinhardt Raabe with Daniel Kinske, almost feels like three books in one.

Part one is a memoir by Raabe who stepped into film history at the age of 23 when he played the Munchkin coroner in THE WIZARD OF OZ. It’s a charming and inspiring story that begins on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, moves to hisappearance in a special "Midget Village" exhibit at the 1934 World's Fair and on to Hollywood. Through an agent, Raabe was cast in THE WIZARD OF OZ and much of the memoir is devoted to his account of working on the most beloved film of all time - enduring tough auditions, watching as the glorious Munchkinland set was built, putting up with long days of rehearsal, being costumed by legendary MGM designer Adrian, hob-nobbing on the set with the stars, witnessing various mishaps during filming, being visited on the set by curious Hollywood royalty such as Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable, and much more. Here, too, is Raabe's life after THE WIZARD OF OZ: His career as an accomplished pilot with the Civil Air Patrol during World War II; more than 30 years as "Little Oscar," spokesman for the Oscar Mayer ompany; his charity work and his role as advocate and kindred spirit to Little People everywhere. Mr. Raabe’s memoir is lavishly illustrated with the most incredible material such as!blueprints of the Munchkinland set, Adrian’s costume sketches, MGM’s original Oz matte paintings, and many rare, behind-the-scenes photos from director Victor Fleming’s personal scrapbook.

Part two of the book is the most complete collection of OZ movie posters and lobby cards ever published. Included are a beautiful watercolor painted by the legendary Al Hirschfeld, and the jumbo window card that was originallydisplayed in Mr. Raabe’s hometown theater of Watertown, WI!

Part three is a collection of specially commissioned Oz art from some of the world’s best-known and best-loved illustrators – people like Al Hirschfeld, Frank Frazetta, Mort Drucker, Jack Davis and Frank Kelly Freas. I especially like Ron Dias’ painting of what he imagines the interior of a Munchkin house would look like, and Philo Barnhart’s piece that combines the main characters of Oz with those of Snow White. Duck Edwing’s piece, Hearse of aDifferent Color, could not be more colorful or more charming. And you won’t believe all the detail – and clever humor – in Tom Bunk’s piece depicting the Kansas tornado at the beginning of THE WIZARD OF OZ.

Put it all together and you have a treasure trove of Oz stories and memorabilia. No fan of this beloved Hollywood classic will want to be without Memories of A Munchkin.

Mark Glubke Senior Editor Back Stage Books ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Really Most Sincerly .... Wonderful!
This book is a must have for any die hard(like me) fan of the 1939 film THE WIZARD OF OZ. It is brimming with never before seen pictures of the movie set, munchkins, scene direction...not to mention other movie stars of the day & lots of Judy Garland!
Meinhardt's story is both intersting & compelling, he's a sweetheart!
Don't miss out...buy this book TODAY! ... Read more


18. Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos
by Alan Rosenthal
list price: $25.75
our price: $25.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0809324482
Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
Sales Rank: 14704
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent resource
Even while reading this book I was able to pitch an idea for an event and documentary project, my first, and gain acceptance for the project. The concepts are helpful as well as practical.
I read a lot of books once I am interested in a subject and I would place this one at the top for documentaries.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sell your kids to buy this book
There is little in written text that summarise the worth of this book. I was so moved by its detailed and incisive content and direction that I sold my kids to afford the time and space, the peace required to absorb the rivetting content.
As I sat at my video production terminal I realised that the nirvana of books on docudrama had been produced. This is the sort of book that makes you go and get the authors name tattooed on your butt.
Buy , buy , buy ..

5-0 out of 5 stars FIVE STARS, excellent, excellent, excellent.
This book is a masterful resource for any filmmaker regardless of their expertise.

No one has come close in their summation of the documentary process. It is 2001, the book was released in 1996, it is timeless. The best book on the market, a better book could only be devised by the author.

Four years of preperation in one book. Every student, professional filmmaker, enthusiast should have it. I have even allowed persons/subjects whom I was documenting to read this book. It made the process that much easier. They were extremely thankful. PURCHASE THE BOOK.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great source of info...
I find myself opening this book up over and over again . I have learned alot from the writer of this book . I would tell anyone who is going to make a documentary , they should have this book on there desk.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent source for beginner documentary makers
Before you pay a lot of money for a documentary filmmaking class, I strongly recommend this book. It seems to cover all the bases of the process (don't expect much info on equipment though) and includes insightful anecdotes from real situations. Rosenthal guides you through the entire evolution of a documentary from the conception of the idea, writing proposals, dealing with sponsors, locations and crews to distribution to the ethical responsibilities of a director. One distinguishing factor of this particular book in comparison to other books on filmmaking is its spectrum-from independents to corporate to public service films. ... Read more


19. By Myself and Then Some
by Lauren Bacall
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060755350
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: HarperEntertainment
Sales Rank: 5181
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The epitome of grace, independence, and wit, Lauren Bacall continues to astound generations with her audacious spirit and on-screen excellence. Together with Humphrey Bogart she produced some of the most electric scenes in movie history, and their romance on and off screen made them Hollywood's most celebrated couple.

But when Bogart died of cancer in 1957, Bacall and their children had to take everything he had taught them and grow up fast. In a time of postwar communism, Hollywood blacklisting, and revolutionary politics, she mixed with the legends: Hemingway, the Oliviers, Katharine Hepburn, Bobby Kennedy, and Gregory Peck. She was engaged to Frank Sinatra and had a turbulent second marriage to Jason Robards. But Bacall never lost sight of the strength that made her a superstar, and she never lost sight of Bogie.

Now, on the silver anniversary of its original publication, Bacall brings her inspiring memoir up to date, chronicling the events of the past twenty-five years, including her recent films and Broadway runs, and her fond memories of many close lifelong friendships. As one of the greatest actresses of all time turns eighty, By Myself and Then Some reveals the legend in her own beautiful frank words -- encapsulating a story that even Hollywood would struggle to reproduce.

... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful and Engaging Book
If you have read her first book you will probably be a bit disappointed since the present book has just 80 new pages added in a second section at the end, and there is a twenty year gap in her biography, between where the old story stops in the 70s and the addition begins in the 90s. The new part is mostly from the early 1990s through to her Oscar nomination, and then on to the Sept 11, 2001 attack and beyond to the end of 2004. It covers her more recent movies and TV appearances, and plays, including those movies with Nicole Kidman. For readers like myself - and I am a Bogart fan - and I have not read her old book, I found this to be a wonderful biography and I read it cover to cover over a two day period. The book transports the reader back to 1940s Hollywood with Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and many more.

This is a fairly detailed look at the life of Bacall, but mainly about the years to 1957 and before, the year her first husband Humphrey Bogart died. My main complaint is that the book lacks structure, andinstead the 500 page book is one continuous story broken with the occasional short sentence inserted in heavy font to designate a change in the direction of the story, and that line can occur anywhere on a page. There are no chapters nor is there an index - just one break where the new 80 pages are added. The good news here is that this update book by Bacall is a a very well written, reader friendly, and an engaging book. Once you start to read it is almost impossible to put the book down, and I read the first half or over 300 pages almost non stop - to where Bogart dies.

She starts with her early childhood in New York city; she tells us her life story through high school, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, modelling, then into small parts. She was star struck with visions of Bette Davis and others frorm a young age. The book describes a meeting bewteen the two in a New York hotel, where Bette Davis advised Bacall and her friend on how to become an actress. After some struggles, and by page 80 in this 500 page book, the ambitious Bacall makes a breakthrough when she appears on Harper's Bazaar cover in March 1943. Next she leads us through seemingly hour by hour for her first days in Hollywood at Warners, her screen test, the long wait and then her first film with Bogart, their relationship, threats from the director Hawks who had been supporting her but who opposed the Bogart relationship, Bogart's love letters, etc. They had an intense romance punctuated by Bacall making a middle of the night drive down highway 101- somewhat dramatically in the rain like a Bogart film -looking for a perhaps slightly drunk Bogart - who had phoned her in the middle of the night - and who was walking on foot with a large sunflower in his lapel - while her mother sat at home and was horrified that her daughter was going out with a three times married and 25 years older man.

The book seems to slow in tempo after Bogart's death and her affair with Sinatra - around pages 320 or so - and my only negative feeling about the book is the Sinatra section - about 20 pages long - where one is certain that she is skipping much detail. The last part of the book, the last 150 pages, leads us though her second marriage to Robarts - a mostly dismal and uninteresting period in her life - followed by the death of her mother, and then the rest of her career and awards, and her friends and family. In the last few pages she spills over with opinions about living in New york city, travelling outside the US with a US passport, and a number of other topics including her relationship and admiration of the late Katherine Hepburn.

After her second marriage failed, and her mother's death, and with "Mrs. Bogart" still being part of her core identity, Bacall was able to start a new life and made a comeback on her own in TV, movies, and live theatre. To her credit, the mature Lauren Bacall seems to have had great success in live theatre and on Broadway, and done it mostly on her own. She worked around the country in smaller theatres then in New York. She got a Tony for Applause and in a moment of poetic closure, Bette Davis, the star that Bacall had schemed to see in a hotel 30 years earlier (see above), came backstage and praised her for her performance in Applause, and told her that only she could do the part.

After her comeback she has appeared in a number of films and has reached a total of 50, but never again enjoying the same level of success and popularity as her early 4 Bogart films. But she continues to work into her seventies and is still sought for parts, especially mother roles, and came close to duplicating her old successes with a recent Oscar nomination late in her career. With her success she continues to live in New York overlooking west central park, her home town where she grew up and went to school.

All in all a great biography -5 stars.


1-0 out of 5 stars Same book, with brief epilogue
BY MYSELF--excellent, heartfelt autobiography.

UPDATE--reads something like this."The next one to die was Adios Hartley.We had enjoyed many wonderful luncheons together over the years and he was my escort to the Golden Globes in 1987.I will miss him terribly."

"Then the next one to die was Beau Bye.He was a delightful person that I got to know well on the set of Uptown Downtown.Such a raconteur!"

and on, and on, and on....

Reads almost like a Roll of the Dead Christmas Letter.

3-0 out of 5 stars I was disappointed
I har already read the first book by myself.This is a wonderful book.The rest is just not worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Loved It"
BY MYSELF AND THEN SOME by Lauren Bacall is anything but boring. What a woman!

I admire Ms. Bacall for many, many reasons, a few reasons...her savvy way of doing things...her spunk... and her own unique style.I, for one, am thrilled she chose to share some of herself with us (her many fans), in this fantastic book.

No-matter what her real age today, I think she is STILL beautiful both inside and out.

Ms. Bacall, you go girl!

(Recommended Reading!)

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved By Myself.Looking Forward to Reading This One
I have not actually read this follow-up book yet, but am looking forward to in the near future.I am currently re-reading By Myself.I read one of the reviews below, and felt I really have to answer it.Lauren Bacall is in no way ripping off or cheating her readers.Instead, what she has done is a marvelous thing.By Myself was first written 25 years ago.It is a wonderful book.Since then, a whole generation of people has grown up not knowing about this book.She has simply presented it again along with an update so those of us who weren't around the first time can enjoy it, and those of us who read the first book can enjoy it again along with a nice companion update.I just love and admire Lauren Bacall.She really is class all the way. ... Read more


20. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones--The Visual Dictionary
by David West Reynolds
list price: $19.99
our price: $13.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0789485885
Catlog: Book (2002-04)
Publisher: DK Publishing Inc
Sales Rank: 5792
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A thousand years from now, someone might find a dusty collection of DK'sStar Wars titles buried in a library vault and wonder at the ancientstrife, fashions, and droids of this unusual, unmarked era in history. For onewho didn't know this was a series of film characters and situations beinganalyzed and explained, it would be an extremely believable history resource.For those who do know, it's a fantastic reference guide for all thingsStar Wars. David West Reynolds's impressive scientific writing stylerenders this "visual dictionary" a veritable bible of intergalactic informationrelated to Attack of the Clones, the second prequel to the originalStar Wars trilogy. The most intricate details of the characters,creatures, and equipment of the film are revealed in crisp, annotatedphotographs and authoritative text. We see, close-up, the meltproof Ceramoidmesh of a scouter's pack; the traditional Ansata pattern on Jedi Jocasta Nu'stunic, symbolizing knowledge and learning; and the alarming features of Pogglethe Lesser, ruler of the Stalgasin hive colony of Geonosians. Star Warsfans and future anthropologists alike will be wowed. (Ages 9 and older)--Emilie Coulter ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive guide to Attack of the Clones
Like the Visual Dictionary for The Phantom Menace, this comprehensive collection of all the main characters, vechicles, droids and creatures is another fascinating book for Star Wars fans. Starting out with a summary of the plot for Ep.2, this book includes character profiles of Padme Amidala, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Count Dooku, Jango Fett, Mace Windu, Yoda, Zam Wesell and many others. One of my favourite Star Wars companion books

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book for photo references
This book gives anyone who loves to draw the Star Wars characters invalulable poses and views of all of the hardware and characters. I have been using these books to create my own Star Wars posters and you can't get better detailed photos anywhere else.

5-0 out of 5 stars Indispensable
For a Star Wars Fan, it is a must. However, as I described in the other books of this series, it has missing the starships pictures, but is is not a major problem, since the book depicts all hardware and aliens that appear in the film.

5-0 out of 5 stars My Padmae, Haven't You Grown.
The Visual Dictionary of Ep2 once again gives us a more detailed review of the charcters from Ep1 and the arrival of new stars such as Jango Fett and his young cloned son, Boba.

However the best parts of this book is the development of Obi wan, Annikan, and of course the accidental [physcial] symbol of the new Star Wars generation, Padmae Amidala, executed in purfect form by Natalie Hershlag-Portman. Her now famous white combat suit is complemented by her other eyepopping outfits...Very nice.

A must for those who are keeping a library on this epic tail.

1-0 out of 5 stars Star Wars Episoce II: Attack of the Clones -- The Visual Dic
Actually my son loved the book but it fell apart as did all the similar Star Wars books. (He is not hard on books, our pop-up books all survived his early years intact.) I bought a copy for the library at my son's elementary school and that one fell apart too. These books are to expensive to have the binding be so shoddy. ... Read more


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