Also of interest…
In lives behind the camera
Room to Dream
by David Lynch and Kristine McKenna (Random House, $32)
Room to Dream is more than autobiography, said David Thomson in the San Francisco Chronicle. As filmmaker David Lynch and his co-author take turns recounting the events of Lynch’s life, they construct “a reverie on America”—setting their story against a landscape as powerfully unsettling as Lynch’s Blue Velvet or Eraserhead. The 72-year-old director emerges as a prime example of how, in America, defying reality can be a source of genius-level art.
How Did Lubitsch Do It?
by Joseph McBride (Columbia, $40)
“It’s hard to comprehend how Ernst Lubitsch could be so overlooked by today’s film fans,” said Chris Yogerst in The Washington Post. A giant of Hollywood’s Golden Age, the German-Jewish émigré was worshipped by Alfred Hitchcock and Billy Wilder and infused each of his films with a distinctive worldliness. Historian Joseph McBride deftly analyzes the “Lubitsch touch,” evident in such masterpieces as 1940’s The Shop Around the Corner, and mourns the decline of that brand of sophisticated humor.
by Christopher Bonanos (Holt, $32)
Weegee isn’t the only photographer who ever found truth in the streets, “but he did it first,” said Michael Lindgren in Newsday. Arthur “Weegee” Fellig’s lurid images of gangsters and crime scenes in 1930s New York created an indelible impression of the era, and in Flash, New York magazine’s Christopher Bonanos proves a “peerless” guide to the tabloid legend’s career. He’s “clear-eyed about his subject’s less attractive traits while conveying affection for the man’s brio.”
by Julia Van Haaften (Norton, $45)
“Brilliant, cantankerous, and indefatigable,” Berenice Abbott was “always ahead of her time,” said Ann Levin in the Associated Press. In an era when other photographers favored mysticism, she was “fiercely committed to documentary realism,” creating powerful portraits in the 1920s and iconic cityscapes in the ’30s and beyond. At 487 pages, Julia Van Haaften’s new biography proves “both absorbing and exhausting.” Even so, Abbott’s restless nature and devotion to truth “come through loud and clear.” ■