On the Bedside Table - Summer Reading
As part of my summer reading this year, I picked up a copy of Cari Beauchamp's My First Time in Hollywood, a terrific compilation of recollections of directors, producers and, of course, stars of the silent era about their impressions of Hollywood. This book is an utter delight with stories by such film pioneers as D.W. Griffith, Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Gloria Swanson, writers Frances Marion and Anita Loos, and directors Henry King and Cecil B. De Mille (and many more names, familiar and not). It gives you a terrific insight into what old Hollywood was like. The passion and the adventure of making films in the silent era. Just fantastic and a terrific companion to Kevin Brownlow's The Parade's Gone By. Highly recommended! Cari Beauchamp is one of my favorite authors and you cannot go wrong with her books Without Lying Down (biography of the great Frances Marion and still remains one of the best biographies I have ever read, it remains in a place of honor on my book shelves) or the equally delightful Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary.
I have been slow to mention this incredible book by James Layton and David Pierce, The Dawn of Technicolor 1915-1935. It is both lavish and filled with incredible detail. I confess, I have not yet finished looking through it and absorbing it. The book is so rich with detail and gorgeous illustrations. It deserves a real leisurely look and a large table to hold it, it's huge! Highly recommended, it is in every sense of the word an incredible achievement, piece of research and stunningly put together. Totally worth it!
That's all I have time for today!