FIVE BEST BOOKS I HAD TO THROW AWAY THIS WEEK

 Slide-Tape and Dual Projection
. Ray Beaumont-Craggs, Focal Press 1975. A book full of good advice and practical wisdom. Somewhat otiose since I was made to dispose of my second slide projector, and dual projection became a memory.  No library mark, but 75p pencilled on flyleaf.

 Sound Sense for Movie Makers
by Ivan Watson -  a great little casebound treasure trove from Focal press1973 originally held by Lewisham libraries but released onto the market in an entirely above-board albeit foolish move, whence aquired 1974 from Kirk booksellers in Sydenham, 1974. Time moves on though, and although the wild-sound on Standard eight advice still holds water, this is a distinctly pre-digital dose of audio sanity. Some pictures, or rather plates.

 Film and Its  Techniques
- Spottiswood. This is the standard work, but it dates back to 1953 in my edition. The attention to detail in production practice for 35mm black and white films, which Spottiswood lovingly recounts, belies the quality we have to put up with in Night of the Living Dead, for example [see below]. But perhaps it’s a travesty the budget shopper has to accept. One time property of West Yorkshire County Library, thence by some rough magic to the Oxfam shop in Exeter. Some respite care in my collection (able to bide-a-wee in the lavatory) – and, greatly invigorated, back onto the market! Spine sound.

 The History of British Civilization
– Wingfield Stratford. Two names but only one author. possibly left leaning progression through a large number of pages would be helped by a sewn-in bookmark. Has proved useful for weighing things down while glue sets, and boasts exceptionally good quality paper for a book of its type. Poor type.

 Law Reports Index 1981 – 1990
. Does exactly what it says on the tin. A specialist finely bound tome from the area of human endeavour described by Kafka as “spiritual sawdust”. This really is a first class book in every area except content. To think Morrocan Red used to be a binding.



TEN BEST DVDs FROM POUNDLAND

 What Lives Below
– half baked underground horror with a discernable plot. Digital transfer from a very grotty print brings all the little dustmotes back to sparkling life. Cast have orange flesh. Or the flesh has an orange cast. Either way, it’s not Terry’s, it’s mine!

 Night of the Living Dead
/ Revenge of the Zombies aka Fleshcreepers vol 1. double feature This pairing appear to have been filmed through the same used teabag – how’s that for budget cinema? In and out of focus are hegemonic expressions, I will not be tied to such tyranny. Revenge of the Zombies is a WW2 / Zombie army / Third Reichpotboiler requiring a  full on taste-bypass to get through the opening credits. Could be rewarding, but only if sold.

 Little Shop of  Horrors
. Extraordinary glimpse into a recent past where all our social mores seem to be stood on their heads. A young Jack Nicholson turns in a performance in comparison with which Robin Williams might be found guilty of underacting. Roger Corman takes the directorial blame.

 The Last Time I Saw Paris
– glorious colour, sumptuous sound, and kept rigorously 120 frames apart throughout

 Humphrey Bogart, Gina Lolla, Bee Rigider, Peter Lorre, Jennifer Jones, Robert Morley,  in Beat the Devil -
The great John Huston directs a wry and rather arch ball of confusion which had me thinking of  Blithe Spirit in the way husbands and wives dished it out to each other. Shot in moody monochrome which makes it more monotonous.

 Road to Bali
a late-onset Road episode filmed in ravishing colour. I found it surprisingly risque for 1952 that and more than a tad post-modern with Hope’s mugging through the camera directly to the audience, acknowledging the fictive artifice he inhabits and knocking seven bells out of any though of ‘profilmic event’. Lamour is great value and the ethno-tourism lavish. All in all a package holiday in a very cheap package.

         © Robert Joyce 2003