James A. Davidson, “Hal Ashby and the Making of Harold and Maude” (McFarland, 2016)
The original script was sold to a major Hollywood studio virtually overnight; the screenwriter was working as a pool boy and driver for the producer; the director was considered an acid freak by the studio heads; the star was a 74-year-old actress who didn’t know how to drive a car.... Read More
Anthony Lioi, “Nerd Ecology: Defending the Earth with Unpopular Culture” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016)
In Nerd Ecology: Defending the Earth with Unpopular Culture (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016), Anthony Lioi examines literature, film, television, and comics through an ecocritical study of nerd culture. Lioi explores Star Trek, The Hunger Games, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Green Lantern, and X-Men, among... Read More
Kevin Smokler, “Brat Pack America: A Love Letter to 80s Teen Movies” (Rare Bird Books, 2016)
Kevin Smokler’s new book, Brat Pack America: A Love Letter to 80s Teen Movies (Rare Bird Books, 2016)is what everyone in their 40s who loved watching movies as they were growing up wants it to be. In Brat Pack America, Smokler takes readers on a journey through the fictional and... Read More
Helen Rappaport, “Victoria: The Heart and Mind of a Young Queen” (Harper Design, 2017)
The term historical fiction covers a wide range from what the mystery writer Josephine Tey once dubbed “history with conversation” to outright invention shading into fantasy. But behind every story set in the past lies the past itself, as re-created by scholars from the available evidence. This interview features Helen... Read More
Ben Westhhoff, “Original Gangtas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap” (Hachette, 2016)
The real story behind the origin of gangsta rap is difficult to discern. Between the bombastic rhetoric and imagery, the larger-than-life characters, and the subsequent success of many of the individuals, it is hard to know exactly what to believe. Ben Westhoff’s new book, Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of... Read More
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