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Film, television and performing arts

  • Author:
    Reid, Aimee
    Summary:

    Heartwarming picture book that celebrates the work of Mister Rogers and carries on his legacy of kindness Mister Rogers is one of the most beloved television personalities, but before he was the man who brought us Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, he was just little Freddie Rogers. Though he was often sick and had trouble making friends as a child, his mom and grandfather encouraged him to ask for help and explore the world. With their support, he learned how to better say what he was feeling and see the beauty around him. As he grew up, he realized he could spread the message of compassion, equality, and kindness through television. You Are My Friend is a gentle homage to Fred Rogers and shows how his simple message still resonates with us today: "There's no person in the world like you and I like you just the way you are." The book includes a short biography of Fred's life and a bibliography.

  • Author:
    Burns, Andy
    Summary:

    Damn good coffee, cherry pie, and the 'big bang of auteur television'. In 1990, avant garde filmmaker David Lynch (Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Dune, Blue Velvet) and acclaimed television writer Mark Frost (Hill Street Blues) teamed up to create a television show that would redefine what the medium could achieve in a one-hour drama. With Twin Peaks, the duo entranced audiences with the seemingly idyllic town, its quirky characters, and a central mystery--who killed Laura Palmer? In a town like Twin Peaks, nothing is as it seems, and in Wrapped in Plastic, pop culture writer Andy Burns uncovers and explores the groundbreaking stylistic and storytelling methods that have made the series one of the most influential and enduring shows of the past 25 years.

  • Author:
    Simpson, Andrew
    Summary:

    Along with the internationally acclaimed and award-winning documentary film upon which this book is based, Wolves Unleashed takes the reader on an amazing journey that looks closely at Andrew Simpson’s relationship with one of nature’s most elusive, mythical and misunderstood animals. As a professional animal trainer for the film industry, and having worked for almost every major Hollywood studio on over 100 productions, Andrew deals with numerous species on a regular basis. Thanks to his unique, personal affection for wolves and his worldwide reputation, he was asked to travel to Siberia to make one of the biggest wolf films ever produced, Loup (2009). Travelling from western Canada, Andrew, along with his team of handlers and the wolves he had raised since birth, stayed in a remote camp deep in the Siberian mountains of Russia, enduring harsh conditions in one of the coldest places on earth. Each day brought a new set of challenges, and Simpson was forced to reflect upon the impact that such a production would have on his relationship with his canid family. At its core, Wolves Unleashed is about Simpson’s deep connection with the wolves he loves. The story reveals his emotional struggles as he wrestles with the decision to use his unique relationship against the animals and jeopardize the years spent building trust. As the pack overcomes their wild instincts in order to perform, it becomes clear that the bond between wolf and man is a testament to their mutual dedication and love.

  • Author:
    de Semlyen, Nick
    Summary:

    Featuring comedy legends Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, and Eddie Murphy, and covering fan favorites such as Animal House, Caddyshack, and Ghostbusters, the behind-the-scenes story of the iconic funnymen who ruled '80s Hollywood and the beloved films that made them stars Wild and Crazy Guys opens in 1978 with Chevy Chase and Bill Murray taking bad-tempered swings at each other backstage at Saturday Night Live, and closes 21 years later with the two doing a skit in the same venue, poking fun at each other, their illustrious careers, triumphs and prat falls. In between, Nick de Semlyen takes us on a trip through the tumultuous '80s, delving behind the scenes of movies such as National Lampoon's Vacation, Beverly Hills Cop, The Blues Brothers, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and dozens more. Chronicling the off-screen, larger-than-life antics of Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, John Belushi, John Candy, and Rick Moranis, it's got drugs, sex, punch-ups, webbed toes, and Bill Murray being pushed into a swimming pool by Hunter S. Thompson while tied to a lawn chair. What's not to like? Based on candid interviews from many of the stars themselves, as well as those in their immediate orbit, including directors John Landis, Carl Reiner, and Amy Heckerling, Wild and Crazy Guys is a fantastic insider account of the friendships, feuds, triumphs, and disasters experienced by these beloved comedians. Hilarious and revealing, it is both a hidden history of the most fertile period ever for screen comedy and a celebration of some of the most popular films of all time.

  • Author:
    Burk, Graeme, Smith, Robert
    Summary:

    Travel through space and time with this guide to 50 years of Doctor Who. Doctor Who has been a television phenomenon since it began 50 years ago on November 23, 1963. But of all the hundreds of televised stories, which are the ones you must watch? Featuring 50 stories from all eleven Doctors, Who's 50 is full of behind-the-scenes details, exhilarating moments, connections to Who lore, goofs, interesting trivia and much, much more. Who's 50 tells the story of this global sensation: its successes, its tribulations and its triumphant return.

  • Author:
    Burk, Graeme, Smith, Robert
    Summary:

    The ultimate guide to the world’s longest-running science fiction series

    Who is the Doctor is a fun and insightful episode guide that explores all facets of Doctor Who’s triumphant return to television. Covering the six seasons of the New Series, this is the essential companion for the most avid fan as well as the more casual viewer.

    Doctor Who was already the world’s longest–running science fiction series when it returned in 2005 to huge success. An enormously popular series among genre fans in North America, Doctor Who encompasses horror, science fiction, comedy, action, and historical adventure, and is loved for its uniquely British wit and clever scripting. It’s no wonder the series’ hero, monsters, and even its theme song are pop culture icons.

    In this volume, Doctor Who experts Graeme Burk and Robert Smith? bring fans insights into everything from the history of everything Doctor Who, including Daleks, Cybermen, and the eight Classic Series Doctors, to a guide to every episode of the New Series. Allons-y!

  • Author:
    Davis, William
    Summary:

    One of the most iconic villains in the history of television, the enigmatic Cigarette Smoking Man fascinated legions of fans of the 1990s’ hit TV series, The X-Files. Best known as “Cancerman,” he was voted Television’s Favourite Villain by the readers of TV Guide. The man behind the villain, William B. Davis, is a Canadian actor and director, whose revelations in this memoir will entertain and intrigue the millions of X-Files aficionados worldwide.

    But there is more to Davis’s story than just The X-Files.

    Davis’s extensive acting experience began when he was a child in Ontario in the 1950s, and grew to encompass radio, theatre, film, and television. At the University of Toronto, where he graduated with a degree in philosophy, he turned his hand to directing, a move that took him to theatre school in Britain and a directing career. There, he reconnected with his undergraduate colleague, Donald Sutherland, and worked at the National Theatre, with such notables as Sir Laurence Olivier, Dame Maggie Smith, and Albert Finney.

    Those who love the theatre will delight in his recollections of the Straw Hat Players in Ontario or the trials and tribulations of an artistic director of repertory theatre in Dundee, Scotland, or his valiant attempt to create a theatre in Quebec devoted to the Canadian repertoire. Those who love history will relive with Davis those “golden years” of Canadian radio drama and theatre, not to mention enjoying an inside look at the National Theatre School of Canada where he directed the English Acting Program in the ’60s. Those who love a bit of scandalous gossip will not be disappointed.

    Written in an easy conversational style, this memoir truly is “The Musings of the Cigarette Smoking Man” – as William B. Davis reflects on his loves, his losses, his hopes, his fears, and his accomplishments in this unique and engaging autobiography.

  • Author:
    Peppiatt, Frank
    Summary:

    He created Hee Haw, the number-one show on TV. He wrote and produced variety shows for Jackie Gleason, Andy Williams, Judy Garland, Julie Andrews, Sonny and Cher, and Perry Como. He invented the rock TV show Hullabaloo. He was the most popular producer of his time — a time when variety television was king.

    With his writing/producing partner John Aylesworth, Frank Peppiatt developed dozens of TV shows but their career began on air in the initial days of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, alongside other talented newcomers like Norman Jewison and Arthur Hiller. Then came a call from New York to write for the Eydie Gorme/Steve Lawrence show in 1958, and quickly “A & P” became the most in-demand writing and producing team around.

    Peppiatt, a man who spent his life behind the scenes writing comedy and turning entertainers into household names, now recounts his own remarkable life story: a humble Canadian boy who grew up to create iconic American TV shows amid a cast of Hollywood celebrities. When Variety Was King captures the early days of TV with humour and spice.

  • Author:
    Paul, William
    Summary:

    There was a time when seeing a movie meant more than seeing a film. The theater itself helped shape the perception of events onscreen. This multilayered history tells the story of American film through the evolution of theater architecture and the surprisingly varied ways movies were exhibited, beginning with Edison's 1896 projections and ending with the 1968 Cinerama premiere of Stanley Kubrick's 2001. The study matches distinct architectural forms to the styles of movies produced, showing how cinema's roots in theater influenced business and production practices, exhibition strategies, and film technologies.

  • Author:
    Stohn, Stephen, Ward, Christopher, Gero, Martin
    Summary:

    This book will change the way you think about success. Producer of television’s iconic Degrassi franchise Stephen Stohn tells stories from behind the scenes and of making it in the music and television world in this star-studded, rock ’n’ roll trip through a Canadian show business explosion. Stohn, who has been at the heart of the entertainment industry for over forty years, shares a lifetime of experience and unique insights into how dreams are turned into reality. “Whatever It Takes” — both a mantra and Degrassi’s theme song — has been heard millions of times all over the world. It embodies a philosophy of struggle and self-belief leading to accomplishment, as well as the story of an exploring mind, an adventurous pursuit of experience, ringing failures, and the willingness to see things in a different way.

  • Author:
    Rather, Dan
    Summary:

    In a collection of original essays, the venerated television journalist, Dan Rather, celebrates our shared values and what matters most in our great country, and shows us what patriotism looks like. Writing about the institutions that sustain us, such as public libraries, public schools, and national parks; the values that have transformed us, such as the struggle for civil rights; and the drive toward science and innovation that has made the United States great, Rather will bring to bear his decades of experience on the frontlines of the world's biggest stories, and offer readers a way forward. After a career spent as reporter and anchor for CBS News, where he interviewed every living President since Eisenhower and was on the ground for every major event, from the assassination of John F. Kennedy to Watergate to 9/11, Rather has also become a hugely popular voice of reason on social media, with nearly two million Facebook followers and an engaged new audience who help to make many of his posts go viral. With his famously plainspoken voice and a fundamental sense of hope, Rather has written the book to inspire conversation and listening, and to remind us all how we are ultimately united.

  • Author:
    Casanove, Susan
    Summary:

    Rob Sterling Davies is on the crest of a wave: a celebrated scriptwriter, actor, television personality, the new doyen of Just a Minute, and apparently, Stephen Fry's new best friend. But all isn't quite as it seems, and when Stephen discovers that Rob's BAFTA-winning script was stolen, he undertakes to expose Rob for the fraud he is.

  • Author:
    Guffey, Ensley F. , Koontz, K. Dale
    Summary:

    An accessible and in-depth guide to all five seasons of Breaking Bad. 'I am not in danger . . . I am the danger.' With those words, Breaking Bad's Walter White solidified himself as TV's greatest antihero. Wanna Cook? explores the most critically lauded series on television with analyses of the individual episodes and ongoing storylines. From details like stark settings, intricate camerawork, and jarring music to the larger themes, including the roles of violence, place, self-change, legal ethics, and fan reactions, this companion book is perfect for those diehards who have watched the Emmy Award's winning series multiple times as well as for new viewers. Wanna Cook? elucidates without spoiling, and illuminates without nit-picking. A must-have for any fan's collection.

  • Author:
    McLean, Jesse
    Summary:

    Re-live the entire hit series with this insightful companion. The record-breaking run of the CBS hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother has come to an end, but new fans of the epic romantic comedy are still appearing in droves, thanks to the joy of binge-watching on demand. What better way for old fans and new to reminisce about all the friendships and fun than by looking at the series as a whole in Jesse McLean's Wait For It. With an entertaining examination of each of the nine seasons of the show, McLean not only looks at the characters and stories, but the making-of stories, the running gags, the lead actors, and the lasting impact of How I Met Your Mother on pop culture thanks to a cult fandom that's grown to a national obsession.

  • Author:
    Staley, Roberta
    Summary:

    Many have tried to silence her, but Mozhdah Jamalzadah remains the most powerful female voice of her generation in Afghanistan, boldly speaking out about women's rights. This book charts her incredible journey - from arriving in Canada as a child refugee to being invited to host her own show in Afghanistan. The Mozhdah Show earned her the nickname "The Oprah of Afghanistan" and tackled taboo subjects like divorce and domestic violence for the first time in the country's history. This is the first-ever biography of Mozhdah Jamalzadah: refugee, pop singer, and champion of women's rights.

  • Author:
    Guynn, William
    Summary:

    In Unspeakable Histories, William Guynn focuses on the sensation of encountering past events through film. Film is capable, he argues, of triggering moments of heightened awareness in which the barrier between the past and the present can fall and the reality of the past we thought lost can be momentarily rediscovered in its material being. In his readings of seven exceptional works depicting twentieth century atrocities, Guynn explores the emotional resonance that still adheres to traumatic historical events. Guynn considers dimensions of experience that historiography leaves untouched. Yael Hersonski's A Film Unfinished (2010) deconstructs scenes from the Nazi propaganda film Das Ghetto through the testimony of ghetto survivors. Andrzej Wajda's Katyn (2007) revivifies the murder of the Polish officer corps (in which Wajda's father perished) by Stalin's security forces during the Second World War. Andrei Konchalovsky's Siberiade (1979) reimagines the turbulent history of the Soviet Union from the perspective of an isolated Siberian village. Larissa Shepitko's The Ascent (1977) evokes the existential drama Soviet partisans faced during the Nazi occupation. Patricio GuzmAn's Nostalgia for the Light (2011) examines the vestiges of human experience, including the scattered remains of Pinochet's victims, alive in the aridity of the Atacama Desert. Rithy Panh's S-21 (2003) reawakens events of the Cambodian genocide through dramatic confrontation with some of its executioners, and Joshua Oppenheimer's The Act of Killing (2012) films the perpetrators of the Indonesian genocide as they restage scenes of killings and torture. Inspired by the work of Walter Benjamin, Frank Ankersmit, Joseph Mali, and Simon Schama, Guynn argues that the film medium, more immediate than language, is capable of restoring the affective dimension of historical experience, rooted in the deepest reaches of our minds.

  • Author:
    Graham, Tim, Bozell, L. Brent
    Summary:

    Lecturer, syndicated columnist, television commentator, debater, marketer, businessman, bestselling author, publisher, and activist L. Brent Bozell III is one of the most outspoken and effective national leaders in the conservative movement today. As the founder and president of the Media Research Center, Mr. Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America and is uniquely positioned to offer this blazing critique of the bias in the national media and how they undermine American democracy. Using coverage of the rise of Donald Trump and his presidency as a case study of sorts, Bozell and his co-author Tim Graham expose all the different types of bias that can occur-both hidden and overt-and examine their insidious effects. This narrative also follows and analyzes the campaigns-and results-of the 2018 midterms, providing the most comprehensive, detailed, and explosive analysis to date concerning how the media willingly stokes divisiveness in American politics.

  • Author:
    Larson, Jennifer
    Summary:

    Understanding Suzan-Lori Parks is a critical study of a playwright and screenwriter who was the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Suzan-Lori Parks is also the recipient of a MacArthur Genius Award, a Whiting Writers Award, a CalArts/Alpert Award in the Arts, two Obie Awards, and a Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts. In this book Jennifer Larson examines how Parks, through the innovative language and narratives of her extensive body of work, investigates and invigorates literary and cultural history. Larson discusses all of Parks’s genres—play, screenplay, essay, and novel—closely reading key texts from Parks’s more experimental earlier pieces as well as her more linear later narratives. Larson’s study begins with a survey of Parks’s earliest and most difficult texts including Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom and The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World. Larson then analyzes Venus, In the Blood, and the Lincoln Plays: The America Play and the Pulitzer Prize–winning TopDog/Underdog.  Larson also discusses two of Parks’s most important screenplays, Girl 6 and Their Eyes Were Watching God. In interpreting these screenplays, Larson examines film’s role in the popularization and representation of African American culture and history. These essays suggest an approach to all genres of literature and blend creativity, form, culture, and history into a revisionary aesthetic that allows for no identity or history to remain fixed, with Parks arguing that in order to be relevant they must all be dynamic and democratic.

  • Author:
    Crank, James A.
    Summary:

    Understanding Sam Shepard investigates the notoriously complex and confusing dramatic world of Sam Shepard, one of America’s most prolific, thoughtful, and challenging contemporary playwrights. During his nearly fifty-year career as a writer, actor, director, and producer, Shepard has consistently focused his work on the ever-changing American cultural landscape. James A. Crank’s comprehensive study of Shepard offers scholars and students of the dramatist a means of understanding Shephard’s frequent experimentation with language, setting, characters, and theme.  Beginning with a brief biography of Shepard, Crank shows how experiences in Shepard’s life eventually resonate in his work by exploring the major themes, unique style, and history of Shepard’s productions. Focusing first on Shepard’s early plays, which showcase highly experimental, frenetic explorations of fractured worlds, Crank discusses how the techniques from these works evolve and translate into the major works in his “family trilogy”: Curse of the Starving Class, the Pulitzer Prize–winning Buried Child, and True West. Shepard often uses elements from his past—his relationship with his father, his struggle for control within the family, and the breakdown of the suburban American dream—as major starting points in his plays.  Shepard is a recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, eleven Obie Awards, and a Chicago Tribune Literary Prize for Lifetime Achievement. Augmented with an extensive bibliography, Understanding Sam Shepard is an ideal point of entrance into complex and compelling dramas of this acclaimed playwright.

  • Author:
    Murphy, Brenda
    Summary:

    Understanding David Mamet analyzes the broad range of David Mamet's plays and places them in the context of his career as a prolific writer of fiction and nonfiction prose as well as drama. Over the past three decades, Mamet has written more than thirty produced plays and garnered recognition as one of the most significant and influential American playwrights of the post-World War II generation. In addition to playwriting and directing for the theater, Mamet also writes, directs, and produces for film and television, and he writes essays, fiction, poetry, and even children's books. The author remains best known for depicting men in gritty, competitive work environments and for his vernacular dialogue (known in the theater as "Mametspeak"), which has raised the expletive to an art form. In this insightful survey of Mamet's body of work, Brenda Murphy explores the broad range of his writing for the theater and introduces readers to Mamet's major writing in other literary genres as well as some of his neglected pieces.Murphy centers her discussion around Mamet's most significant plays—Glengarry Glen Ross, Oleanna, American Buffalo, Speed-the-Plow, The Cryptogram, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Edmond, The Woods, Lakeboat, Boston Marriage, and The Duck Variations—as well as his three novels—The Village, The Old Religion, and Wilson. Murphy also notes how Mamet's one-act and less known plays provide important context for the major plays and help to give a fuller sense of the scope of his art. A chapter on his numerous essays, including his most anthologized piece of writing, the autobiographical essay "The Rake," reflects Mamet's controversial and evolving ideas about the theater, film, politics, religion, and masculinity. Throughout her study Murphy incorporates references to Mamet's popular films as useful waypoints for contextualizing his literary works and understanding his continuing evolution as a writer for multiple mediums.

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