This month in books, we have all eight of the titles that our good friends at Arrow Video have released. For the uninitiated, Arrow Video have been releasing the ultimate home video editions of some of our favorite films for many years now. More recently, they decided to put their extraordinary talents to use creating beautiful and incredibly informative books about films and filmmakers that have been largely ignored by mainstream film studies.
Have you spent literal hours trying to find a book that treats THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT with the respect it deserves? Have you struggled to find a book that covers Meiko Kaji’s legendary cult films and her singing career? Well, your long search is over. Grab these incredible books while you can (and at some of the best prices in the US!). We promise you won’t regret it.
Unchained Melody: The Films of Meiko Kaji - By Tom Mes. Published by Arrow Books. Expected to Ship in February 2020. Ships Worldwide. $25
Meiko Kaji - Queen of the Japanese Action Film! With such iconic roles as Lady Snowblood and Female Prisoner Scorpion she defined a decade of cult cinema, creating an archetype of female strength that was equal parts ferocious and mysterious. Devoting plenty of space to her star-making turns as Scorpion and Lady Snowblood, Unchained Melody: The Films of Meiko Kaji goes beyond the movies that made her name. This book traces her career from its earliest beginnings as a teen model and tomboyish basketball fanatic to Kaji's critically-lauded and versatile performances for master directors including Kinji Fukasaku and Kon Ichikawa. Author Tom Mes also investigates Kaji's acting work in television and the singing career that would eventually introduce her to a whole new, international audience as the musical cornerstone to Quentin Tarantino's KILL BILL. Tom Mes is the author of books on cult Japanese filmmakers Takashi Miike and Shinya Tsukamoto and was one of the founders of the Midnighteye website, the world's go-to website for information on Japanese cinema.
GHOST IN THE SHELL - By Andrew Osmond. Published by Arrow Books. Expected to Ship in February 2020. Ships Worldwide. $25
A science-fiction classic that was largely overlooked on release, GHOST IN THE SHELL has grown in stature with the support of such Hollywood fans as James Cameron and the Wachowskis, and in 2017 was controversially remade as a live-action spectacular, starring Scarlett Johansson. Anime expert Andrew Osmond focuses on the original 1995 film, tracing the paths of the Japanese talents who came together to make it, including the visionary and maverick director, Mamoru Oshii, as well as the original manga creator, Masamune Shirow, and how their different sensibilities came together. Other chapters look at the film's unusual international co-production with the UK's Manga Entertainment; discuss the figure of Kusanagi, the film's iconic cyborg heroine who's both a James Bond-style killer and a contemplative philosopher; examine GHOST IN THE SHELL's debts to BLADE RUNNER and Japan's tradition of robot fantasies; and ask if it's really a ''cyberpunk'' film, as it's so often labelled.
THE HITCHER - By Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. Published by Arrow Books. Expected to Ship in February 2020. Ships Worldwide. $25
Robert Harmon's 1986 film THE HITCHER is a complex beast: reviled at the time of its release, it has been adored in the long term as one of the most intoxicating, unrelenting highway cult films ever made. Starring Rutger Hauer in the title role whose alluring villainy would give his turn as BLADE RUNNER's Roy Batty a run for its money, THE HITCHER - both the film and the character - is simultaneously of its time and of the now, a film about the real and the mythic, and a film that challenges our assumptions about masculinity and femininity. Its horrors unfold as THE HITCHER tracks and tortures the film's protagonists across the highways of Nowhere USA, and the film reveals a tangle of contradictions: it is, at times, simultaneously dense, shallow, obvious, subtle, absurd and deeply intelligent. The critical paths into THE HITCHER that this book explores are rich and plentiful, and through an exploration of its origins and production history, a close analysis of the film itself and a consideration of the immediate fallout following its release and its longer legacies, this book celebrates one of the greatest highway horror movies ever made.
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT - By Russ Gomm. Published by Arrow Books. Expected to Ship in February 2020. Ships Worldwide. $25
As the Millennium approached, horror was becoming an unusual commodity. Low budget horror films flooded the home video market while their big budget counterparts took hold at the box office. It seemed that a balance could not be found that would please everyone. In the final months of 1999, horror was saved by a film that became a turning point in many aspects including film production, film marketing and film distribution. One film was a revelation of cinema which shook the world at the time and created such panic and fear that the effects of the film can still be felt today. Filmmaker Russ Gomm takes a look at the phenomena of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT through the eyes of a fan who was captivated by the unusual promotional strategy that led up to the release. This book takes a trip back in time to the 1990s to uncover the history of the production of the film including a unique making of and its path to success. Through conversations with fellow fans, filmmakers and other industry professionals, the book also examines the lasting effect that this seminal film had on not only the audiences, but the film industry itself and indeed the future of the horror genre.
All the Colours of Sergio Martino - By Kat Ellinger. Published by Arrow Books. Expected to Ship in February 2020. Ships Worldwide. $25
Mondo, giallo, crime thriller, cannibal, comedy, western, sci-fi and action. Over the best part of 40 years Italian Maestro Sergio Martino has worked tirelessly in many genres of film and television. While his output is often diverse in tone and theme, one thing you can always guarantee is that his cinema is always entertaining. Author Kat Ellinger tracks the director's rise, from his humble beginnings as actor, production manager and second unit director, to his status as one of Italy's most celebrated cult filmmakers of the seventies and eighties. Chapters in the book include a run down of his earliest collaborations -- with the likes of Mario Bava and Umberto Lenzi -- and his first films, before turning to provide an in-depth examination of his giallo films. Later chapters focus on his crime thrillers, horror, sci-fi, action and adventure films; as well as delving into some of his most important partnerships; including those with his long-time producer, brother Luciano Martino, script-writer Ernesto Gastaldi and giallo and sexy comedy queen Edwige Fenech. In addition to this, the book takes a long look at some of the director's most overlooked films; including the massive contribution he made to the Italian sexy comedy and his major works for Italian television.
THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH: Novel to Film - By Samuel J. Umland. Published by Arrow Books. Expected to Ship in February 2020.Ships Worldwide. $25
Celebrated auteur Nicolas Roeg's THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH is a daring, artistically ambitious science fiction film that was made a full six years before ''BLADE RUNNER,'' widely considered a masterwork of British-American cinema. Starring rock icon David Bowie in the title role, the film showcases Roeg's dazzling, kaleidoscopic style and is at once a mythic parable, a provocative love story, a study of existential loneliness and a compelling portrait of exile and alienation, set in the vast, desolate spaces of the American Southwest.
The critical path into THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH begins with a detailed examination of Walter Tevis' neglected 1963 source novel, followed by a discussion of the film's long initial development and unusual production history, culminating in a close analysis of the film itself, exploring its elliptical editing style, its mixed critical reception and its curious legacy. This book is a welcome and much needed exploration of one of the most haunting and enigmatic science fiction movies ever made.
Philip K. Dick On Film - By Gregg Rickman. Published by Arrow Books. Expected to Ship in February 2020. Ships Worldwide. $25
The now legendary writings of Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) have inspired 14 feature films and four television series, none of which he ever saw. Many of them have been widely seen and highly influential; they include BLADE RUNNER, TOTAL RECALL, MINORITY REPORT, THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE and most recently BLADE RUNNER 2049 and Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams. Borrowing his inspired ideas, few of them really utilize the author's unique imagination and the thought behind them. This book reviews all of the above films and television shows from, as much as possible, the perspective of Philip K. Dick himself. For most of his life a housebound scrivener of pulp science fiction, Dick nonetheless had distinct ideas about movies, and how his work should be filmed. This book incorporates his thought about visual media into a study of how a commercial system of film production grinds an insomniac's electric sheep into sausages for the masses--some of them, it must be granted, rather tasty.
Father, Son, Sword: THE LONE WOLF AND CUB Saga - By Tom Mes. Published by Arrow Books. Expected to Ship in February 2020. Ships Worldwide. $25
The gripping saga of former shogunate executioner Itto Ogami and his son Daigoro, better known as Lone Wolf and Cub. Betrayed and exiled by the treacherous Yagyu clan, they wander feudal Japan as assassins on the road to hell.
An epic, multi million-selling manga that spanned six years and nearly 9,000 pages. A long-running television series that is one of the staples of Japanese broadcasting. And six ferocious, inimitable films that are among the best that Japanese cinema has to offer. More than 40 years after they were made, these films continue to fascinate and enthral viewers the world over. THE LONE WOLF AND CUB and the BABY CART films are among the true classics of Japanese pop culture. Read and watched all across the globe, they inspired countless filmmakers, comic book artists, and writers, including Quentin Tarantino, Frank Miller, John Carpenter, John Woo, and Takashi Miike.