Wednesday, April 21, 2010

791.43: The Dewey number for movie lovers

If you love movies and love reading about movies, you probably want to stop by the 791.43 section in the non-fiction section of the stacks. Beginning with this call number you will find books on actors (The Golden Girls of MGM), directors (Breaking In: How 20 Film Directors Got Their Start), screenplays (L.A. Confidential: The Screenplay), costumes (Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design), animation (Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's Animated Characters), film genres (The Noir Style), and more. Here are a few books that I recommend for a person who wants to expand his or her film-viewing repertoire.

American Film Institute Desk Reference
791.43 AME
This is a very handy and informative guide that is helpfully organized. One especially nice feature is the movie history organized by decade, where you can go to find movies of note in each decade. This book also includes notable films from countries around the world, notable films by genre, and a guide to people in film, highlighting important makeup artists and hairstylists, production designers and art directors, producers and businesspeople, directors, and actors. Another interesting category is historical and legendary figures on film, which lists the figure (such as Al Capone, Robin Hood, etc.) and the actor who played him/her in which movie.
Find it in the catalog!

The Great Movies and The Great Movies II by Roger Ebert
791.4375 EBE
In both books Ebert uses Derek Malcolm's definition of a great movie, which is "any movie he could not bear the thought of never seeing again." Ebert re-watched each film and revised his essays before including them in the books. I enjoy reading Ebert's film criticism because he is such a passionate fan of movies. I think these books are helpful tools to use if you are at a loss about what movie to watch next.
The Great Movies: Find it in the catalog!
The Great Movies II: Find it in the catalog!

"Have You Seen...?" A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films by David Thomson
791.73 THO
This book is organized by the movie title. The index includes a chronology of the films. Other than that there is not an index including actor/director names. Each movie has a one page or shorter summary including some background information, plot overview, and author opinion. One negative to this book is that in certain cases Thomson gives away too many details about plot lines (Cinema Paradiso is one example).
Find it in the catalog!