From 1990 to 2006, Mark Harris worked as a writer and editor covering movies, television and books for Entertainment Weekly, where now writes the "Final Cut' back-page column. He has written about pop culture for several other magazines as well. He lives in New York City with his husband, Tony Kushner.
With meticulous research and a masterful blending of information, Harris delivers a detailed and intriguing exploration into the significance of the five films nominated in 1968 as Best Picture for the Oscars (Bonnie and Clyde, Doctor Dolittle, The Graduate, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night). Harris illustrates how the nominated films represented a paradigm shift in Hollywood and the country. From the origins and finessing of the scripts to the selection (or rejection) of the principal actors along with all the typical Hollywood folklore, Harris weaves the narratives of each film into one cohesive story, clearly detailing how these films were interconnected and how each reflected the changing mood of the country. In a light, calm and reassuring voice, Lloyd James reads almost flawlessly. Despite the presence of numerous popular actors in the account, James resists the urge to do impersonations and instead lets the person's words speak for themselves. This outstanding audio is intriguing, lively, entertaining and educational. Simultaneous release with the Penguin Press hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 29). (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
American films have always been both a reflection of our times and an indicator of what we as a society could become. Harris, who writes Entertainment Weekly's "Final Cut" column, examines this dual nature through the nominees for Best Picture at the 1967 Academy Awards, thus encapsulating the sea change of Hollywood and America in that turbulent decade. The five nominees contained such disparate films as Bonnie and Clyde, In the Heat of the Night, and Dr. Doolittle. Harris follows these movies from their conception to Oscar night, showing not only how these films were made through exceptional access to their creators and stars but also what the films represented as statements of race, identity, and a new kind of violence (Bonnie and Clyde's would change film forever). Harris's experience covering film and television shows on every page, as this is the most engaging and, dare this reviewer say, entertaining book on the movies to be written in years. Highly recommended for all academic and public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/07.]-Peter Thornell, Hingham P.L., MA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"Pictures at a Revolution is probably one of the best books
I've ever read in my life."
"A rarity in the world of movie literature: A first-rate, broad-gauged (and deliciously readable) cultural history."
-Richard Schickel, Los Angeles Times
"A landmark new film book . . . sifts through the evidence with reportorial acumen and great care, conjuring up the social and cultural history of a lost world and drawing on sharp new interviews with many of its major players. . . . Can take its place alongside top-shelf film industry books."
-Janet Maslin, The New York Times