Sunday, February 22, 2009

Booking to the Oscars

Today’s Los Angeles Times Jacket Copy blog takes a decidedly Oscarish approach to its coverage, offering up two very distinct stories with a strong connection to film.

“Just in time for the Oscars,” the headline promises, though, in truth, the exhibit created around filmmaker Federico Fellini’s Book of Dreams runs longer than that and is a much deeper exhibit. On display in the Academy’s Grand Lobby and 4th Floor Gallery from January 24 through April 19, 2009. From The Times:
For much of his life, Federico Fellini did not want to be seen as bookish or intellectual, which adds interest to the first exhibition of his library. There is added piquancy in the fact that it takes place while Fellini’s “Book of Dreams” is on display during the Academy Awards.

The well-mounted exhibition of more than 2,000 books is on the ground floor of a three-story 20th century apartment building, where his parents lived and some relatives still reside, in Fellini’s hometown of Rimini, Italy. The exhibition does not consist of serried book spines but of many open volumes, books in suspended, tinted plastic cubes as well as in bookcases, where the volumes alternate with reproductions of Fellini’s textual notations, film scripts and videos of his films.
The exhibit is really a kind of “making of” for Fellini’s The Book of Dreams (Rizzoli), published last year. It includes not only the support material used for its creation -- all those books! -- but also actual drawings and notations that were used in the book.

The LA Times story is here. The Academy has their own page on the exhibit and that’s here.

Also in today’s Jacket Copy, a look at Murder at the Academy Awards (Simon & Schuster) by Joan Rivers, co-written by established Los Angeles mystery author Jerilyn Farmer (The Flaming Luau of Death). From Jacket Copy:
Listening to Joan Rivers flay the fashion choices of celebrities on the red carpet, it's easy to think she might just have imagined one or two of them dead. That's exactly how her new co-written novel, "Murder at the Academy Awards™," begins -- with a starlet dropping dead on her way into the Oscars. Joan’s fictional alter-ego, Max Taylor, is right there, holding the mike as the girl slurs, falls and stops breathing.
Needless to say, on this of all days, sales of the book are brisk. Not sure how it’ll hold up to history, but that probably isn’t the point. The story is here.

And, honestly? I’m not sure how I missed this but Rivers is being tres prolific these days. She had a (ahem) self-help guide published just a few months ago. Men Are Stupid and they Like Big Boobs: A Woman’s Guide to Beauty Through Plastic Surgery (Pocket) is a tongue-in-cheek (I think) book of “straight-talking advice on better living through looking better.”

Let’s segue back to Oscars: Rivers has said she figures “101% of the people who walk the red carpets of Hollywood have had work done.”


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