Allan Hunter. Film Editor. offers his literary pick ofthe llicks.
Book store shelves groan with the weight of dust film reference volumes once hopefully declared indispensable. however the Foreign Film Guide by Ronald Bergan and Robyn Karnez ( Bloomsbury. £16.95) is worthy of the moniker and fills an important gap in the market. Listing over 21101) foreign language films from the Indian Aan to the Poliin /._vcie Rodzinne it provides clearly laid out credits and a simple. concise plot synopsis and commentary on each entry along with information on major awards received. Inevitany there are many titles not covered but as an adjunct to the I‘inglish language. Hollywood bias of I lalliwell and just about anything else. it should prove extremely useful and also offers unlimited opportunities for expansion in future editions.
In 1937 when Clark (iable was named King of l Iollywood. Myrna Loy was Queen. Red-haired with a snub nose and a delicious comic style she appeared in well over one
hundred films from her debut in 1925
to her retirement in 1981. Best remembered as Nora Charles in the T/lfll .llun series she gave excellent performances in a range of material from The Best Years o./’()ur Lives
Merged faces by Bergman
( 194(1) to From the ’l‘t’l'l'ru‘td 1961)). Being and Becoming by Myrna Loy with James Kotsihbas-l)avid (Bloomsbury £14.95) is a warm. witty volume and is one of the few star autobiographies that is neither a kiss and tell confession nor an extended CV. (ienerous to co-stars and friends. it paints a portrait of a thoroughly admirable woman for whom a professional existence is merely one part of a fully rounded life. A stauch liberal. an active Democrat campaigner and an influential figure in the United Nations she makes delightful company.
The Magic Lantern by Ingmar Bergman (Hamish Hamilton £14.95) is an unsentimental journey through his personal past by master Swedish filmmaker Bergman that is almost a written distillation of his final autobiographical film Funny and xllexuii(/er( 1982 ). Candid. unflattering and savagely honest in its many recollections and insights of a man who always experienced a "micro second between my intuitive experience and its emotional expression‘. Life and work are inextricably linked and refracted and the book imparts both wisdom and malice.
List food editor Julie Morrice chews over some publishers' delights.
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The appearance of a cookery book
an unusual. perhaps unlikely. occurrence. but A Caledonian Feast by Annette Hope (Mainstream £12.95) is up there with the best of the rest and may yet take the biscuit and carry off the Mc\'itie prize.
1 Kenny Mathieson, Jazz correspondent, makes his pick of Jazz books.
Jazz book of the year has to be The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (MacMiIlan. £225). easily the most comprehensive and scholarly reference book on the music. but obviously not within everyone‘s reach at that price. (iraham Lock's fascinating if rather uncritical account of his peregrinations around England as a kind of Boswell to Anthony Braxton’s Dr Johnson. Forces in Motion (Quartet. £20). provided invaluable insights into the saxophonist‘s unique musical intelligence. Brian Priestley“s Jazz On Record (Elm 'l‘ree. £14.95) takes a synoptic look not at the history of jazz. but at the history of jazz recordings; the two are not precisely synonymous. particularly in the days before the long playing record. It was good to see Ross Russell's absorbing ifslightly romanticised biography ofCharlie Parker. Bird Lives! (Quartet. £5.95). back in print in a paperback edition. Other notable soft-cover issues included Leonard Feather's The Jazz Years (Picador. £4.95). a personal reminiscence of a life spent writing about jazz: Mike Zwerin's engrossing account ofjazz under the Nazis. La Tristesse de Saint Louis (Quartet. £6.95); Barry McRae’s books on Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman in the Jazz Masters series
on the short list for a literary award is
Otherwise. there hasn‘t been much in the way ofexcitement. Floyd has published two books: Floyd on Britain 8: Ireland (BBC £7.95) which goes into calves' sweetbreads and pigs' ears in depth; and Floyd in the Soup (Pan £4.99) which goes into Keith Floyd the phenomenon in depth. The latest book from those patisserie guys. At Home with the Roux Brothers (BBC £14.95). must be good because Waterstones are sold out already.
Thai cookery is launched in The Taste of Thailand ( Pavilion £16.95) a lavishly photographed wander through the country's customs and kitchens. and there is a deluxe edition of Elizabeth David's A Book at Mediterranean Food ( I)orling Kindersley £12.95) has been published with a new introduction. Nearly forty years after it first appeared it is still a breath of fresh air in any kitchen. And no apologies for recommending a book published a year ago. The Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces ( Rosendale Press £9.95.) is a beautiful book written by Diane Seed and colourfully illustrated by Robert Budwig. One or two simple tips and a host of recipe ideas will have you turning out better pasta dishes than you will find in any restaurant. After all. as every
Italian knows. pasta always tastes best at home.
THE PRICE OF EXCELLENCE
(Apollo. £4.95); and Art ‘I‘aylor's musician to musician interviews in Notes and 'l'ones(()uartet. £6.95 ). Norman Chalmers, List Jazz editor picks his books of the year.
First publisheed in 1986. Leonard Feather‘s Earwitness To An Era (Picador. £4.95) is now released in paperback. Feather is the father of jazz critics. He has been writing for fifty years. and not at a distance. As a pianist. arranger or producer he has worked with the cream of'the world's players. and the book moves from his background in 30‘s I Iampstead to Paris. Berlin and America. his adopted country. Fascinating especially are his tales from the inside ofthe Ellington world and the great pre war period when jazz was the popular music. before bop came and blew it all away. Plates of photographs catch our hero with everyone from Louis Armstrong and Jack 'I‘eagarden to Wayne Shorter and Miles. A unique musical autobiography.
The Imperfect Art. (Oxford University Press. £15) is musical improvisation. and the absorbing book. subtitled ‘Reflections ( )n .lazz And Modern Culture' is both a look at jazz history by Ted (iioia. a young American academic and pianist. and a freewheeling philosophical enquiry stretching through lit crit. sociology and aesthetics. revealing jazz. the always new. as the music that cannot
The List 25 Nov — b’ Dec 1983 65