more stars than in the heavens

not in our stars, but in ourselves

Some guidance, if you please…


A while ago, I mentioned my wild and crazy idea for a lengthy research project that I may, if I’m really good, try to whip into a book.  It may come to nothing, but it would be a good way to pass the time, anyway.  Watching and reading about old movies – as the Barefoot Contessa says, how bad can that be?

There are some books that I know for sure I will want to revisit and study in depth, such as Thomas Doherty’s Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema, 1930-1934


Thomas Schatz’s The Genius of the System: Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era

genius of the system my copy

Richard Barrios’s A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film


…and more, and more.  I just acquired these two little beauties: a collection edited by Noah Isenberg called Weimar Cinema: An Essential Guide to Classic Films of the Era


and James Card’s Seductive Cinema: The Art of Silent Film.


You see the kinds of things I like.  Now I ask you, dear readers, to recommend to me any great books on any of the following subjects:

  • the Weimar Republic, particularly on the topic of film/art/culture, but I am generally interested in the history as well
  • German and/or Austrian directors who began in Berlin (at Ufa, especially) and then made their way to Hollywood
  • detailed examinations of the major studios (MGM, Paramount, Warner Bros., Universal, RKO, Fox, United Artists, Columbia) during the 1920s and 1930s
  • the specific galaxies of stars at each of the aforementioned studios, i.e., why one had Garbo and the other had Dietrich, that kind of thing

Please do help a sister out.  I can look for books myself at the library, but it will be so much more fun it I have actual recommendations of what’s good and what’s not!

P.S. Will be back on track with 250 film challenge soon, I hope.  Long ago, when I first started, I diligently and foolishly set an extensive schedule of film-watching into my Google calendar, and now every day it emails me to remind me that I should be watching x, y, or z.  Sigh.  At this rate, it will take me a couple of years to finish – but finish I shall.


3 comments on “Some guidance, if you please…

  1. Karen
    April 29, 2013

    I wish I could help you, but much as I love film, I have done zero reading in this area. I might have to steal from your reading list here, though…the pre code and Weimar era books look particularly interesting.

  2. Pingback: At last. | more stars than in the heavens

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