That's Not Funny, That's Sick: Origins of National Lampoon

New Pop Culture Book

Drawing on interviews, journalist Ellin Stein recounts in her sprawling history “That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick,” published this month by Norton how the magazine was during its early-1970s heyday the boot camp for some of the greatest comedians of our pop culture.

Adventures of Tintin: Interview with Spielberg and Jackson

Peter Jackson told me, “If you were here right now, you would see over my shoulder the entire series of Hergé’s books, and I would love to be a part of this.  And thus began our process of finding a way to capture that artistic style that so defines Hergé and Tintin, and bring it to the screen”–Spielberg

Book Review: The Unknown Knowns

There is a revealing line toward the beginning of Jeffery Rotter’ first novel that states, “trying to describe water by what it does is kind of like telling a story by throwing a book at your wife.” And such is the humorous oddity one must come to expect of Jim Rath, the story’s narrator and protagonist. Most of the novel’s humor, like the previous quote, is born from Rath’s characteristic obsession with water and the aquatic ape theory of human evolution.


Minnelli: Hollywood’s Dark Dreamer–Review

Former Variety critic Levy has written nine books on film, including All About Oscar and John Wayne. In the first full-length comprehensive biography of film director Minnelli (1903-1986), Levy unveils a compelling portrait. A “lonely, awkward, painfully shy boy,” Minnelli was born into show business because his father and uncle operated a touring theater company. In New York, during the 1930s, Minnelli graduated from costume and set designs to directing.

Small-Town America in Film

Why Study Small-Town America in Film

Along with my other books, And the Winner Is: The History and Politics of the Academy Awards (1986) and John Wayne: Prophet of the American Way of Life (1988), my work is dealing with three of the most uniquely American symbols: the Oscar Award, John Wayne, and Small-Town America. To me, these three publications form some kind of logical, thematic unit, representing a decade of work on the American cinema.