Staff Picks by Tag

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Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) By Patricia Aufderheide Cover Image
ISBN: 9780195182705
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - November 28th, 2007

I'm a big fan of the entire Very Short Introduction series, but this one is my favorite, by far. The book goes into all the creative choices involved in documentary film (way more than I had ever considered), and gives a detailed history of the genre. It directed me towards some great films I had never heard of and changed the way I watch all movies.

Review by Connor

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The Twilight World: A Novel By Werner Herzog, Michael Hofmann (Translated by) Cover Image
By Werner Herzog, Michael Hofmann (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780593490280
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - June 13th, 2023

If you, like me, are interested in the space that exists between what can easily be called fiction or nonfiction, I recommend The Twilight World. Landing somewhere between a biography and a novel, Herzog recounts the story of Hiroo Onoda and creates a work that is at once terrifying and beautiful. Herzog fans will be pleased to find another eccentric loner, far removed from society, dealing with strange existential dilemmas, yet even those unfamiliar will be taken in by this fascinating, dreamlike tale of survival.


Review by Connor

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Filmlandia!: A Movie Lover's Guide to the Films and Television of Seattle, Portland, and the Great Northwest By David Schmader Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632174253
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Sasquatch Books - April 18th, 2023

This is the perfect guide for a movie marathon! Whether you’re feeling horror, romance, avant garde, or apocalypse, this book is a thorough catalog of Pacific Northwest film and television (both filmed and themed in the PNW). My favorite films and TV included in this book: Grey’s Anatomy (2005-Present), The Goonies (1985), Short Circuit (1986), and Practical Magic (1998), and Coraline (2009).

Review by Lauren

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This Is No Dream: Making Rosemary's Baby By Bob Willoughby (Photographer), James Munn, Taylor Hackford (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Bob Willoughby (Photographer), James Munn, Taylor Hackford (Foreword by)
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781909526587
Published: Reel Art Press - July 24th, 2018

So many 'making of' books come off as slapdash cash-grabs. This book, however, is bound in adoration for its source material. Along with recollections of those who worked on the film, there is a multitude of quality, actually never before seen production photos. This is how you pay your respects to a masterpiece.

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Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need By Blake Snyder Cover Image
ISBN: 9781932907001
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Michael Wiese Productions - May 25th, 2005

After years in the film industry Blake Snyder identified a pattern about the movies we love. What he discovered changed the world of screenwriting forever. Explained in 13 easy to digest steps, his breakdown for aspiring screenwriters is called The Beat Sheet. This book (and series) will change the way you think about not only writing but watching movies. It is a MUST read for anyone ready to see their story on the big screen! What does it mean to “Save the Cat”? Learn this and other facts for film lovers inside. 

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I Never Promised You a Rose Garden By Mannie Murphy Cover Image
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781683964100
Published: Fantagraphics - March 23rd, 2021

Muted watercolor illustrations paired with grade school cursive on grade school writing paper published from the Seattle small press, Fantagraphics, I was endeared to Mannie Murphy from the beginning. Genderqueer and a Portland native themself, Murphy illustrates the dark history of the Rose City as well as the life and death of their teenage adulation, River Phoenix. My only complaint is that I wanted more!


Review by Emily

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Always Crashing in the Same Car: On Art, Crisis, and Los Angeles, California By Matthew Specktor Cover Image
ISBN: 9781951142629
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Tin House Books - July 27th, 2021

You may have no desire to know the intimate backroad histories of old LA, you might not be a film buff, but I'm telling you... you don't have to be much of anything to fall in love with this book. I couldn't stop until I found its author, the inimitable Matthew Specktor, in possession of success or happiness or peace or something that resembles those impossible objects. These aren't just essays about Fitzgerald, Warren Zevon, Thomas McGuane, Renata Adler; this is a book about what it is to be an artist in America. Specktor's story is both erudite and crafty magic.


Review by Spencer R.

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Movies (And Other Things) By Shea Serrano, Arturo Torres (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Shea Serrano, Arturo Torres (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781538730195
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Twelve - October 8th, 2019

Perfect for those humor fans or non-pretentious movie buffs that want to weigh in on what other movie characters would be in Regina George's clique or who got it the worst in Kill Bill? Paired with Torres' fantastic illustrations, Serrano writes lovingly and analytically about movies from the 1980s to today with opinions that toggle between silly and serious. Because really which movie villain would make the best hang and how culturally significant was 1997's Selena? This is a great book to escape into with the kind of author that wouldn't leave you bored at a party.

Review by Emily