Sunday, October 07, 2007

Things Are Quiet, But

In conversation with Richard Harland Smith recently, I noted that the initial giddy reception accorded to the Bava book seemed to be giving way to silence. "That," he explained, "is because you've singlehandedly brought back the lost, ancient art of book reading!" Or words to that complimentary effect.

Sunday is a good day for reading, rest, and reflection, so permit me to draw your attention to some especially fine writing about the Bava book that has appeared online. For instance, "Tanner" of the Double O Section blog wrote this very nice account of the book last month, but I discovered it only tonight. In the course of focusing particularly on the chapters about DR. GOLDFOOT & THE GIRL BOMBS and DANGER: DIABOLIK, "Tanner" rightly points out that MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK is not just about Mario Bava; it's also the story of the popular Italian cinema, particularly the 1940s through the '70s, so there are many books contained within this single book, including some of the most detailed writing on the Eurospy genre and its stars you're likely to find. If you're not so much into Bava, but love the Italian sword-and-sandal or spy films of the '50s and '60s, this is still the book of your dreams.

The Mobius Home Video Forum has been hosting a very steady thread of responses to the Bava book over the past month, which, I'm delighted to see from the tally of their main page, has attracted 11,967 views as of this writing -- probably more than 12,000 by the time you read this. There is some wondrous writing in this thread, not just complimentary but deeply felt and humbling. I also participated in this thread, once or twice at length.

There is also a thread about the Bava book on the Classic Horror Film Boards, which starts even before the book arrived from Hong Kong. But it really starts to cook on page 8 with two magnificent testimonials from board moderator (and USA TODAY front page editor) David Colton and Gary L. Prange (who, in my view, deserved to win last year's Rondo Award for Best Article for his outstanding MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT feature "Ape Fiends of the Silent Era, Part I"). Gary actually offers one of my favorite comments about the book to date:

"If Henri Langlois was still alive and someone lent him a copy of MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK, he would not return it. "

By all means, read these discussions, read the Bava book, and participate!


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