Monday, December 31, 2007

Some More Pictures to Close Out the Year

"No praise of mine could do satisfactory justice to the Bava book and the staggering amount of work and love and generosity that so obviously, from the very first page, went into it," writes Didier Gertsch. "I’ve been reading pretty much everything you’ve published for the last fifteen or sixteen years and, though I’m unfortunately no critic and find it difficult to put it into words, the presence and familiarity of your writings to accompany films that I already knew and loved and their welcome guidance for others of which I only became aware through the magazine, has made my cinematic hunger a much less solitary endeavour. For this, I thank you and for the “colorfulness” of it all, I thank and congratulate Donna. The Bava Book made an unexpected appearance, along with our daughter Eleni and our cats Zhora and Lou, on our Christmas card as a heartfelt homage to one of the two major cultural landmarks of 2007. I hope you don’t mind, it just seemed somewhat appropriate."

Not at all! We're honored!

David R. Williams of Red Scream Films LLC writes: "I finally finished the book - took about six weeks reading a few hours each evening - a fantastic piece of work that has prompted me to start viewing all those Bava pics I've long planned on watching but kept moved down the list, bumped by other films by other directors. Between your book and the re-release of Bava's films untainted by AIP and others, the fact that he was a master of the macabre shines through. Congrats on the success of the book and best wishes on all future endeavors!"

In the "No Photo, But Worth Sharing" department, we also received a wonderful letter from CINEFEX publisher Don Shay, which reads in part: "If, as you note in your acknowledgements, Tim, [CFQ editor] Fred Clarke was responsible for instilling the concept of 'definitive research' in you, then, wherever he is today, he must be incredibly pleased with your astonishing accomplishment. And I’m sure Mario Bava would be no less pleased. No other filmmaker in history has been given such a loving and exhaustive study of his work — certainly not in one volume. A major tip of the hat to you, also, Donna. The book is beautifully designed and produced, and the poster restorations (per the example on your website) are astonishing. My compliments to you both."
We also heard from BLOOD AND BLACK LACE star Mary Dawne Arden, who responded to her gift copy: "I recently received your magnificent book; truly a work of LOVE and Artistic Excellence on both your parts! I love it! Thank you for my gift and I am truly honored by the [introductory spread] position you have placed me in the chapter on B&BL. It is a beautiful and wonderful result after all your years of hard work. You and Donna should be very proud."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ava Mario

Jonathan Barnett writes: "This image sums up my year: a new daughter (Ava), a new house and the new Bava book. Thanks for being a part of this wonderful year!"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bava Book in New RUE MORGUE

Now on newsstands from here to Mirgorod is RUE MORGUE #74, containing Kier-La Janisse's feature article "The Black Bible of Mario Bava," which includes interview comments from Donna and me. Jason Pichonsky's review of Anchor Bay Entertainment's MARIO BAVA COLLECTION VOLUME 2 also appears in the issue. An actual copy hasn't yet made it into out hands, but we've been receiving e-mails of congratulation so we're looking forward to it. We like the title, and it's great to see it featured on the cover.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

La Maschera del Juan Valdez

"MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK is easily the most impressive and fascinating book I've ever owned," writes William D'Annucci. "I've chosen to read the chapters in order, but there's such a treasure trove of images and information spread throughout that I keep skipping ahead for another taste! All these childhood memories of those big heavy Octopus horror movie coffee table books are flooding back... and having a book proportionally big enough to make me look like a kid again sure helps! But these late sleepless nights with the Bava Book have not been without their perils...

"While reading late the other night, I cut my finger on the edge of one of those glossy pages and bled into the book. Just a drop or two of blood, that's all. And the next thing I know, my coffee has been giving me some mean looks!

"This shot wasn't the result of some Photoshop cut 'n paste job, but rather me holding your heavy book with my free hand and carefully angling it above the surface of the water in the coffee mug for an in-camera effect. Do you think the Maestro would approve?"
I'm certain that the Maestro would, Bill. We certainly do!

All the Sights and Sounds of the Dark

The January 2008 issue of SIGHT & SOUND is a major one -- not least of all as it concerns me personally. It contains my monthly "NoZone" column (this month devoted to Lindsay Anderson's O LUCKY MAN!, a personal favorite) of course, but also a welcome and instructive letter pertaining to my earlier review of Charles Crichton's excellent THE THIRD SECRET, two different advertisements for my MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK, and also D.K. Holm's much-appreciated review of same. I'm pleased by the fact that this issue contains SIGHT & SOUND's coverage of my favorite film of the year, I'M NOT THERE, as well as their annual survey of the year's best films. The latter has been posted in advance at their website and you can find what I and many other critics have to say about our five picks in a special PDF file downloadable here.

Monday, December 03, 2007

'Tis the Season to Buy Bava

Here you see a piece of original artwork that adorned a Christmas card sent to us years ago by VW reader Sam Moyer, picturing Mario Bava himself as Father Christmas. I loved it so much that I adopted it as my personal avatar for my seasonal postings on the Classic Horror Films Board for a few years.

I'm using it here as a reminder to all of you that MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK truly is the ideal holiday gift -- a DVD box set can be used up in less than a week, but the Bava book is a gift that keeps on giving. Indeed, if you buy the horror fan in your life a copy of the Bava book, you really don't need anything else under the tree; in fact, it may also cover their next birthday, as well. And it's not just me who makes this claim.

Matthew Kiernan has added MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK as a coveted Holiday Gift item on his AMC Blog.

The Bava Book also gets an "ultimate stocking stuffer" endorsement from the December 07 edition of Chiller Wickedpedia.

I also want to publicly thank Scooter McCrae for his more-than-enthusiastic review of the Bava book, which appears in the current issue of FANGORIA (#269). He calls it "a work of art... a paradigm shift into an enlightening new era demonstrating where an overcrowded literary genre should strive to go" and "an essential purchase." It's great to receive such positive comments, but they're especially meaningful coming from a filmmaker.

Lastly, a webcam update. We'd still like to post the webcam Bava conference from Trieste, but Donna and I are presently swamped with work as we strive to put together three issues of VW before the holidays. Too much to do at present to try to sort out the technology, but we haven't given up. We'll keep you apprised of our progress.