Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"The Last Word on the Subject"

... so says today's New York Times about MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK! Both the book and I receive brief but enthusiastic mention from NYT critic Dave Kehr in a "Critic's Choice" review of Anchor Bay's MARIO BAVA COLLECTION VOLUME 2, which pays particular attention to its beautifully restored LISA AND THE DEVIL.

Also, thanks to the enterprising and hard-working Nate Yapp, Classic-Horror.com has posted a new interview with me about ATCOTD, my favorite Halloween DVD releases, and even some of my good and bad personal habits.

Labels: , ,

Monday, October 29, 2007

More Pictures, More Interviews

This is an amazing photograph and I'm extremely proud to be able to post it. The gentleman holding this copy of MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK is Renato Pestriniero of Venice, Italy. Renato, who began publishing in 1958, is one of the seminal figures in the field of Italian science fiction literature, one of the first writers -- perhaps the first -- to submit original stories to the pulp magazines that habitually reprinted English science fiction stories in translation. In addition to writing many novels, he is reknowned as the author of many more short stories, one of which -- Una notte di 21 ore ("One Night of 21 Hours," written in 1960) -- was the literary source for Mario Bava's influential PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES [Terrore nello spazio, 1965].

Some years ago, Renato graciously and generously agreed to my request for an interview, and became one of the more than 100 friends and colleagues of Bava whose recollections help to inform the Bava book. This photo, sent to us by Stefano Cusumano, is compressed a good deal here, but is actually quite large. I have left it that way, the better for you to step into the photo to browse Renato's impressive shelf of Italian science fiction books -- and a charming astronaut toothbrush displayed on the right. Molto grazie, Renato e Stefano!

We also received this proud photo of Paul Zdanowicz, a resident of Roselle Park, New Jersey, who seems to live with as many cats as the medium in BLACK SABBATH! (Just kidding: we have three!) Anyway, Paul has a right to be proud: Donna tells me that he is on record as the 1,000th person who pre-ordered a copy of MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK.
Paul writes: "About one month ago I received my copy of ATCOTD and have had some time since to spend with it. I have to congratulate you both on this extraordinary endeavor you have accomplished. Not only is this THE definitive book on Bava, it is also a view into the author's soul. The amount of time and love that you have put into this work, pours out from the pages in a way that could only have been born of such a passion. I thank you for your tenacity, and for bringing a work into my life that will be passed on for generations." Thank you, Paul!

On the promotional interview front, DVDActive.com has posted an interview with me, conducted by Gabriel Powers, about the Bava book and my involvement in Anchor Bay's new MARIO BAVA COLLECTION VOLUME 2. You can find it on the other end of this link.
YES! Weekly columnist Mark Burger has also filed a brief interview with me, which can be read online here; scroll down to the second half of the column. Mark has also written an enthusiastic review of ABE's BARON BLOOD disc, which is posted here.

Labels: ,

Friday, October 26, 2007

Praise from Lux Interior

We just received one of the pre-paid postcards slipped into every copy of MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK from none other than Lux Interior, legendary lead singer of The Cramps! Lux writes:

"I've heard of coffee table books, but this is a book that's as big as a coffee table! I'm slowly savoring every wonderful page! Congratulations and Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!"

Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dionnet on the Bava Book

A surprising turn of events has been shared with us by the Blog du Studio Gühmes: the French critic and media personality Jean-Pierre Dionnet, whom we mentioned here a few days ago, recently made a promotional video posted at Interencheres.tv in which he discusses various items being sold in the ongoing auction of his personal collection... and he used part of his camera time to promote MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK! (We were wondering what had sparked that sudden rash of French orders!)

Anyway, this blog page includes two extracts from Dionnet's interview -- in the first, he can be seen resting his hand on the Bava Book, and, in the second, he speaks with great enthusiasm about it, picks it up, and offers a peek inside to his audience.

Incroyable... mais vrai!

It makes for very entertaining viewing, even if you don't understand French. And, if you do... please write us and tell us what he said!

Merci beaucoup, Jean-Pierre.

POSTSCRIPT 10/27, 7:58pm: Due to popular demand, the Blog du Studio Gühmes has added English subtitles to Jean-Pierre Dionnet's video comments about the Bava book -- so if you visited before and couldn't understand him, visit again. It's worth the click!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cover Story & Twitch

Now on Cincinnati newsstands and racks about town, the new issue of CITY BEAT (our local entertainment paper) profiles Donna and me and our 32 year struggle to produce MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK in a cover story called "Book of a Lifetime." Excellent work by Jason Gargano, which non-Cincinnatians can read online here.
And over at Twitch, Dave Canfield presents his own interview with yours truly.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Classic-Horror.com Celebrates Mario Bava

It's Mario Bava Week over at Classic-Horror.com -- in fact, there's so much to write about Bava (as I well know) that Nate Yapp and company have decided to extend the Bava portion of their "Shocktober Classics" festivities through next Wednesday. Every day, a new detailed review of a different Bava film is being posted -- reviews of BLACK SABBATH and THE WHIP AND THE BODY are already posted, with BLOOD AND BLACK LACE, KILL BABY...KILL!, and HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON to follow before the weekend.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Le plus beau livre de cinéma du monde

Samuel Bréan has written to tell us that MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK has been highly praised in the pages of one of the leading French newspapers by one of France's most popular film experts and media personalities.

Samuel writes: "In this weekend's LIBÉRATION [the French daily newspaper founded by Jean-Paul Sartre in 1973], there's an article on cinéphile extraordinaire (as you'd say in English) Jean-Pierre Dionnet, who is auctioning his huge collection of cinema posters, books, fanzines... Says he: 'Maintenant que la Cinémathèque organise une rétrospective Terence Fisher et que le plus beau livre de cinéma du monde est consacré à l’œuvre de Mario Bava, je me dis que ma révolution est désormais accomplie.'"

In other words, when asked to explain why he has decided to part with his prized accumulations of a lifetime, M. Dionnet replied: "Now that there's a Terence Fisher retrospective at the Cinémathèque [Française] and the most beautiful cinema book in the world is devoted to the works of Mario Bava, I tell myself that my revolution is now complete."

If you are interested in bidding on items from M. Dionnet's collection, which includes print items in all languages, or if your only desire is to browse one of the great collections of fantastic cinema material on the planet, follow this link to the online catalogue.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, October 20, 2007

More Reader Photos!

Just when we were afeared that the Bava book photos had stopped, as our customers all over the world put down their cameras to read it, here's a new picture in our mailbox. This is longtime VW reader and Bava book supporter Dr. Gregor Schneider, proudly pointing to his name in the List of Patrons!

"I'm so proud to be inside the book as a patron, right next to all the other fellows who know what's an appreciable achievement worth investing and waiting for," he writes. "The only comparable book I have in the shelf is Alexander von Humboldt's collected research... comparable in size as well as lifespanning!" Thank you, Gregor!

Here are two adorable shots of one of the Bava book's most unusual readers: Monkey, the mascot of the award-winning Canadian quilter Linda Franz, another of the Bava book's listed Patrons. In an uncanny coincidence, Linda is the only other publisher we know who published an 1128-page book this year, but hers was sensibly published on CD-ROM as an enclosure in her new book INKLINGO SHAPE COLLECTION #3. (Congratulations, Linda!) Naturally, Linda has to quilt sometime, so she occasionally puts down her Bava book. This gives Monkey an opportunity to dip into it. . .

. . . literally.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"A Staggering Achievement"

Stuart Galbraith IV recently conducted a lengthy interview with me for the website DVD TALK, which has just been posted; you can find it here. We discussed various aspects of the Bava book (which Stuart calls "the most detailed, probing, and complete examination of any single filmmaker, anywhere in the world, ever") in detail, but we also talked in a more expansive vein about the current state of home video, the future of DVD and video stores, and other interesting topics. Check it out.

Also now online, Chris Alexander's review of Anchor Bay's THE MARIO BAVA COLLECTION VOLUME 2 at Fangoria.com.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Greencine Daily Profiles Tim Lucas & The Bava Book

Could I really be "King of the Nerds"?

The Uncle Forry to a new mutant strain of film fanatic?

D.K. Holm thinks so, and he explains why in an extensive, thoughtful and humbling profile of Yours Truly over at Greencine Daily.

Labels: , ,

Monday, October 15, 2007

Notes From Two Birthday Recipients

A Greek half-sheet for DANGER: DIABOLIK -- one of several rarities that didn't make it into the book.

John Phillip Law (DANGER: DIABOLIK), who recently turned 70, writes: "Thank you so much, Tim -- what a wonderful birthday present! Congratulations upon the completion of this masterful work!"

And Ib J. Melchior (screenwriter, PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES), who recently turned 90, comments: "The most impressive work on filmmaking I have ever seen! Absolutely stunning in its scope and presentation!"

Labels: ,

Monday, October 08, 2007

Hey, I'm Cinedelic!

Today at the British cult film site Cinedelica, Kimberly Lindbergs makes me the inaugural subject of a new weekly feature called "10 Questions With...". It may sound like a questionnaire, but as you'll see, I gave generously. Plan on spending some time there. I talk about the Bava book, the origins of my own interest in Bava and his films, my favorite Bava movie, and also about future plans -- so check it out!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Moonbeast Hearts Bava Book

Nate Yapp, editor of Classic-Horror.com writes: "Weird but true story: I took the Bava book with me to the coffeehouse. Distracted for just a moment, I found that my roommate's Moon-beast had commandeered the tome and was reading about OPERZIONE PAURA quite intently. Apparently Lovecraftian monsters love Bava. (Okay, it's a fabrication. My roommate has a wacky habit of posing our various Lovecraft plushies, killer rabbits, and remote control Daleks for humorous photography, usually with her knitting. She's branching out.)"

Today on the Classic Horror Film Boards, Nate posted this photo under his screen name "KarloffLives" and wrote of MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK, "Probably my favorite film book of all time... It's a masterwork. It's an inspiration. What's most important, though, is that it exists."

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!