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The Printed Page


 

The Printed Page is a website devoted to exploring the visual arts, including photography, video, new media, painting and sculpture, that have a strong visual component to them. Different from most art websites, this one is interested in reaching out to film and media professionals and buffs who have a strong visual sense and appreciation of the image. The site will cover newly published books from around the world that capture the visual imagination of its artists.


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The Burlesque Book: Show Biz Glamour

 

Envy the lucky movie musical fan who found the companion book to BURLESQUE, the season's most flashy movie musical, in their Christmas stocking. This glossy tome, with an introduction by the film's diva legend Cher and a foreword by its breakout star, singer/dancer-turned-actress Christina Aguilera, is that rare example of a book that illuminates the film that it features.....something that used to be standard issue in the embrace between cinema and publishing, but is extremely rare this days.

The 176-page coffee table book features nearly 150 color photographs by Stephen Vaughan and Willa Mamet. The graphics vary from atmospheric stills from the film itself to production design drawings of the elaborate set, costume sketches and behind-the-scenes shots of the actors (which also include such intriguing personalities as Stanley Tucci, Alan Cumming, Kristen Bell, Eric Dane and Julianne Hough) and director Steven Antin, who also contributes an illuminating piece on his vision for the film.

 

The Golden Globe-nominated film's strong visual sensibility translates well into still photographs, capturing the film's glamour and imaginative atmosphere. The setting in the Club Burlesque provides the backdrop for the dramatic narrative, and one has to reach back to the classic musicals of the 1950s to find such a decorous mix of costume, art direction, make up and visual pyrothecnics. While certainly in debt to the classic musicals of a bygone era, the photos capture a modern-tinged sizzle that is enhanced by the casting and physical momentum that its leads bring to the proceedings. In this sense, the book should appeal to both classic film afficianiados and the younger generation that has been raised on music videos and web-based song-and-dance extravaganzas.

A little short on narrative text, this is, in the best sense of the term, a picture book, whose main agenda is to capture lightning in a bottle. It more than achieves that in a gorgeous celebration of over-the-top glamour that illuminates the contributions of an army of creative talents both in front and behind the camera. It is a highly recommended addition to any film library. The book, published by Universe Publishing, a division of Rizzoli International Publications, is available for sale at retail bookstores and leading online book resources. For more information on this and other titles, visit: www.rizzoliusa.com

Sandy Mandelberger, Editor, The Printed Page

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