Some Favourite Books of 2018

Before I get down to my ten favourite films of the year, a quick mention for three new cinema related books published in 2018.

Firstly, All the Colours of Sergio Martino (Arrow Books), Kat Ellinger’s compact but highly informative introduction to one of the great maestros of Italian genre cinema. I only know Martino from gialli like Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key and Torso but after reading this I’ve been delving deeper into his diverse filmography – he also directed westerns, comedies, crime dramas, cannibal, sci-fi, mondo movies and more.

Editor-in-Chief of Diabolique magazine, Ellinger is also an increasingly popular choice for supplying audio commentaries for genre greats – in fact, I’ve just received a review copy of Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte where she does just that and I’m looking forward to hearing her views on Robert Aldrich’s ‘hagsploitation’ thriller. She’s also provided a new video essay Sex and Death with a Smile on giallo icon Edwige Fenech for Arrow’s upcoming 2K restoration of Strip Nude for Your Killer. I admit it. I’m excited about this!

A Whole Bag of Crazy: Sordid Tales of Hookers, Weed, and Grindhouse Movies by Pete Chiarella (aka 42nd Street Pete) is a terrifically entertaining read where he recollects his youth, which was mostly spent in sleazy fleapits in New York’s Deuce, watching double or even triple bills of far from high falutin’ exploitation flicks as the spectre of the Vietnam War hung over his head.

Finally, as a Coen brothers fan, I’d recommend Adam Nayman’s The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together (Abrams Books). This is a gorgeously designed and comprehensive – I’d say maybe even definitive – look at the remarkably consistent oeuvre of the Minnesota born brothers from Blood Simple through to Hail, Caesar!

The Ladykillers

I purchased this in hardback form and am glad that I did as there’s so much visual imagery to pore over and enjoy, including film stills, photos and illustrations. This is one I’ll be enjoying for years to come.