I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
I thought I knew Dennis Hopper, but the first chapter of this book left my jaw open— What an incredible childhood! He was lucky to live through it.
Hopper was “discovered” in Hollywood by falling off a log— it was so easy for him. He would just show up and get attention the minute he walked through the door.
Winkler spares no private details. “Names are named,” he promises, and they are. You’ll learn every gruesome deal in movie industry, plus the requisite 60s-level sex and drugs. And the art. Of course, the art.
James Gandolfini, gave a soul to suburban New Jersey dad and mob killer, Tony Soprano. When he died suddenly of a heart attack last year, it felt like a family member had died. But Gandolfini was not Tony Soprano, he was so much deeper, kinder and more complex.
Dan Bischoff’s biography maps out the life of a man that touched all our lives. From his Italian American background, growing up in New Jersey, experiences as a working man, to becoming an actor and philanthropist.
This book gave me insight into the blossoming of an artist, and of a man ready to give back through his work and films for the charity Wounded Warrior Project (never touted in any publicity for self celebration).
John Ventimiglia, who played Artie Bucco on “The Sopranos” really put his heart into narrating this. His performance is that of an insider, fluid and heartfelt.
Written at a tight journalistic clip, this is a great listen.
The urban legends that swirl around the film Texas Chainsaw Massacre, that it was based on real events; that there were violent, drug-fueled orgies on set; that it was a “snuff” film; are far nuttier than the real deal. And yet—even the most outlandish rumors have kernels of truth in them.
Gunnar Hansen sets out to give us the real dope—and an eye-opening lesson in film-making along the way.
It’s just as juicy and pop-cult-crazed as it sounds—the heightened tension on the set, the unending brutal heat, blown takes, and the pot brownies, everyone just barely holding it together—it gets a little visceral.
Not to mention the horrific truth about the radical financial and physical exploitation of the cast and crew.
Chain Saw Confidential, is a remarkable film history document, that covers everything from scene-to-scene breakdowns, to the philosophical and aesthetic debates over the nature of horror itself.
Gunnar Hansen himself reads his work with aplomb.
Painter, musician, bibliophile...
If you had crossed Bizet's path in 1875, the year "Carmen" was first staged, you would have met with a plump, bespectacled Frenchman who was forever nibbling sweet delicacies. But while you might overlook this unassuming person, you could not have ignored his music.
From early childhood, Bizet possessed prodigious talent. In the Conservatoire at nine, and winning every prize going, he worked his magic on a variety of instruments. At the age of 19, he won the Prix de Rome. With innate musical taste, judgment, and imagination, he stands above his contemporaries.
As this program points out, Bizet was no "one trick pony." He'd written most of his work before anyone had heard of "Carmen," and some of this sadly neglected work deserves rediscovery and appreciation, such as his opera "The Pearl Fishers."
Harold Schonberg wrote, "Carmen is an opera of passion, power, and truth, infinitely superior to the carefully arranged, prettily served canapés of Gounod and Massenet. They were skilled professionals. Bizet was a genius."
Tchaikovsky and Brahms were fans of "Carmen," too. Wagner, having heard it, said of Bizet, "At last, for a change, someone with ideas in his head!"
All this makes it the more stunning that this perennial favorite did not meet with immediate success. "Carmen" was called "immoral," and accused of being (even worse) "Wagnerian."
In this excellent program, David Timson brings the spectacle of "Carmen" vividly to life, with reference to many important excerpts, the fast and furious scene changes demanded by the complex action, and so much more.
If you're fortunate enough to be going to see the opera or just want to understand it better while you listen at home, you can't go wrong with this exploration of "Carmen essentials."
This was the first opera I heard (at the age of nine) and it left me forever in love with opera itself. My French wasn't under firm control, and I couldn't really understand everything that was happening, but that music! I have never forgotten it. Such is the power of Bizet.