Archive for September 23rd, 2018

by Sam Juliano

The annual New Jersey children’s book bonanza known as the Princeton Book Festival was staged Saturday at Hinds Plaza next to the Princeton Public Library. Jeremy, Sammy IV and I were thrilled to chat with Caldecott record-holder David Wiesner, who grew up in New Jersey and presented his new book “I Got It”; with good friend Lauren Castillo, whose new work “Imagine”, authored by Juan Felipe Herrera was center stage on her table, and with Rowboat Watkins, whose latest, “Big Bunny” was his own latest offering. We also crossed paths with David Ezra Stein, Greg Pizzoli, Daniel Salimieri, Susan Verdi, Angela Dominguez and others on this beautiful day in the center of the Garden State. (Jeremy pictured with Wiesner).

James Clark and J.D. Lafrance published magisterial essays this past week on Ingmar Bergman’s The Silence and Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets at the site.

Jamie Uhler’s continuing horrorfest essays this past week included fabulous pieces on George Waggner’s 1941 horror classic The Wolf Man with Lon Chaney Jr. and Lynn Ransay’s 2017 psychological horror You Were Never Here:

“One of the last of the singularly title Universal monster films, I’ve long really liked this feature anyways. Universal’s long held, and rightly earned, ‘House of Horror’ was running on fumes as the Forties hit. Frankenstein and Dracula had already been done within 3 variations each (with a fourth Frankenstein title in 1942), and things looked bleak. None of the new enterprises seemed to add much to the stable, but with the retreads continuing to rake in the dough, who could really care to establish new (1940’s The Invisible Man Returns, for example, was a smash, prompting The Invisible Woman to be rushed into production)? It was under this that The Wolfman came, a genuine new venture, featuring a new monster not previously explored in full in quite this way. Werewolf of London, from 6 years prior, doesn’t attempt the emotional anguish of this film, as good as it is (and I’m slated to do it this season). Some works wonderfully, while some does not—Lon Chaney Jr. is a little sluggish as the sensitive, love struck wolf, but otherwise, this stands tall with the classics of the Universal monster stable.  (more…)

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