Here’s a list of some of the books and films I read and watched this semester when I could have been doing other things:
Among the Thugs
A vivid ethnography of English football hooligans.
A political thriller by Ronan Bennett set in decolonizing Congo.
The Murders that Made Us
Tawdry tales of criminal San Francisco from the Bear Republic to the present.
This is the Beat Generation: New York, Paris, San Francisco
There are some remarkable details and anecdotes about the Beats in this study.
The End of the Golden Gate
A collection of essays by those who have loved and left SF.
Exploits and Adventures of Brigadier Gerard
These stories about a young, arrogant cavalier in Napoleon’s army are easily equal to Conan Doyle’s best tales of Sherlock Holmes.
Mailer’s mature yet romantic history of the CIA.
A Year of Gold and Mud
Letters from the first year of the Gold Rush.
Based on the novel by Harold Robbins. Loaded with booze, sex, ambition and avarice.
Let’s Get Lost
A gauzy, black and white account of Chet Baker told by those who loved him and those he betrayed (usually the same people).
The Man Who Haunted Himself
Roger Moore’s best film is a story of dopplegangers and corporate greed.
Basic Instinct 2
Elizabeth Trammel (Sharon Stone) goes on the road to Europe where– you can bet– her perverse appetites and charisma are unleashed.
The Card Counter
Paul Schrader’s noir love letter to poker takes up the psychological aftermath of US sanctioned torture during the invasion of Iraq.
A prime 70s cop drama with Elliot Gould and Robert Blake.
There is not a shred of irony in this epic rendition of the Viking eddas.
The Mad Doctor of Market Street
Despite its title this occasionally bizarre Code-era horror film by Joseph H. Lewis expends most of its energies on an island in the Pacific populated by ethnocentrically rendered “natives”.