The Arts Bookstore of the Internet
created by Matt Zoller Seitz
“Outside of a Dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” ~Groucho Marx
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THE ENTIRE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF THE MOST POPULAR FANTASY FILM OF ALL TIME!—cover tagline
A rare, oversized, black-and-white paperback coffee-table book from 1976, issued to cash in on the remake that was released that same year, about the production of the original 1933 King Kong, with its stop-motion effects. Co-authors Orville Golden and George E. Turner take readers through the entire process, with thoroughly illustrated and annotated explanations of how the filmmakers created the studio jungle sets, the miniature island forests and mountains, and of course, the colossus himself. A chapter near the end even tells you about the different subsequent productions that re-used King Kong's sets and special effects plates. The list includes Gone with the Wind, which torched some of the movie's still-standing sets in 1938 for the burning of Atlanta sequence.
The tale begins with adventurer-filmmakers Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, whose exotic films shot on location in such remote areas as Siam and Persia were prelude to their fateful voyage to Skull Island, years later.
Then, with narrative verve, impeccable research, and technical detail, authors Turner and Price give a full account not only of the original Kong's cast and crew, in particular famed special effects pioneer Willis O'Brien, but also the politics, pitfalls, and ultimate triumph that characterized the production.
Turner and Price also analyze the earlier gorilla, dinosaur, and jungle films that preceded Kong, like the notorious Ingagi, as well as the many that followed it, including Captive Wild Woman, The Lost World, Mighty Joe Young, the Kong remakes, and dozens more.
"Ladies and gentlemen, look at Kong, the eighth wonder of the world..."
NOTE: This book has been out of print for over 40 years and is only available in affordable versions via used booksellers. All copies are in good condition, but some ordinary wear-and-tear is inevitable. A new expanded and updated version different from this copy. This is the vintage book with the wear of a book 40 plus years.
MZS.Press is the online arts bookstore founded by author, critic, and filmmaker Matt Zoller Seitz. It offers a variety of new, used, signed, collectible, and rare books on film, television, music, photography, and the visual arts. The store was launched in 2019 under the direction of the founder's late wife, Cincinnati-based businesswoman and activist Nancy Dawson, and was originally hosted by Shopify until the platform became corrupt and started destroying independent merchants by freezing their accounts without explanation and making them jump through administrative and legal hoops before shutting them down and taking whatever was left of their money. This same fate was visited upon this store, prompting Seitz and his business partner Judith Carter to relocate here, the better to preserve a hospitable environment for the types of authors they like to champion: independent voices, often published by small presses whose extraordinary work tends to get swallowed up on giant platforms like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The store's inventory of nearly 1000 volumes is currently in the process of being reconstructed after its relocation. The titles featured here are personally selected by a group of curators and advisors, including Seitz, Carter, and an array of critics, artists, journalists, educators, publishers, and arts mavens who are known for their ability to suss out what the author's jazz musician father once called "the good sh*t."
The plot thickens, as they say. Why, by the way? Is it a soup metaphor?
Matt Zoller Seitz
Critic, Author, Filmmaker, MZS Press Creator
Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large of RogerEbert.com. He is also the TV critic for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. His writing on film and television has appeared in The New York Times, Salon.com, The New Republic and Sight and Sound. Seitz is the founder and original editor of the influential film blog The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine, and the co-founder and original editor of Press Play, an IndieWire blog of film and TV criticism and video essays.
Seitz has written, narrated, edited or produced over a hundred hours’ worth of video essays about cinema history and style for The Museum of the Moving Image, Salon.com and Vulture, among other outlets. His five-part 2009 video essay Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style was spun off into the hardcover book The Wes Anderson Collection. This book and its follow-up, The Wes Anderson Collection: Grand Budapest Hotel were New York Times bestsellers.
Other Seitz books include The Sopranos Sessions, Mad Men Carousel, and the newly published by MZS Press, The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon. He also wrote the New York Time Best Sellers Mad Men Carousel: The Complete Critical Companion, and TV (The Book). He is currently working on a science fiction puppet movie, a memoir about his two marriages, and an epic non-fiction television series covering 50 years in the life of his extended family.
His hobbies include exotic dancing, moonwalking, and affixing masking tape labels to every food item in the refrigerator, including eggs.
He has the attention span of a gnat.