As the saying goes, writing about music is a lot like dancing about architecture. When you’re dealing with intensely visual directors, writing about movies isn’t much better. Most of the time, you’d do better telling the story in pictures.
Taschen has been doing just that, telling stories through notes, production stills, and frame englargements. Their most recent edition for Stanley Kubrick takes a tour from his early noir trappings—especially the overlooked *Killer’s Kiss*—through the immersive, dreamlike approach that made him famous.
His frames also make better coffee table fodder than any other Hollywood director we could name, which matters a lot more than you’d think.
While suit-makers look increasingly towards the accountants and ad men of the 50s and 60s, it’s amazing to think they’re overlooking one of the best subcultures of the era. Forget the twenties: the fifties and sixties were the real jazz age.
Miles Davis speaks for himself, but a whole generation of icons stood along with him, ditching the porkpie hats and traditional chord structures in favor of a new kind of music and a new kind of style. Taschen did us a favor rounding up 500 pages worth of album covers for their appropriately named *Jazz Covers*. We can’t think of a better window into the age…other than the albums, that is.
They may seem quaint and horribly rural, but the appeal of the circus has never quite disappeared. And, as Thom Browne recently reminded us, their influence is far from disappearing.
Taschen has just come out with a book that should be the perfect primer if you’re looking to brush up on your clowns. It’s called *The Circus, 1870-1950*, covering 80 years of traveling entertainment, complete with its own posters, stars and sense of style.