Saturday, January 30, 2010

Turner Classic Movies features Mark Griffin's new book

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A Hundred or More Hidden Things: The Life and Films of Vincente Minnelli

Vincente Minnelli’s genius as a film maker is undisputed. The Oscar®-winning director of such cinematic classics as Meet Me in St. Louis, An American in Paris, and Gigi, Minnelli infused his films and their characters with depth and complexity. That Minnelli was also married to Judy Garland (among others) and was Liza Minnelli’s father only added to his notoriety and mystique. Minnelli’s intense privacy regarding his personal life, including his sexuality, has long intrigued film aficionados. Hollywood historians and devotees of his work have interpreted Minnelli’s themes to be at least partly autobiographical, but until now the extent to which Minnelli’s life both shaped and is reflected in his films has remained unsatisfactorily explored.

Mark Griffin became fascinated with Vincente Minnelli and his work in 1984 when he discovered Minnelli’s second to last achievement, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Calling the incident “life-altering,” Griffin committed to piecing together every facet of Minnelli’s life in an effort to understand how his experiences were captured in his richly layered movies. As part of his research, Griffin interviewed over a hundred of the people closest to Minnelli — people whose relationships with him spanned decades and different areas of his life — including actors Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Lauren Bacall, and Angela Lansbury. A Hundred or More Hidden Things: The Life and Films of Vincente Minnelli (Da Capo Press) is the culmination of Griffin’s work — a comprehensive biography that illuminates Minnelli’s subtle, but unmistakable, autobiographical revelations.

Mark Griffin’s essays, film reviews, and reporting have appeared in the Boston Globe, Out, Genre, and in several anthologies. He lives in Lewiston, Maine.

A Hundred or More Hidden Things: The Life and Films of Vincente Minnelli will be available March 1 from bookstores everywhere.

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