Lives from the silver screen in print

The life stories and work of various directors, film stars and others related to the world of cinema come in for treatments that, at times, provide quite a new and surprising focus

Challenging the limits of conventional biography are recent works like The Tao of Bill Murray

With shades that range from hanging out the dirty laundry to reflections on the profession and their own work, there are countless biographies and memoirs of film directors and actors. Some of them have become true classics, such as Donald Spoto's works on Alfred Hitchcock, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and others, or the memoirs of John Huston (An Open Book – Un Libro abierto) or Luis Buñuel's Mi último suspiro.

Among the recent works that stand out is Gilliamesque: A Pre-posthumous Memoir (Gilliamismos, Malpaso) by Terry Gilliam. Obviously, we could not expect the memoirs of such an eccentric character to be conventional, and this precious volume is as baroque as the universe of the filmmaker himself, full of anecdotes, footnotes, photographs and illustrations.

Also very visual and luxurious, but much more conventional, is a book dedicated to another director known for creating his own imaginary worlds, Tim Burton. Tim Burton (Libros Cúpula) looks back on the filmmakers' life, his films and the most important moments of his career.

While illustrator Paula Bonet's 813 provides a visual tribute to François Truffaut, another young illustrator, María Herreros, last year published Marilyn tenía once dedos en los pies (Lunwerg). This delightful book looks at a handful of Hollywood personalities and uses them to explain the history of cinema, with illustrations and handwritten typography, as well as anecdotes, curiosities and myths.

Also challenging the limits of conventional biography are such recent works as The Tao of Bill Murray (Blackie Books) by Gavin Edwards, a portrait of the eccentric personality and star of Lost in Translation. Meanwhile, in Atrapad la vida (Errata Naturae) the deceased Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky recalls his career and describes his obsessions. Along more classic lines is Marc Eliot's Jack Nicholson. A Biography (Lumen), while the sudden interest in the recently departed Carrie Fisher, of Princess Leia fame, is to get a boost this month with the publication of The Princess Diarist (El diario de la princesa, Nova).

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