Book Review: Presley (Movie Icons)

Presley (Movie Icons), Taschen, Paul Duncan (ed) & F.X. Feeney (text), USA/EC/Japan, 2008, Soft (flexi) cover, 192 pages, Illustrated, ISBN: 9783822823231. Typical price: US$9.99/5.99UK Pounds

Another Elvis photo book has been released. Is it simply more of the same or does it offer value to the viewer? EIN recently took a look inside to find out.

The Taschen company is renowned for its interesting photo-journals on pop icons.  Its latest release focuses on Elvis and is a visually pleasing mix of excellent b&w and colour visuals.

All of the hundreds of visuals are complemented by a paragraph about each one.  As implied in the title all images are from Elvis� body of film work from 1956 to 1972. Most of the images are stills from individual films with a number of film posters and publicity shots also featured, including posters from non-English speaking countries.

The Guitar Man pose from Elvis' '68 Comeback Special is one still which breaks the otherwise movie showcase.

As I browsed through the book I was struck by the number of interesting "action" shots and several portrait visuals from Harum Scarum and Clambake. A number of double page spreads don't work due to the book's relatively small A5 (not much larger than pocket) size. This is unfortunate as their potential is restricted. A poster for Tickle Me for example is particularly intriguing but loses much in its two page format.

And despite its size, high quality, semi gloss paper stock allows each of the clear, crisp photos to really shine. 

The photos aren�t new but they are great eye candy! This is the type of book you will leaf through time and time again.

There is also a short narrative introduction by F.X. Feeney.  Both the narrative and photo captions are provided in three languages (English, German & French).

The book is split into five sections: Elvis Presley: Tender Heart; Visual Filmography; Chronology; Filmography; Bibliography.  It should be noted both the Filmography and Bibliography are minimalist.

Verdict: A solid release.  The concept has been done many times before but the quality visuals and accompanying text in Presley will please many fans.

Posted:  8th. May 2008 

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