Hitchcock Lost and Found: The Forgotten Films by Alain Kerzoncuf and Charles Barr (University Press of Kentucky, 248 pp., $45). The Master of Suspense, famous for Rear Window and Vertigo, The Birds and Psycho, began his career in silent cinema, apprenticing in Berlin, moved from London to Hollywood before World War II, and hosted his own weekly TV series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, in the 1950s and 1960s.
This deeply researched book examines Hitch's lesser-known works, including lost and aborted projects, his war-effort shorts in the U.S. and U.K., even a cancer PSA he made for NBC. The authors draw connections between these faded, forgotten titles and Hitchcock's critical and commercial hits, showing how the failures fueled success, how setbacks led to masterworks, how small ideas turned big.
For the Hitchcock completist, Hitchcock Lost and Found is an essential resource.
Mr. Turner (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $30.99 DVD; $34.99 Blu-ray) Mike Leigh's meticulously observed chronicle of the last quarter in the life of the British artist J.M.W. Turner, with Timothy Spall grunting, grimacing and deeply moving as the son of a London barber who became one of the great painters of his time - of any time. Nominated for four Academy Awards.
The Blu-ray edition boasts a "Cinematography of Mr. Turner" featurette detailing how Leigh and his longtime director of photography, Dick Pope, set out to emulate on the big screen the sense of light and space, the drama of the natural world, evident in Turner's work.
Orson Welles's Last Movie: The Making of "The Other Side of the Wind" by Josh Karp. (St. Martins Press, 336 pp., $26.99). "An adventure shared by desperate men that finally came to nothing" is how John Huston described his long and stormy collaboration with Orson Welles on The Other Side of the Wind, a show-biz drama, written and directed by Welles, that was going to redeem his career.
Begun in 1970, when the Citizen Kane auteur returned to Hollywood after years of self-imposed exile in Europe, Welles' ambitious comeback was about a legendary director - played by legendary director Huston - who returns to Hollywood from, yes, years of exile in Europe. Left unfinished at his death, Welles' swan song became ensnared in decades of legal and financial dispute. Karp explores every aspect of the making - and unmaking - of Welles' project, which he insisted wasn't autobiography.
It was hoped that an epic restoration of The Other Side of the Wind, with Peter Bogdanovich as one of its driving forces, would have its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, which begins May 13. It is not on the festival schedule.