The tale of composer George Antheil and Hedy Lamarr's invention in the 1940s of a type of spread spectrum radio, a technique essential to wireless communications to this day, may be relatively well-known, but Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World "is the first book-length attempt to rescue this odd and marvelous story from the dustbin of history," writes Laura Miller in Salon. Richard Rhodes, "who won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1986 book, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, unites the social history of Vienna, the classic era of Hollywood film, Paris in the 20s, experimental music, weapons design, the niceties of patent law and the technology of information transmission — a real grab bag of elements — in this short, charming and remarkably seamless book."
Writing for Slate, Sam Kean finds that "Rhodes succeeds in the most vital thing — capturing the spirit of a willful woman who wanted recognition for more than her pretty face — but he skims over the deeper questions that Lamarr's life story raises about the nature of creative genius." Related listening (8'09"): Rhodes is interviewed on All Things Considered.
"Emily W Leider intends to rescue [Myrna Loy] from Nora Charles, an admirable effort," writes Rachel Shteir in the New Republic. "But this is harder than it looks. One problem with Myrna Loy: The Only Good Girl in Hollywood, as Leider titles her book, after the nickname that John Ford gave the star who didn't sleep around, is that it is a strain to make the good girl interesting for 411 pages."
One last book-related item, and a good one it is, too. Catherine Grant links to over 50 free sample chapters from new Palgrave Macmillan/BFI film and television books.
In other news. Mohammad Rasoulof has surprised the organizers of the Around the World in 14 Films series by confirming that he'll accept the invitation to present Good Bye in Berlin on Wednesday. Along with Jafar Panahi, Rasoulof was arrested in December 2010 and, while Panahi's six-year sentence has been upheld, Rasoulof's has been reduced to one year, which he has not yet begun serving.
Brian Raftery profiles David Fincher in the new issue of Wired.
Awards. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two was one of a host of double winners at the Bafta children's awards on Sunday night," reports Keith Stuart in the Guardian.
In the works. "According to Anime News Network, Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki revealed in an interview that studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki's next film is 'not the sort of work that everyone in the audience can relax and watch,'" reports Hugo Ozman at Twitch. "He stated that Miyazaki intends to make something realistic about the current state of Japan in the aftermath of the tsunami and nuclear crisis."
Martin Scorsese "tells MTV (via The Film Stage) that he hopes to shoot The Irishman, his long-percolating mooted reteam with Robert De Niro, which may also involve Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel, 'in the next year or so,'" reports Oliver Lyttelton at the Playlist. "The film, an adaptation of Charles Brandt's book I Heard You Paint Houses, follows Frank Sheeran, a teamster who doubled as a organized crime hitman, and would feature a script by Steve Zaillian (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)…. Further down the line, Scorsese also confirmed to MTV that he's still hoping to make Sinatra, his biopic of the legendary singer, at some point, and confirmed, as long expected, that he wants to cast frequent colalborator Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role."
"17 years after 1994's Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and 27 years after 1984's The Company of Wolves…, celebrated Irish director Neil Jordan is set to return to the genre with Byzantium," reports Naman Ramachandran for Cineuropa. "Written by Moira Buffini (Jane Eyre) and based on her own play, the film will follow a mother and daughter vampire duo [Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton] that hunt as a pair."
Viewing (67'14"). The Hollywood Reporter hosts a directors roundtable discussion with Alexander Payne, Mike Mills, Steve McQueen, Jason Reitman, Bennett Miller and Michel Hazanavicius. You can also watch clips from the writers roundtable — Pedro Almodóvar, Dustin Lance Black, Oren Moverman, Eric Roth, Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian — and the actresses roundtable: Glenn Close, Charlize Theron, Carey Mulligan, Michelle Williams, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer.
And finally for now, a spectacular browse, Stanley Kubrick's New York: "Now, for the first time, fine art prints of Kubrick's work as a photojournalist are available for sale. Previously only available for viewing in museum archives or in books about Kubrick, curators at the Museum of the City of New York and art advisors at VandM examined over 10,000 negatives of Kubrick's photos to hand select 25 for this limited edition sale on VandM."