by Paul Simpson
Mixed Sources, HK$135
This book, subtitled 397 Ways to Pick Up a DVD, purports to list only those movies the authors believe you will enjoy. They are not necessarily flicks you must watch before you die, they say, but they are all good films. Arranged by actor, director and genre, the book also includes works under titles such as 'psychos', 'hippies' and 'guilty pleasures'. Paul Simpson, Movie Lists' prime author, does not explain the decision-making process behind his and his contributors' selections, but this does not detract from the book's appeal. Even the contents pages are an interesting read, containing, apart from the above, such intriguing lists as Better than the Book (Orlando); Doppelgangers (The Man who Haunted Himself) and Robots (The Stepford Wives). Readers will no doubt be indignant about some exclusions. Why isn't Gallipoli included under 'Australian Gems'? And some might sigh at the misspelling of Hayao Miyazaki's name under the listing for Princess Mononoke, given that he is one of Japan's most prominent anime directors. Still, the reviews are pithy and should whet the appetite of anyone who has ever stared at rows of DVDs wondering what to choose.