Good Movies: a film noir in book form

Purchase, NY: Tideline Press, 1988. Signed Limited First Edition. Hardcover. Fine.


Edition of 30, this copy an Artist's Proof. This copy with more common variant verso of the colophon leaf, with text rather than without text. Good Movies was Seastone's MFA thesis project. According to the colophon: "GOOD MOVIES was printed by the artist on the flatbed Mailänder press at the Center for Editions, Division of Visual Arts, State University of New York at Purchase. GOOD MOVIES is a montage, a visual rewriting of the Kodak manual How to Make Good Movies. The facts have been changed to forewarn the innocent." Good Movies was one of 51 works in the 1990 Center for Book Arts exhibition "Book Arts in the USA," organized by Richard Minsky, founder of The Center for Book Arts (NY), which traveled to Africa and Latin America. In the catalog, which can be found in full on The Center for Book Arts website, Seastone says about Good Movies: "Between the lines of text there exist subtexts, the meaning of which can reveal a truer text. In the 1942 Kodak manual, How to Make Good Movies, I uncovered a visual subtext (literally the KOD in kodak) and found it to be a spy manual. The subtext required a "rewriting" which occurred almost independent of my editorial means, and after spilling out of the text found form in the book in its cinematic aspects: book as film noir. And learning well from the How to... the subtext logically became GOOD MOVIES. Important, too, in the visual effect of GOOD MOVIES is its large scale which I refer to as being the Silver Screen... I wanted the big screen as well as the dark theatre, invisible proscenium and so capture the audience. The slowness of turning the large pages not only slowed the pace of reading but also the hands on the first (of two) title pages became larger than life, and the hands turning the large scale, bleed-edge images developed an immediate physical connection to the story." Leonard Seastone is a book designer, printer, binder, and proprietor of the Tideline Press, the imprint he has been using since 1972. He studied poetry at Fairleigh Dickinson University and has an MFA (1988) from SUNY, Purchase College where he is an Assistant Professor of Book Arts. All pre-press photomechanical darkroom work and stripping, as well as final flatbed offset printing, done by the artist. Case binding. Black leather spine, spine title stamped in palladium, machine-made black and white end bands. Illustrated paper covered boards designed and printed by Seastone. Binding designed by Seastone and executed by Jack Fitterer. 36.5cm x 53.5cm x 1.6cm. Exhibited: "Book Arts in the USA," 1990, Center for Book Arts traveling exhibition.

Price: $1,800