Partners West says that Soft Skull is about to launch a series of books called Deep Focus. They will do to movies, basically, what the 33 1/3 line of books do for albums: a long-form essay about the making and/or the importance of one work of art. I think this is a spectacular idea for a series of books, especially since the first book in the series will be Jonathan Lethem writing about They Live. (The cover looks great, too.)

David Thompson did something kind of similar recently with the Great Stars series of books about Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, and Bette Davis. I can personally attest that the Bogart one, at least, was pretty amazing. I think these sorts of books—thin, focused, attractive—make for a great, intense reading experience; you can put one away in an afternoon and you come away knowing a lot more about one particular subject. I don't read that many magazines these days, but I'd love to walk into a specialized bookstore and find hundreds of these long essay books. They fill the same need as magazines.