Barbed Wire and Bare Bottoms

This month, find out what prisoners of war planted ... and why you love watching movies about monkey brains.

The morning after he loses his virginity, an angel-faced teen is murdered in Jean Claude Izzo’s Chourmo (Europa, $14.95), a thriller set in a Marseilles where religion, organized crime, and immigrant unrest ripple the sparkling scenery. … They filmed Flubber on Mare Island! Hundreds of local movie locations are revealed in Jim Van Buskirk and Will Shank’s Celluloid San Francisco (Chicago Review, $16.95). … Growing potatoes in the Lodz ghetto; prisoners of war planting bluebells behind barbed wire; a Buddhist meditation pond at Manzanar — Defiant Gardens (Trinity, $34.95) is landscape-architecture professor Kenneth I. Helphand’s gripping illustrated history of how humans have sown and reaped in the midst of war. … And war is a drug, as addicted embedded reporter David Axe and cartoonist Steven Olexa show in their graphic novel War-Fix (NBM, $15.95), set in an explosive Iraq. … Monkey brains, bare bottoms, mummified corpses, and slit-throated goats: If you loved Mondo Cane and Faces of Death, you’ll like Sweet & Savage (Headpress, $19.95), in which Mark Goodall chronicles shockumentaries.

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