The Bookshelf

Article excerpt

PERSONALITIES ON PARADE

Jean Renoir's moving and delightful autobiography, MY LIFE AND MY FILMS, illuminates a span of personal filmmaking that produced some of the medium's lasting masterpieces. Now turned 80, Renoir evokes vividly and with wry humor his artistic accomplishments, his failures and frustrations, his friends and associates, and offers a sensitive account of his philosophical outlook. (Atheneum $10.)

In his compact and persuasive biography, CLINT EASTWOOD, Stuart M. Kaminsky reveals the psychological dilemmas of reconciling an innate striving for privacy with the necessities of public exposure. (Signet $1.50)

In THE WESTERN FILMS OF JOHN FORD, J. A. Place provides an insightful and knowledgeable -c!udy of Ford's epic vision of the West Illustrated with numerous stills and fr.me blowups, the book offers percep'.ve comments on the mythological function of Western heroes caugM in the subtle relationships '(the individual and society. (Citad'.i $12.)

The outstanding merit of Roger Manvell's Mography, CHAPLIN, is his meticuloij research into and resolution of t',e factual discrepancies found in mar,y previous works and sometimes compounded by the master comedian himself. It is a perceptive probe of Chaplin's persona and a nearly definitive, skillfully written account of his career. (Little Brown $6.95)

The life of one of our most successful screen and stage writers is documented in GEORGE S. KAUFMAN AND HIS FRIENDS, a superlative biography by Scott Meredith. This massive (723 pages) and entertaining memoir offers an intimate chronicle of a lively era and of its fascinating protagonists. (Doubleday $12.50.)

Arthur Lennig, a teacher of cinema at New York State U., writes an inspiring and melancholy biography of his youthful dream figure, THE COUNT: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BELA "DRACULA" LUGOSI. From matinee idol to stereotyped screen villain, Lugosi's career is recounted with compassion and candor in well-researched facts.A carefully compiled filmography is appended. (Putnam $10.)

The seminal contribution of British documentary filmmakers is recorded by one of them, director Harry Watt, in DON'T LOOK INTO THE CAMERA. This lively, humorous book centers on the war years when the timeliness and relevancy of the genre were permanently established. (St. Martin's $6.95)

A literate and insightful biography of Paul Muni, ACTOR, is the work of playwright Jerome Lawrence in whose stage production "Inherit the Wind" Muni gave a memorable performance. Rich in humorous anecdotes and fascinating facts, this is an affectionate, analytical study of a talented and tortured man. (Putnam $10.)

From Broadway to Hollywood and back, Harold Clurman surveys in his autobiographical ALL PEOPLE ARE FAMOUS a career that encompasses theater, movies and literature. His gregarious nature, his understanding of people, his affinity with artists in all media give his memoirs the rich texture of a thoroughly-enjoyed life. (Harcourt Brace $8.95)

A detailed study of the director's 17 major works, THE FILMS OF FRANK · CAPRA by Donald C. Willis explores the themes and the artistry of one of the_ most thoughtful craftsmen of his generation. …