The Bookshelf

Article excerpt

In Ginger Rogers' consistently upbeat memoir, Ginger My Story, one finds much about Hollywood in general and her career in particular, but precious little about the actress herself, as she sticks doggedly to her vow not to write a "sensational book"- in this case, a distinct understatement. Just the same, this is an engrossing chronicle replete with backstage anecdotes, names, and mostly nostalgia (HarperCollins, NYC, $22).

In Feminism Without Women, Tania Modleski effectively argues that despite a number of films like Three Men and a Baby, where a conventionally female role is played by men, this displacement relegates women to the sidelines instead of promoting gender equality and sharing (Doubleday, NYC, $39.95/ $13.95).

Interviews with 22 film personalities, taped by critic Judith Crist and transcribed in Take 22, reflect the professional and personal problems of such creative artists as Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews, Steven Spielberg, Anne Jackson and others (Continuum, NYC, $17.95).

Eleanor Coppola's Notes on the Making of Apocalypse Now (in a paperback edition) is a dramatic record that itemizes the myriad problems - familial, technical, logistical - that beset husband/ director Coppola's ménage during the filming of that epic production (Limelight, NYC, $14.95).

Sixty years of America's favorite pinups are celebrated in Hollywood Cheesecake, an awesome compilation of hundreds of stills assembled by Madison S. Lacy and Don Morgan. The compendium offers eye-catching samples of feminine pulchritude from all ranks of screen stardom (Citadel, NYC, $19.95).

In Bernard F. Dick's Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio, an informative introduction outlines the history of the company from its inauspicious 1920 debut to its 1989 purchase by the Sony Corporation. In addition, 13 original essays by leading film scholars discuss the films, genres, stars, directors and writers responsible for Columbia's regrowth (U. Press of Kentucky, Lexington, $30).

In Fade Out The Calamitous Final Days of MGM (now a paperback), the studio's demise is recounted by alert and knowledgeable former executive Peter Bart, revealing an almost unbelievable tale of greed, incompetence and folly (Anchor, NYC, $11).

A performing mime himself, Dan Kamin analyzes the techniques and craftsmanship of the greatest mime of all in Charlie Chaplin's One-Man Show. Kamin pinpoints Chaplin's means of achieving rapport with his audience and his experiments in integrating mime with talking pictures (So. Illinois U. Press, Carbondale, IL, $18.95).

The detailed script continuity of a classic underground film, Genet's Un Chant d'Amour, appears in The Cinema of Jean Genet by Jane Giles. The book also includes a history of the film's eventful production and distribution, Giles' comments on its problems with censorship and its place in Genet's literary oeuvre (Indiana U. …