The Bookshelf

Article excerpt

Grouping some 170 woman-centered World War II films in appropriate categories, Hollywood's Wartime Women by Michael Renov traces the relationship between these movies' themes and the social climate of the period. This scholarly study ascribes to Washington the pressures and limits placed on wartime artistic freedom. (UMI Research, Ann Arbor, MI, $49.95):

The mental image induced by a female voice on a film's soundtrack is probed by Kaja Silverman in The Acoustic Mirror. It considers the correlation between film theory and feminist psychoanalysis as it examines the manner whereby female voices illuminate a film's underlying sexual themes. (Indiana U. Press, Bloomington, $37.50/12.50).

A comprehensive directory useful to entertainment industry professionals and scholars, Sourcebook for the Performing Arts provides convenient access to documentation on film, television, radio and the stage through institutions and individuals. It is a valuable research tool despite conspicuous errors in addresses, obsolete and nonmethodical listings, and name misspellings. Compilers are Anthony Slide, Patricia K. & Stephen L. Hanson. (Greenwood, Westport, CT, $45).

Rewriting, rather than writing, is what makes for a salable screenplay: this is the advice that Hollywood script consultant Linda Seger offers in Making A Good Script Great. Her skillful analysis of a screenplays elements uses the script of Witness as an example of the effectiveness of the rewriting process. (Dodd Mead, NYC, $15.95/8.95).

The early achievements of Soviet cinema rode on an unprecedented tide of theoretical and polemical writings. A number of these are collected in a comprehensive volume, The Film Factory, translated and edited by Richard Taylor and co-edited by Ian Christie. These significant documents of the 1896-1939 period draw an impressive picture of the debates that shaped Soviet cinema as a major cultural force. (Harvard U. Press, Cambridge, MA, $49.95).

The foremost theoretician of film, Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein, left abundant material at his death 40 years ago. A first volume, Writings 1922-34, edited and translated by Richard Taylor, offers a definitive version of articles that present the development of Eisensteins thoughts and theories that vitally affected cinema as an art form. (Indiana U. Press, Bloomington, $37.50).

A major text by Sergei Eisenstein on the philosophical and esthetic basis of cinematography, Nonindifferent Nature assembles articles that cast a new light on the director's theoretical concepts. Translated by Herbert Marshall, they broaden Eisensteins theory of montage into a complex synthesis of literature, drama, the visual arts and music-a theory of culture and art as a whole. (Cambridge U, Press, NYC, $37.50).

In 500 Best British and foreign Films, editor Jerry Vermilye synopsizes old classics and recent movies, selected by the National Board of Review and available in cassettes. …