The Bookshelf

Article excerpt

STUDIES OF THE CINEMA

This Spring has seen a profusion of serious and engrossing books on the theoretic, social and literary aspects of cinema. Eric Rhode's A HISTORY OF THE CINEMA is such a book, a brilliant and informative overview of worldwide motion picture production since its origins. It relates film to the societies from which it emerged, reappraising the work of leading moviemakers and re-examining the status of cinematic landmarks. (Hill & Wang $17.50)

James Monaco's THE NEW WAVE examines the influence of five French directors - Truffaut, Godard, Chabrol, Rohmer and Rivette - on established concepts of filmmaking. A thoughtful and important study of a movement that changed the course of film history. (Oxford U. Press $15.95)

A penetrating essay by Martin Jay on philosopher Siegfried Kracauer, whose book, Theory of Film, is a basic thesis on the esthetics of the cinema, appears in a special issue of the quarterly SALMAGUNDI. (Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866; $4.)

A critique of contemporary cinema, Donald J. Drew's IMAGES OF MAN questions the ethical values promoted by film and reflected by it, and offers a metaphysical solution to these social matters. (InterVarsity Press, Box F, Downers Grove, IL 60515; $2.95)

The evolution of cinema art has been the subject of much speculative comment that is expertly appraised and summarized by J. Dudley Andrew. In THE MAJOR FILM THEORIES, he guides us from the psychological derivations of Hugo Munsterberg and the montage esthetics of Eisenstein to Christian Metz's film/language analogies. (Oxford U. Press $3.95)

How French and German films of the 20's reflected the cross-currents of their countries' social trends is discussed by Paul Monaco in CINEMA AND SOCIETY, a well-researched and engrossing portrait of a turbulent era. (Elsevier$9.95)

A valuable reference text, BASIC BOOKS IN THE MASS MEDIA, compiled and annotated by Eleanor Blum, provides information on close to 800 volumes dealing with the literature of the film and other communications media. (U. of Illinois Press $8.)

Periodic additions to Ralph Newman Schoolcraft's PERFORMING xiARTS BOOKS IN PRINT: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY are issued quarterly since the 1973 publication of the book. (DBS, 150 W. 52St., NYC 10019; $2.50 quarterly)

An enjoyable exploration of bad taste in movies - as well as in all other popular arts - is to be found in Curtis F. Brown's STAR-SPANGLED KITSCH, replete with outrageously funny and pathetically embarrassing examples of the worst in our mass culture. (Universe $15.)

THE CRAFTS OF PRODUCTION

The story of a corporation and of the four filmmakers who founded and managed it - Pickford, Chaplin, Fairbanks and Griffith - is told by Tino Balio in UNITED ARTISTS, a scholarly job of research into its business transactions, production activities and personality conflicts during a vital era of the industry. (U. of Wisconsin Press $15.)

Arthur Marx's biography GOLDWYN: THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH is a lively, witty, and fact-filled saga. It captures the authentic flavor of the producer's personality, a unique blend of puzzling contradictions and very human traits. …