The Bookshelf

By George, George L | American Cinematographer, February 1987 | Go to article overview

The Bookshelf


George, George L, American Cinematographer


An intellectual exercise by an eminent literary personality, Jean-Paul Sartre's The Freud Screenplay is stimulating to read, but inconceivable as a 7-hour film. Commissioned by Walter Huston, who eventually used fragments of it in Freud, The Secret Passion. Sartre's script is an intelligent dramatization of Freud's therapeutic methods (U. of Chicago Press. Chicago. $24.95).

David Byrne, lead singer of the rock band The Talking Heads, actor, and director of movie videos, has written (with Beth Hanley and Stephen Tobolowsky) and directed True Stories. The published script, amply illustrated, has been widely held as a "celebration of specialness," the quality of individualism that characterizes the "normal" American (Penguin, NYC, $15.95).

Written by Howard Koch and directed by Max Ophuls, Letter From an Unknown Woman is a faithful transcription of this classical movie where a romantic mood is cleverly played in counterpoint to an ironic response. Literary background material and production data are included (Rutgers U. Press, New Brunswick, NJ. $12).

A view of the British underworld, Mona Lisa is a tightly written script by David Leland and Neil Jordan, and directed by the latter. A contemporary morality tale, it adroitly introduces schmaltz into tawdry reality (Faber & Faber, Winchester, MA, $6.95).

A script of Caravaggio, written and directed by British filmmaker and painter Derek Jarman, is a lyrical celebration of the 16th century Italian painter's unconventional and violent life at the crossroads of art and homosexuality (Thames 3 Hudson, NYC, $16.95).

A stimulating study by Edward Murray, Fellini The Artist examines the Italian director's filmmaking methods from initial concept to final cut. This expanded and updated edition includes detailed critiques of 16 of FeIlini's most notable films, a bibliography and a filmography (Ungar. NYC. $12.95).

In Crackpot, John Waters, who directed such outlandish underground classics as Pink Flamingos and Polyester, comments irreverently on his "obsessions" (Lana Turner, Pia Zadora, dubbed foreign films, Hollywood glamour) and offers hilarious advice on how not to make a movie (Macmillan, NYC, $14.95).

A perceptive study by Tom Ryall, Alfred Hitchcock and the British Cinema, probes the influences that shaped Hitchcock's early work- a growing intellectual approach to movies, traditional British culture and Hitchcock's strong authorial figure (U. of Illinois Press. Champaign, $24.95).

In Leni Riefenstahl and "Olympia," Cooper C. Graham examines Riefenstahl's film about the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin. …

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