Magazine article American Cinematographer

The Bookshelf

Magazine article American Cinematographer

The Bookshelf

Article excerpt


In the revised edition of his classical work, MOTION PICTURE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ART, A. R. Fulton expands on his analysis of dramatic theories and genres as they apply to the film medium. His shot-by-shot examination of landmark movies upholds his theory of the special nature of cinematic art (U. of Oklahoma Press $14.95).

The convergence of cinema and culture is analyzed by Susan Sontag in UNDER THE SIGN OF SATURN. It carries a blistering essay on Leni Riefenstahl as an apologist for Nazi ideology, and a perceptive view of Nazi esthetics as satirized in Hans-Jurgen Syberberg's allegorical film, Hitler: A Film From Germany (Farrar, Straus, Giroux $10.95).

Victor S. Navasky's powerful in-depth study of the Hollywood witch-hunt in the McCarthy years, NAMING NAMES, focuses on the informers and their victims, each group including prominent members of the film community. The ethics of informing, the high price paid in economic hardships and psychological sanity are detailed through personal interviews and official reports (Viking $15.95).

In HUNGARIAN CINEMA TODAY: HISTORY MUST ANSWER TO MAN, Graham Petrie centers on notable directors-Miklos Jancso, Istvan Szabo, Marta Meszaros and others-in a knowledgeable and informative study of film style, content and esthetics in Hungary's films (N.Y. Zoetrope $8.95).

The Fine Arts Company, in production between 1915 and 1917, is chronicled by Anthony Slide in THE KINDERGARTEN OF THE MOVIES, where such eventual celebrities as D. W. Griffith, Douglas Fairbanks, Lillian Gish and Mae Marsh took their first steps (Scarecrow $13.50).

Hollywood's influence on style in women's attire is acknowledged in W. Robert La Vine's IN A GLAMOROUS FASHION. It features sketches and photographs of dresses by such trendsetting studio costume designers as Adrian, Travis Banton, Edith Head and many others.

Film emporiums of the silent era, their opulent decor and architectural flamboyance, are evoked in a glossy volume by Lucinda Smith, MOVIE PALACES: SURVIVORS OF AN ELEGANT ERA, replete with stunning photographs by Ave Pildas (Potter/Crown $17.95).

An essential reference tool, EDUCATIONAL FILM LOCATOR (2nd edition) is a monumental compilation containing 40,000 movies of every origin suitable for classroom use. Judiciously selected by librarians affiliated with Consortium of University Film Centers, titles are fully annotated in all pertinent respects and conveniently cross-indexed (Bowker $50 + shipping).


John Huston's zestful autobiography, AN OPEN BOOK, reflects his enthusiasms for life and his determination to leave his mark on it. Besides comments on filmmaking, Huston writes candidly and at length about his friends, his love affairs and marriages, his fights and his constant itch for action (Knopf $15).

Richard Koszarski, in THE RIVALS OF D. W. GRIFFITH, appraises the work of such Griffith contemporary directors as Marshall Neilan, Mauritz Stiller, Louis Feuillade, as well as Chaplin and De Mille, whose innovative techniques contributed to the progress of film art (N. …

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