Magazine article American Cinematographer

The Bookshelf

Magazine article American Cinematographer

The Bookshelf

Article excerpt


The 4th edition of AMERICAN CINEMATOGRAPHER MANUAL, recently issued by the American Society of Cinematographers, has been in the making ever since 1969, when the 3rd edition was published. What with Charles G. Clarke and Walter Strenge as its compilers and editors, a more qualified team of experts would be hard to assemble.

The manual's indispensable nature for cameramen at every level of proficiency, its exhaustive yet succinct coverage of all technical data of the craft, and its handy pocket-size format, bound in durable plastic, are too well known and appreciated to need further comment. What the 4th edition contributes is the revision and up-dating of information contained in previous issues, together with an evaluation of every new device, procedure and tool that has become available to date. Through abundant text, diagrams, tables and illustrations, the Manual covers cameras, lenses, accessories, color/b&w film, lights, exposure, processing and such specialized subjects as Super 8 and 16, day for night cinematography, helicopter shooting and blue screen. (ASC $17.50).

An attractive pictorial and statistical yearbook, SCREEN WORLD 1973 (Crown $8.95) combines the eye appeal of a profusely illustrated almanac with reliable reference data. Over 1,000 photographs and some 8,000 entries document all features released in the U.S. last year. Full cast&credits including cameramen, biographies, and vital statistics are included.

Leonard Maltin's comprehensive survey, THE DISNEY FILMS (Crown $9.95) will delight film buffs and serious students alike. An attractive large format volume, it is copiously illustrated and covers the full range of Disney's work (features, cartoons, TV shows and documentaries). While the tone is a trifle idolitory, the scholarship is irreproachable.


Lotte Eisner's classical study, MURNAU (U. of California Press $10.95/4.50), originally published in Paris in 1964, provides the first comprehensive English text about the director of such cinematic milestones as Nosferatu (1921), The Last Laugh (1 924), Sunrise (1927) and Tabu (1929). The book contains Murnau's biography, a critical interpretation of his theories, a first-hand account of his working methods, a detailed analysis of his films, and Nosferatu's screenplay.

An extraordinary gift for total recall of the spoken word enables playwright Kieran Tunney to recount his most intimate memories in TALLULAH-DARLING OF THE GODS (Dutton $6.95). The late star appeared in 17 films, from When Men Betray, a forgotten 1919 epic that brought her rave notices, to the 1966 777e Daydreamer, in which she dubbed the Sea Witch's voice. This biography is entertaining, sentimental and seemingly quite genuine.

Hollywood is dead. Long live Hollywood. This is the buoyant approach to a dream world in transition as seen by Arthur H. Lewis in IT WAS FUN WHILE IT LASTED (Simon & Schuster $8.95). Zesty interviews involve, among others, Mae West, Edward G. Robinson, Zsa Zsa Gabor and John Wayne, as well as Lewis Milestone, Dore Schary, skin-flick producer David Friedman, and ASC members Hal Mohr and James Wong Howe.

An important but little remembered innovator is recalled in Kalton C. Lahue's lively and documented book, MOTION PICTURE PIONEER: THE SELIG POLYSCOPE COMPANY (Barnes $10). …

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