The Bookshelf

By George, George L | American Cinematographer, November 1988 | Go to article overview

The Bookshelf


George, George L, American Cinematographer


Directors and producers are closely scrutinized in several recently published volumes that critically assess their work, careers, and personalities.

Jeffrey Chown's Hollywood Auteur: Francis Coppola describes the director in terms of a struggle between art and commerce and, while questioning the concept of "auteurism" under present Hollywood economic conditions, credits Coppola with managing his career in a most successful way. (Praeger, NYC, $39.35).

The colorful personality of a three-time Oscar-winning producer is brilliantly captured by Andrew Sinclair in Spiegel: The Man Behind the Picture. Hollywood held Sam Spiegel in low esteem for his sharp dealings, but The African Queen, The Bridge on the River Kwai and On the Waterfront raised him to the top ranks of his métier. (Little Brown, NYC, $17.95).

Australian film scholar C. G. Crisps perceptive study, Eric Rohmer: Realist and Moralist is an in-depth analysis of the French director's achievements while evaluating the connection between his movies' quiet intellectualism and his realist film theory. (Indiana U. Press, Bloomington, $29.95/11.50).

An addition to the well-established "Guide to References and Resources" series, Patrizio Rossi's Roberto Rosselini is a primary text for scholarly research. Its wealth of essential data includes a biography, a critical assessment, a thorough filmography, a list of writings by and about Rosselini, related theatrical activities, and archival sources. (G. K. Hall, Boston, $45).

Dealing with a 3-D and sci-fi film pioneer, aficionado Dana M. Reemes, in Directed by Jack Arnold, reviews the career of the director of such classics as Creature of the Black Lagoon and The Mouse ThatHoared. Arnold's early contribution to the genre is set forth in lively, extensive detail. (McFarland, Jefferson, NC, $24.95).

In Roger Corman: The Best of the Cheap Acts, Mark McGee writes warmly about producer-director Corman's successful career. Exploitation pictures were his specialty, and McGee's engrossing account of how and why Corman made them is a story well worth recording. (McFarland, Jefferson, NC, $24.95).

Published by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the 1987 Annual Index of Motion Picture Credits provides a fully cross-indexed production personnel raster of 379 U.S. and foreign features qualifying for this year's Academy Awards. Included is a 1976-1987 cumulative list of film titles. Meticulously edited by Ms. Byerly Woodward, it is an official record and an invaluable research tool, (AMPAS, Beverly Hills, CA, $80, $60 for subscribers).

An authoritative source of biographical information on 20th century entertainment industry personalities includes 90,000 obits originally appearing in weekly Variety, the established "show-biz bible." Obituaries 1905-1986, a massive 11volume set of facsimile reproductions, presents verified vital statistics, credits, and critical biographies. It provides researchers with a clear picture of the deceased person's reputation at the time of death. …

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