Lotte H. Eisner: Fritz Lang (1976)

27 February 2017, dusan

“Fritz Lang, almost alone among his fellow continental refugees, was able to make outstanding films in both his native Germany and his adopted Hollywood. The director of Metropolis and M and Dr. Mabuse came to America in 1934 and began a long and distinguished career that included such films as You Only Live Once, The Woman in the Window, Scarlet Street, Ministry of Fear, Rancho Notorious, and The Big Heat. He is a key figure in the history of film noir, bringing to the screen a fatalist’s vision of a menacing world of criminals, misfits, and helpless victims, and providing a distinctive visual look to every film he directed. This film-by-film study of Lang’s oeuvre by one of the great film historians combines personal insight—Eisner and Lang had a long standing friendship—with deep historical understanding of Lang’s roots in German culture and cinema. Both true modernists, Eisner and Lang are perfectly matched, as this book clearly demonstrates.” (back cover)

Publisher Secker and Warburg, London, 1976
Reprint, Da Capo Press, New York, 1986
ISBN 0306802716
416 pages
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Charles Chaplin: My Autobiography (1964)

12 October 2014, dusan

“Born into a theatrical family, Chaplin’s father died of drink while his mother, unable to bear the poverty, suffered from bouts of insanity, Chaplin embarked on a film-making career which won him success, as well as intense controversy. His autobiography was written almost entirely without reference to documentation – simply as a feat of memory by a 75 year old man. It is a vivid reconstruction of a poor London childhood, the music hall and then his prodigious life in the movies.”

First published by Simon and Schuster, 1964
Publisher Pocket Books, New York, 1966
560 pages

Review (F.W. Dupee, The New York Review of Books, 1964)

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Ronald Hayman: Fassbinder: Film Maker (1984)

21 January 2013, dusan

Rainer Werner Fassbinder was simultaneously a maker of films and a man who ‘played with people’: the forty-three films he directed before his early death at the age of thirty-seven in 1982 were products of a convoluted game of emotions between him and a close-knit group of versatile actors. He wielded astonishing power over his artists, but though he was an oppressor, he made passionate cinematic statements about liberty in such productions as The Marriage of Maria Braun, Despair and Veronika Voss.

The films could not have been what they were if Fassbinder had not been what he was – the product of a lonely childchood, moody, impatient, jealous, vengeful, a drug addict, generous, brutal, and most vicious of all towards himself.

Aided by film stills and photographs from the private collections of those who knew him most intimately, Ronald Hayman presents a fascinating insight into the relationship between this obsessional, explosive personality and the unique films he created.

Publisher Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1984
ISBN 297784471
164 pages

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