BG -- Theater and Performing Arts

Das neue Lexikon des Fantasy-Films: mehr als 1300 Fantasy-Filme mit filmografischen Angaben, Produktionsdaten, Inhalt, Besetzung und Besprechungen [The New Dictionary of Fantasy Films: More than 1,300 Fantasy Films with Filmography, Production Data, Content, Cast, and Commentaries]. Ronald M. Hahn and Rolf Giesen. Berlin: Lexikon-Imprint-Verlag, 2001. 631 p. ill. 24 cm. Previous title: Lexikon des phantastischen Films. ISBN 3-89602-281-4: DM 49.80 [01-2-333]

The authors, experts in all film genres of science fiction, horror, and fantasy, here combine and revise their two previous dictionaries (Hahn, Lexikon des Fantasy-Films, 1986, and Giesen, Lexikon des phantastischen Films, 1984), maintaining the same subject scope but almost doubling the total number of pages and film titles. Since this is a booming genre, films from the last 15 years in particular have been added, but also some older ones, especially from Eastern Europe. The selection ranges from positive to negative examples and from brief pans to comprehensive reviews. The style is journalistic and readable, the filmography sufficiently accurate. A bibliography lists over 200 titles related to film and genre. The range of films includes "the supernatural, fairy tales, myth, fables, religious miracles, apparitions, legends, hauntings, and magic, as well as the surreal and the Kafkaesque." The selection is therefore arbitrary, and the authors do not assume that the reader would use this dictionary as a guide for building a personal collection of fantasy films. [wub/mjc]


Das grosse Lexikon der DEFA-Spielfilme: (die vollständige Dokumentation aller DEFA-Spielfilme von 1946 bis 1993) [The Big Encyclopedia of DEFA Feature Films: Complete Documentation of all DEFA Feature Films from 1946 to 1993]. F.-B. Habel. Description of contents, Renate Biehl. Berlin: Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, 2000. 757 p. ill. 24 cm. (The filmographies and descriptions of contents are taken, unless otherwise noted, from the book: Das zweite Leben der Filmstadt Babelsberg, Berlin, 1994.) ISBN 3-89602-349-7: DM 49.80 [01-1-082]

The film historian Habel has published several books about film in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), including Lexikon der DDR-Stars (see RREA 6:176). Now he provides a complete filmography of 700 feature films produced by DEFA between 1946 and 1993. This is practically the entire production of the GDR, given DEFA's virtual monopoly. The articles are arranged in alphabetical order. Each gives production lists, length, the dates of production and premiere, place of premiere, and cast list, followed by sections on contents, a brief evaluation, quotations from reviews in the GDR and West German press, and miscellaneous information. Most of the entries are accompanied by title-page illustrations from printed programs. The appendix lists short films, films that were not finished or never shown, and productions of GDR television that were shown in cinemas. There is a bibliography of newspapers, magazines, and other cited works. The only index lists directors and others who had substantial artistic responsibility. Despite the repetition of filmographic data and descriptions of contents from Das zweite Leben der Filmstadt Babelsberg, this encyclopedia is worth acquiring because of the additional information and reviews. [sh/gh]


Karl-May-Filmbuch: Stories und Bilder aus der deutschen Traumfabrik

Karl-May-Filmbuch: Stories und Bilder aus der deutschen Traumfabrik [Karl May Film Book: Stories and Pictures from the German Dream Factory]. Michael Petzel. 2d exp. ed. Bamberg; Radebeul: Karl-May-Verlag, 1999. 543, 64 p. ill. 18 cm. (Sonderband zu den gesammelten Werken Karl Mays). ISBN 3-7802-0153-4: DM 58.00 [01-2-334]

Der Weg zum Silbersee: Dreharbeiten und Drehorte der Karl-May-Filme [The Trail to Silver Lake: Filming and Locations of the Karl May Films]. Michael Petzel. Berlin: Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, 2001. 286, 60 p. ill. 23 x 25 cm. ISBN 3-89602-358-6: DM 78.00 [01-2-335]

The Karl-May-Filmbuch (1st ed., 1998) first discusses the success of films of Karl May's works and continues with short biographies of the main actors, followed by detailed descriptions (plots, actors, background history, directors, filming, quotes from the press and other critics) of the films in chronological order from 1920 to 1990 and a select annotated bibliography. It is primarily a thoroughly researched handbook for Karl May fans, but also recommended for those doing research on film in general.

Der Weg zum Silbersee, a richly illustrated work, begins with memoirs of the French actress Marie Versini, the most striking of the heroines in the Karl May films, and progresses to information on the shooting locations (especially Yugoslavia). The main section contains information, in chronological order, on all Karl May film and television productions: content, criticism, filmography, and especially detailed facts on the locations, down to individual scenes (with directions for fans who want to visit the sites). Unfortunately it lacks an index of the actors. Above all this is a book for long-time fans--research libraries will find the Karl-May-Filmbuch sufficient. [sh/mjc]


Lexikon Literaturverfilmungen: Verzeichnis deutschsprachiger Filme 1945-2000 [Dictionary of Films of Literary Works: Index of German-Language Films 1945-2000]. Comp. Klaus M. Schmidt and Ingrid Schmidt. 2d exp. and updated ed. Stuttgart; Weimar: Metzler, 2001. xiii, 650 p. 24 cm. ISBN 3-476-01801-6: DM 128.00 [01-2-336]

A review of this second edition is worthwhile (1st ed., 1995) owing to a significant amount of revision and updating. The number of films listed has increased by more than a third, not because of the lengthened period of coverage, but because of the addition of film titles in all the decades it spans. To be sure, it is notable that the number of films from the 1980s far exceeds those of the 1990s, casting some doubt on the accuracy of the coverage. The inclusion of a number of works that are a product of the opposite phenomenon (i.e., original films appearing later as printed works) is beyond the expected range. For this particular category of German-language films, this work is the most comprehensive and detailed for reference purposes. Supplementary information can be relatively easily gathered from other sources, and thus this dictionary provides good, sufficient information within its stated scope. [sh/mjc]


Lexikon der deutschen Soaps: Schauspieler, Macher, Rollen aller deutschen Dailys und Weeklys [Lexicon of German Soaps: The Actors, Producers, and Characters of German Daily and Weekly Soaps]. Jovan Evermann. Berlin: Lexikon-Imprint-Verlag, 2000. 413 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 3-890602-274-1: DM 39.50 [01-2-338]

A year after publication of his four-volume Serien-Guide: das Lexikon aller Serien im Deutschen Fernsehen von 1978 bis heute [Guide to TV Series: Lexicon of all Series Seen on German TV from 1978 to the Present] (Berlin, 1999), Evermann returns with Lexikon der deutschen Soaps. In the Serien-Guide, Evermann provided details on some 3,171 TV series, including around 1,800 undubbed, original German productions that were shown on German TV over the past 20 plus years. In the Lexikon, Evermann focuses in detail on 14 German-language series that ran during early-to-late evening on either state-managed or private channels. A general introduction with many factoids on each series is followed by information on producers, actors, their roles, company names, and other details. The biographies of the producers and actors contain little more than their education and a list of the roles they played; this section is illustrated with poorly reproduced black-and-white photos of about half the actors. The "biographies" of the characters summarize what happened to the character over the course of the series. With content designed to meet the information needs of fans of these particular series, the Lexikon serves others primarily as a document of contemporary popular culture. [sh/jb]


Lexikon der Special Effects: von den ersten Filmtricks bis zu den Computeranimationen der Gegenwart; zur Geschichte und Technik der visuellen und mechanischen Spezialeffekte, der Zeichenfilm-, Modell-, Puppen- und Computeranimation, der synthetischen Filme und virtuellen Kamera [Lexicon of Special Effects: From the First Film Tricks to the Computer Animation of the Present; The History and Technology of Visual and Mechanical Special Effects, of Cartoon, Model, Puppet, and Computer Animation, and of Montage Films and the Virtual Camera]. Rolf Giesen. Berlin: Lexikon-Imprint-Verlag, 2001. 379 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 3-89602-283-0: DM 39.80 [01-2-340]

Giesen's Lexikon provides an alphabetically arranged compendium of more than 1,500 special effects terms and their definition, including information on abbreviations, individuals, companies, films, characters, etc. Entries range in length from one to two lines to several pages, and are often replete with dense cross-references and pages-long lists of movies, unfortunately without any explanatory commentary. Poorly identified quotations and black-and-white illustrations of bad quality are intended to enliven the work. Giesen is especially interested in traditional special effects, and this is the strength of the work, but more recent developments based on computer technology are neglected as a result. A bibliography of 150 monographs and collected works and 17 specialist journals offers materials for further reading. [sh/jb]


Lexikon der Film- und Fernseh-Synchronisation: Stars und Stimmen: wer synchronisiert wen in welchem Film?; mehr als 2000 Filme und Serien mit ihren deutschen Synchronsprechern; mit einer Einführung in die Welt der Synchronisation, Kurzbiografien vieler Synchron-Schauspieler [Lexicon of Film and TV Dubbing: Stars and Voices: Who Dubs Whom in Which Film? More than 2,000 Films and Series Listing the Actors Who Did the Dubbing into German, Including an Introduction to the World of Dubbing and Short Biographies of Many Actors Who Worked in Dubbing]. Thomas Bräutigam. Berlin: Lexikon-Imprint-Verlag, 2001. 499 p. ill. 21 cm. ISBN 3-89602-289-X: DM 36.00 [01-2-341]

Despite its importance, dubbing has received little attention by film scholars, and there are no reference works dealing extensively with this topic. In Lexikon der Film- und Fernseh-Synchronisation, Bräutigam takes on the task of making the work of dubbing more accessible to the general public. In the 30-page introduction he sketches the history of film dubbing in Germany since the 1930s and looks at the techniques, working conditions, and aesthetics of this underrated activity. The major part of the work consists of a listing of some 2,000 films dubbed into German since 1945. Entries, arranged alphabetically by the German translation of the title, include the original-language title, the director, production year of the original, name of the dubbing company, dialogue author and director, and the German dubbing actor, together with the original-language actor and the role dubbed. There is also a section of 160 half-page biographies of actors who worked in dubbing, with information on their acting careers and a list of their important dubbing roles. Half of these biographies include a photograph. Interesting is that today all the dubbing into German is done by a small cadre of some 30 actors, compared to the 160 identified by Bräutigam.

For lack of space or other reasons, some types of information have been omitted, but can be tracked down in other reference tools. For example, the Lexikon lists only a small number of the films dubbed by the East German DEFA Studios, and there is no index of original titles. Improvements to this reference tool would include a better cross-referencing system linking films and dubbing actors, more details on dubbing companies, a better list of sources consulted, etc. Nonetheless, Bräutigam's Lexikon does groundbreaking work on this neglected area of film research. In future, information on dubbing will be an integral element in dictionaries, lexicons, and encyclopedias dealing with films and film history. [wub/jb]


Reclams Filmführer [Reclam's Film Guide]. Dieter Krusche. 11th. rev. ed. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2000. 797 p. ill. 22 cm. ISBN 3-15-010477-7: DM 59.80 [01-2-343]

The 11th edition of this "standard work" appears in essentially the same form four years after the previous one. Of the now ca. 1,000 films treated, the latest additions represent only two percent of the total. The chapter on directors has been dropped, and the index of original and German titles has been greatly reduced. As before, films are listed under their original titles with solid content description and filmic historical commentary, although the filmography is slim and a bibliography is lacking. Thus the eleventh edition offers a reduced amount of information apart from the new titles, and there is little reason for budget-conscious libraries to acquire the new edition unless they need a replacement copy for this standard work. [wub/mjc]

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