BG -- Theater and Performing Arts

Theaterperiodika des 18. Jahrhunderts: Bibliographie und inhaltliche Erschließung deutschsprachiger Theaterzeitschriften, Theaterkalender und Theatertaschenbücher. [Theater Periodicals of the 18th Century: Bibliography and Index of German-Language Theater Magazines, Theater Guides, and Theater Pocket Books]. Wolfgang F. Bender, Siegfried Bushuven, and Michael Huesmann. München [et al.]: Saur. 30 cm. ISBN 3-598-23181-4 (set): EUR 998 [04-2-473]

Part 3. 1791-1800. 3 vols. 2005. lxi, 1,441 p. ISBN 3-598-23184-9: EUR 458

Part 1 was published in 1994 and part 2 in 1997 (see IFB 99-1/4-279), but it took seven more years to complete the last part of the large project of indexing the theater periodicals of the last half of the 18th century in the German-speaking countries. The reason was probably a lapse in funding. Fifty-six periodicals have been added to the 47 titles from the years 1750-1780 and the 55 of the years 1781-1790, so that 158 theater periodicals in all have been indexed. As in the previous parts, the term includes theater periodicals, calendars, and pocket books, also other periodicals, if their theater-related content is over 50 percent. With few exceptions, these are short-lived publications that only lasted from one to three years.

The arrangement is again in three parts: bibliography of the periodicals in alphabetical order, contents and individual indexes, and cumulated index. Notes for users, revised for this part, come at the beginning of the first volume. Periodicals that continued past 1800 have only been indexed if more than half of their issues were published before 1801; it would have been better for the user if they had been included in any case. The promised list of titles that have not been preserved or cannot be found was omitted. In addition to the subject analysis, which expands our knowledge of the theater in this period, the index provides an excellent source for research on institutions and persons of the late 18th-century theater. [sh/gh]

Ausländische Spiel- und abendfüllende Dokumentarfilme in den Kinos der SBZ/DDR 1945-1966: Filmografie [Foreign Feature Films and Full-Length Documentaries in Movie Theaters of the Soviet Occupation Zone/German Democratic Republic, 1945-1966]. Ed. Günter Schulz. Berlin: Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, DEFA-Stiftung, 2001. 426 p. 21 cm. ISBN 3-00-008738-9: EUR 15 (DEFA-Stiftung, Chausseestr. 103, D-10115 Berlin, e-mail: info@defa-stiftung.de) [04-1-211]

Actually published in 2003, this bare-bones filmography lists, year by year, 2,100 films shown in East Germany from the Soviet occupation period to 1966. The years 1965-1990 have been covered by the Filmobibliographischer Jahresbericht [Yearly Film-Bibliographical Report] of the Institute for Film Research in Berlin. During the occupation years, only Soviet and German films aired; in the GDR, films from many countries were shown, although because they were imported in a quasi exchange arrangement with DEFA, there were relatively few from capitalist countries. Annotations give the length of each film in meters (but nothing about content or actors or the number of times the film was shown); the date of its first appearance on GDR television is given, even if it appeared after 1966. The index lists German titles and original titles, as well as directors. [wub/mrh]

Das grosse Album der Karl-May-Filme [The Comprehensive Book of Karl May Films]. Ed. Michael Petzel. Berlin: Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf. 39 cm. [04-1-221]

Vol. 1. Der Schatz im Silbersee [The Treasure of Silver Lake]; Winnetou, Pt. 1 [Apache Gold]; Old Shatterhand [The Apaches’ Last Battle]; Der Schut [The Shoot; or, Yellow Devil]; Winnetou, Pt. 2 [The Last of the Renegades]. 2003. 287 p. ill. ISBN 3-89602-469-8: EUR 99

Das grosse Album der Karl-May-Filme [The Comprehensive Book of Karl May Films]. Ed. Michael Petzel. Berlin: Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf. 39 cm. [04-2-476]

Vol. 2: Unter Geiern [Frontier Hellcat]; Der Schatz der Azteken [The Treasure of the Aztecs]; Die Pyramide des Sonnengottes [Pyramid of the Sun God]; Der Ölprinz [Rampage at Apache Wells]; Durchs wilde Kurdistan [The Wild Men of Kurdistan]; Im Reiche des silbernen Löwen [Fury of the Sabers]; Winnetou 3. Teil [The Desperado Trail]; Old Surehand 1. Teil [Flaming Frontier]; Das Vermächtnis der Inka [Legacy of the Incas]; Winnetou und das Halbblut Apanatschi [Half-Breed]; Winnetou und sein Freund Old Firehand [Thunder at the Border]; Winnetou und Shatterhand im Tal der Toten [Winnetou and Shatterhand in the Valley of Death]. n.p. 1 poster, 39 cm. ISBN 3-89602-479-5: EUR 99.90

These two volumes contain “the most beautiful photographs from legendary Karl May films.” The five films presented in volume 1 represent the earliest and best known of the 17 films shot between 1962 and 1968. A two-page introduction gives general information about the films, including directors and actors, as well as brief information about some of the photographs (selected from among thousands). The photographs have been extensively digitally restored. Each film receives a one-page introduction with filmproduction data. There is a brief table of contents and an index of the illustrations.

Volume two consists almost completely of color still photos from the 12 Karl May films shot between 1964 and 1968. As in volume one, the only text is a two-page introduction (dripping with nostalgia) and the one-page introduction to each film. The album also depicts landscapes from Yugoslavia, the location where most Karl May movies were filmed. [sh/hsb]

Ich war Winnetous Schwester: Bilder und Geschichten einer Karriere [I Was Winnetou’s Sister: Pictures and Stories of a Career]. Marie Versini; transl. from the French by Christina Böhme. Bamberg; Radebeul: Karl-May-Verlag, 2003. 319 p. ill. 18 cm. (Gesammelte Werke / Karl May, Großband). Filmography, p. 308-316. ISBN 3-7802-0164-X: EUR 29.90 [04-1-222]

Winnetou und ich: mein wahres Leben [Winnetou and I: My True Life]. Pierre Brice; transl. from the French by Theda Krohm-Linke. Bergisch Gladbach: Lübbe, 2004. 462, 16 p. ill. 22 cm. ISBN 3-7857-2180-3: EUR 22.90 [04-2-477]

Marie Versini wrote her memoirs in French, but they have yet to be published in that language. She appeared on the Paris stage, including the Comédie Française, but is hardly known in France. She made almost all her films in Germany, and her embodiment of the role of Winnetou’s sister is her most enduring success; she became something of a teenage idol for German girls in the mid-1960s. Along with her husband, the author and film director Pierre Viallet, she narrates episodes from her life, with photographs designed to tug at the heartstrings of her now middle-aged fans. The volume has five indexes: career, theater roles, films, television productions, and five books about the Versinis.

Both Marie Versini and Pierre Brice began their careers in the theater in Paris and gained fame and popularity through the Winnetou films. Brice’s career included serving as UNICEF ambassador to Cambodia and providing help for children during the war in Yugoslavia, the location where many Karl May films were shot. Brice’s book was also translated into German from French but never published in France. German television still regularly offers Karl May films. [sh/hsb]

Tonfilmfrieden—Tonfilmkrieg: die Geschichte der Tobis vom Technik-Syndikat zum Staatskonzern [Sound-Film Peace—Sound- Film War: The Story of the Tobis from Technical Syndicate to State Company]. Ed. Jan Distelmeyer. München: Edition Text + Kritik, 2003. 201 p. ill. 21 cm. ISBN 3-88377-749-8: EUR 19.50 (or EUR 45 with Die Tobis 1928-1945) [04-2-474]

Die Tobis 1928-1945: eine kommentierte Filmografie [The Tobis: An Annotated Filmography]. Ed. Hans-Michael Bock. München: Edition Text + Kritik, 2003. 318 p. ill. 21 cm. ISBN 3-88377-748-X: EUR 36 (or EUR 45 with Tonfilmfrieden—Tonfilmkrieg) [04-2-475]

These two books complement each other in several ways. Tonfilmfrieden—Tonfilmkrieg contains the revised talks presented at the 15th International Film History Congress in November 2002 in Hamburg. The presentations highlight various aspects of the complex history of the Berlin-based “Tonbild-Syndikat AG” (Tobis), which started in 1927/28 as a gramophone record company. In 1929 the Tobis began providing sound for cinemas and started producing sound films, also outside of Germany through various subsidiaries. After 1931 the Tobis became a multinational film production and distribution company. Following a financial crisis and subsequent restructuring, the company came under the direct influence of the Ministry of Propaganda, where it remained until the end of the Third Reich. At the time, the Tobis produced about half of all German films. Today the rights to the Tobis films are held by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau Foundation.

The annotated filmography, Die Tobis, is more than a mere index. Introducing the volume are reprints of articles about its activities. Then, organized by year, about 500 films are listed with production data, occasional illustrations, and often quotations from contemporary advertisements and critiques. It would have been desirable to provide additional explanatory comments for today’s readers. In this regard the volume of conference proceedings (Tonfilmfrieden) proves useful, as some of the films are discussed there at length. Regretfully, there is no name index in Die Tobis (as there is in Tonfilmfrieden). However, there can be no doubt that these titles fill an important gap in German film history, as the Tobis was one of the largest German film production companies. It is hoped that the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau Foundation will be encouraged similarly to treat other film collections under its aegis, as for example, Ufa, Terra, Bavaria, and Berlin-Film. [wub/hsb]

Der deutsche Fernsehkrimi: eine Programm- und Produktionsgeschichte von den Anfängen bis heute [German TV Detective Shows: A History of Programming and Production from their Beginnings to the Present]. Ingrid Brück, Andrea Guder, Reinhold Viehoff, and Karin Wehn. Stuttgart; Weimar: Metzler, 2003. xii, 370 p. ill. 23 cm. ISBN 3-476-01803-2: EUR 39.95 [04-2-479]

This team of authors set itself the goal of depicting the history of the television detective show in East, West, and reunified Germany with great thoroughness. The focus was confined to only those detective shows that developed into series. The book’s target audience encompasses not only the average viewer, but scholars of media and communications as well. Perhaps because of the various needs of such a wide readership, or because of the individual contributors’ respective styles and approaches, the levels of language in the volume vary greatly, from passages with scholarly and specialized vocabulary to relatively simple and even very colloquial sentences. Still, much of the book is very informative and readable, offering insights into plot patterns of detective shows, their relationships to social reality and to contemporary politics, viewer reactions, etc. As a reference work for selected facts, the book is of only limited use, mainly because of its unique structure. In a laudable attempt to integrate a collection of facts into a monographic portrayal, the authors inadvertently scattered the data throughout the various articles without providing adequate tables or graphics that would enable the reader to gain an overview of comparative facts. These limitations should not detract from an overall positive impression, however. Because it investigates one of the most popular segments of television programming—and because it has no market competition—this book can be recommended to any scholarly library that collects materials on German media history. [pst/rdh]

Bibliographie théâtrale: outils pour la constitution d‘un fonds specialisé [Bibliography of Theater: Tools for Building a Specialized Collection]. Marie-Thérèse Meyer-Debuysscher, Marie-Pierre Bianchi, and Nancy Anakesa. Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 2002. 23cm. ISBN 2-7177-2231-9: EUR 20

An RREA Original Review by Sue Waterman (Johns Hopkins University)

Based on the holdings of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, this very useful bibliography covers a lot of ground—from Antiquity to the late 20th century, from France to Russia, from history to voice exercises. There is enough here to interest any collector. The Département des Arts du Spectacle at the BNF provided the raw material for the bibliography. Over 600 titles have been carefully chosen out of that important fonds, in an attempt, as the director of the Département states in the preface, to articulate an ideal library of theater-related works.

Divided into nine main sections, the bibliography covers history as well as the scenic arts (directing, set design, costumes, sound, lights, etc), theatrical companies and movements, political, legal, and governmental relations. Structured thematically, the bibliography includes a detailed table of contents that allows easy access to the various subjects. Each section begins with a short introduction, which usually includes mention of the most important reference works for that particular subject. Many of these are from the 19th and early 20th centuries, while the titles that form the main part of each section of the bibliography are mostly works from the past 20 years or so.

This is definitely a francophone collection; all the works listed here are in French. However the coverage is broader than just France. Theater in Africa, Germany, Asia, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, the Arab world, Hispanic countries, and Anglophone countries is covered too. The works on dramatic arts and dramaturgy are generalist in nature, not specifically French. What is specifically French is a section on la documentation professionnelle, that includes information on the administrative organization of culture in France and the politics of staging spectacles.

There are several useful listings at the end of the book. One inventories recent titles in series in French publishing that include theatrical subjects. There is also a list of theatrical reviews and journals in France, French bookstores that sell books on theater studies, French libraries (specialized and general), and finally organizations and their Web sites. At the end of each sub-section of the bibliography, there are See also references to these lists for reviews, organizations, libraries, and booksellers that are of particular interest.

Each entry is assigned several keywords, and these are gathered in a keyword index at the end of the bibliography that includes names and subjects. And finally, the bibliography includes an author index.

There are other bibliographies of theater studies, but almost none that treat works of the last two decades of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. And they are, for the most part, English-language or even just British in orientation. Blanch Baker’s Dramatic Bibliography: An Annotated List of Books on the History and Criticism of the Drama and Stage and on the Allied Arts of the Theatre is typical. The latest edition is from 1967 and indexes books published 1885 to 1950. And while it lists books on drama and dramatic arts, it includes only English-language works. The Bibliographie théâtrale under review would be a 21st-century, French counterpart to such a work. It is limited by the same drawbacks of earlier bibliographies such as the Dramatic Bibliography mentioned above: works cited are limited to a single language, French in this case, and the date coverage is relatively restricted (except for the reference works). But while bibliographies always carry the burden of becoming outdated, even as they age they offer an insight into a particular field at a particular moment in time.

One recent comparable publication is worth mentioning: Théâtre français contemporain, by Jean-Pierre Thibaudat (Ministère des Affaires étrangères, 2000). This work also has the goal of establishing an ideal library of works on the theater. It also focuses on French theater; however, it is limited, for the most part, to the 20th century. It includes primary literature, of French plays from les origines to 1945, and from 1945 to nos jours. But it is by no means an extensive bibliography, and it lacks anything on theatrical arts. It is, however, trilingual. The text is in French, then repeated in English, then Spanish.

The Bibliographie théâtrale would be useful to a collection that serves an institution with a French literature program, undergraduate and graduate. It is useful for checking current holdings and for filling in gaps. It is also useful for expanding a collection beyond the traditional literary focus, into fields such as acting, costumes, machinery, and architecture. As research becomes ever more interdisciplinary, theater studies will begin to encompass not only literary criticism of the text itself, but explorations of the mises-en-scène of the text.

The Avertissement at the front of the book indicates that there are plans to put this bibliography online (apparently still unrealized in 2006). Such an incarnation would also be a useful tool, but would not necessarily make the book format obsolete. One of the pleasures, and strengths, of the book is the ability to thumb through it and find things by chance. In addition, the table of contents makes it easy to see the entire field at a glance, and to move easily to a particular subject. At 25 Euros in price, this is still a decent investment, whether or not it ever becomes an online resource as well.

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Last update: July 15, 2007 [TB]
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