BG - Theater and Performing Arts

DLiterarhistorische Filmbiographien: Autorschaft und Literaturgeschichte im Kino; mit einer Filmographie 1909-2007 [Literary-Historical Film Biographies: Authorship and Literary History in the Movie Theater, with a Filmography 1909-2007]. Sigrid Nieberle. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2008. vii, 400 p. ill. 24 cm. (Media and cultural memory, 7). ISBN 978-3-11-020074-4: EUR 98

The descriptions and interpretations of film scenes in Professor Nieberle‘s Greifswald University Habilitationsschrift [post-doctoral thesis] are both enlightening and convincing in their argumentation as well as substantiated and easily examined, although they presuppose a somewhat specialized knowledge of trade jargon. The biographies are founded not on factual histories but rather present a constellation of legends, anecdotes, autobiographies,and varied source documents. In a chapter devoted to literary film, an examination of the many biographical films on German literature is presented,focusing on numerous well-established writers. A narrative analysis of a cross-section of international films follows. A final chapter on the uses of film biography from literary history caps the treatise, in which the context of French structuralism is applied, thereby highlighting the variance from German films. The index of film biographies (p. 363-397) covers 184 international films. The work concludes with indexes of illustrations and persons. Details about this work can be viewed by going to http://site.ebrary.com/lib/alltitles/home. action and entering „literarhistorische filmbibliographien“ in the search box. [wub/rlk]

Lexikon Schauspieler in der DDR [Dictionary of Actors in the GDR]. F-B. Habel and Volker Wachter. Berlin: Verlag Neues Leben, 2009. 478 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 978-3-355-01760-2: EUR 29.90

This latest work by a prolific author of reference materials about East German cinema is a revised and updated edition of his 2002 Das grosse Lexikon der DDR-Stars (see RREA 8:160), which in turn is the second edition of his 1999 Lexikon der DDR-Stars (see RREA 6:176). Habel is also the editor of Das grosse Lexikon der DEFA-Spielfilme... von 1946 bis 1993 (see RREA 7:153).

This latest work includes actors from both stage and of screen, although film actors are given more limelight. Compared to the first edition, some names have been inexplicably dropped and others added. The book now contains tables as well as over 250 photographs and film stills provided by the DEFA Foundation. This reference volume can be viewed as a useful supplement to the 1984 Cinegraph dictionary of German-language cinema. [sh/as]

Das goldene Zeitalter des italienischen Films: die 1960er Jahre [The Golden Age of Italian Film: The 1960s]. Ed. Thomas Koebner and Irmbert Schenk. München: Edition Text + Kritik, 2008. 535 p. ill. 23 cm. ISBN 978-3-88377- 923-2: EUR 34

Irmbert Schenk of the University of Bremen is one of those all-too-rare German scholars who has not only studied Italian film over many years but has successfully maintained contacts and encouraged collaborative efforts between German and Italian film scholars. In Dr. Schenk‘s honor, an international symposium was held in 2006 at the University of Mainz; this volume contains 31 authors‘ contributions to it, some in German translation. The appendix offers a chronological list of Italian films of the decade together with dates of production and performance in Italy, the presentation of the authors, and a comprehensive name index of over 1,100 entries.

In its concentration on the great directors of Italian film (Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Roberto Rossellini, Francesco Rosi, Damiano Damiani, Pietro Germi, Dino Risi), as well as its broad sketch of film production and its attention to certain themes, genres (epic film, spaghetti western, farce, horror), and characteristics, this volume successfully presents the breadth and the particularity of artistic and popular film production in Italy in the 1960s. [wub/rb]

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