Fritz Lang: Interviews

Fritz Lang: Interviews

by Barry Keith Grant
     
 

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The films of Fritz Lang depict an entrapping, claustrophobic world in which people are controlled by larger forces. His overriding theme is the struggle against fate and against the traits of human nature that doom us.

His life and work spanned six decades of film history-from the silent era through the golden age of German Expressionism of the 1920s and the

Overview

The films of Fritz Lang depict an entrapping, claustrophobic world in which people are controlled by larger forces. His overriding theme is the struggle against fate and against the traits of human nature that doom us.

His life and work spanned six decades of film history-from the silent era through the golden age of German Expressionism of the 1920s and the classic studio system in Hollywood to the rise of the international co-production. In Hollywood he worked for every major studio except Disney. He made blockbusters, modest B movies, and everything in between. Among his films are classics of German cinema-including Metropolis and M. In America he made some of the most notable crime movies (Fury), noir films (The Big Heat), and Westerns (The Return of Frank James) of the studio era. Despite the different time periods, nations, and genres in which he worked, his films remain stylistically consistent.

Lang (1890-1976), a notoriously difficult interviewee, granted relatively few interviews apart from short publicity exchanges in the promotion of his films. Fully aware of his public persona, he was a canny self-promoter who carefully constructed half-truths and myths about himself.

This fascinating collection covers his conversations about his life and his works over a period of forty years. They reveal how cinema for Lang was an intensely personal art. "For me," he said, "cinema is a vice. I love it intimately. I've often written that it is the art form of our century."

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Director Fritz Lang (1890-1976) is probably best known today for his classic German films Metropolis and M as well as a few American pictures from the late 1930s to the mid-1950s, including Fury, The Woman in the Window, and The Big Heat. His series of films featuring the evil genius Dr. Mabuse are also cult favorites. Here, Grant (film studies, Brock Univ., Ont.) has selected several previously published interviews dating between 1945 and 1973. They vary greatly in both length and significance and range from frivolous to revealing, the latter perhaps more than Lang might have wished. The same questions were often asked of him, and his responses were not always consistent if not actually evasive or even untruthful. For instance, he denies that he was notoriously dictatorial yet fails to give due credit to some of his important collaborators. What does emerge is his overriding theme: the unequal struggle of the individual against an inevitable and often undeserved fate. Recommended for comprehensive cinema collections to complement critical studies of the director's body of work.-Roy Liebman, California State Univ. Lib., Los Angeles Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781578065776
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
Publication date:
10/01/2003
Series:
Conversations with Filmmakers Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
244
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Barry Keith Grant, a professor of film studies and popular culture at Brock University in St. Catharine's, Ontario, Canada, is the author of Voyages of Discovery: The Cinema of Frederick Wiseman, co-author of The Film Studies Dictionary, and editor of The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film, Documenting the Documentary: Close Readings of Documentary Film and Video, and Film Genre Reader.

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