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Fritz Lang: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers Series) Paperback – October 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Lang is best known for the silent German films, especially Metropolis, that he directed between the world wars, and the genre movies, including such noir classics as The Big Heat, that he made after emigrating to America. All but one interview in this book come from Lang's last two decades, when, no longer an active filmmaker, he was a cinematic legend worshiped by the French New Wave directors (Godard had him play himself in Contempt ). His reputation for manipulating his image is apparent in the anecdotes he repeatedly trots out, such as his claim to have fled Germany the very day that Goebbels asked him to be the filmmaker for the Third Reich (a story debunked in later biographies). Much of Lang's spiel is factually unreliable, yet all remains fascinating. A notoriously difficult interview subject, Lang cannily exploited his Teutonic image by bullying the young film critics who idolized him. These conversations often fascinate by showing the temperamental filmmaker avoiding cinematic theorizing, making absurd pronouncements, and flirting shamelessly with female interviewers. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

These collected interviews of the German expatriate whose work includes classics of German cinema, American crime films, noir films, and Westerns

---show Lang to be one of the film greats of German Expressionism, with such silent-film classics as Metropolis (1927) and M (1931).

---include several interviews translated from German and published in English for the first time.

---demonstrate how Lang, in Hollywood, worked with every major studio except Disney, directing films that range from blockbusters (The Big Heat with Lee Marvin and Gloria Grahame) to modest B movies. His films depict an entrapping, claustrophobic world in which people are controlled by larger forces and struggle vainly against fate and against personal doom

---show him to be a notoriously difficult to interview, evasive, prevaricating, sometimes caustic, autocratic

---range over a period of forty years


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Product Details

  • Series: Conversations with Filmmakers Series
  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578065771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578065776
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,987,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Samerdyke on October 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a terrific entry in the U of Mississippi series of interviews with famous filmmakers.

The earliest interview comes from 1945, but the bulk of the interviews are from the Sixties and early Seventies, after Lang had retired from filmmaking. However, he hadn't retired from thinking about film. While his comments on his own works are very interesting, what amazed and pleasantly surprised me was that he was willing to talk about the New German Cinema of the Seventies, "Deep Throat," and the impact of TV on movies.

Fritz Lang has the reputation of being a one-dimensional martinet. However, the interviews collected here reveal a complex man with an unexpected breadth of interests. It leaves the reader wishing he could have known Fritz Lang and envying those who did.
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Format: Paperback
Grant collected Lang interviews post 1945, and they are very useful. I had earlier found interviews with him in the previous twenty years that are equally interesting, almost as useful.
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