- Audio CD
- Verlag: Phoenix Audio; Auflage: Unabridged (30. Mai 2007)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1597771368
- ISBN-13: 978-1597771368
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14,8 x 3,8 x 13,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.663.243 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl (Englisch) Audio-CD – Audiobook, Ungekürzte Ausgabe
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“Brilliant. . . . It’s difficult to overpraise Bach’s efforts. . . . A compulsively readable and scrupulously crafted work . . . . [Bach created] an almost novelistically compelling narrative of a life endlessly obfuscated by lies.”
—The Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Energetic . . . Serves as [a] much needed corrective to all the spin, evasions and distortions of the record purveyed by Riefenstahl.”
—The New York Times
“Fascinating. . . . The definitive new biography from Steven Bach should silence any lingering Riefenstahl apologists. . . . [He] bravely sorts through the mountain of falsehoods.” —Film Comment
“Fascinating. . . . Leni is a cautionary tale about an artist whose prodigious determination and ambition seem to have been unmediated by the slightest influence of conscience, soul, or heart.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.
Revealing biography of one of the twentieth century's most controversial figures; and the first significant biography to have been published since the subject's death -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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One of the strengths of the author is his ability to concisely set the stage at various points in Leni's life. His brief discussion of effervescent Berlin during the 1920's particularly is rich in insight and helps enormously in explaining the environment out of which Leni emerged. Similarly skillful is his discussion of the top Nazi party leadership (particularly Goebbels as propaganda guru) and political developments in Germany in the 1930's--just enough so that the reader is prepared to understand Leni's activities during this period. Bach is at his best, though, in focusing upon Leni as the film maker, whether it is her 1930's films such as "Triumph of the Will" and her Olympic films, or her later films (including the controversial "Tiefland")and African documentaries. He also casts an experienced eye on her many photographic book projects, especially those relating to Africa and coral reefs. The book covers the entirety of Leni's life where the reader learns she was active and working on new projects right up to her death at 101.
So, this is a judicious biography of an extremely controversial figure. Bach lays out the facts which have emerged from an extremely thorough job of research, including a slew of taped interviews done in the 1970's with Leni and two dozen of her friends, collaborators and critics by a UCLA Ph.D. candidate . There are extensive notes and a helpful bibliography. The book is handsomely produced for Knopf by Berryville Graphics in Virginia. At 300 or so pages of text, I never once felt that Bach let his narrative drag. Whatever you can say about Leni, and plenty of folks have said a lot, she led a fascinating life which Bach has well captured in this fine biography.
Her early years featured a strong, almost overbearing father; she early learned how to try to "get around him." Her mother Bertha (whom some suspected of being Jewish) was supportive of her, whereas her father wanted nothing to do with Leni's visions for her future as a dancer. Injury derailed her from dance, and she began acting, with her most prominent genre being the so-called Alpine films. While she saw herself as a terrific actress, outside of some exceptions, she appears to have been rather ordinary. But, as throughout her life, her self-image was far more positive; she never had the ability to be self-critical. One virtue that emerged early in her films was physical courage (page 43), "the only personal quality she possessed that colleagues and even enemies could later praise without reservation."
Through a series of events, she ended up in a position to direct a film featuring Adolf Hitler at the 1933 Nazi party congress, "Victory of Faith." It was not as well done as her later, much better known films, but it provided her experience in developing techniques, coming to understand camera work, and so on. Here, she was clearly working on concert with Joseph Goebbels and the Nazi political machine, although she steadfastly resisted the implication that she was a willing and even enthusiastic partner in her films with the party. Hitler decided that he wanted her to do a follow for the 1934 party congress. The result was one of her classics (and a troubling classic, given its explicit vehicle for Nazi propaganda), "Triumph of the Will." Anyone interested in the art of Riefenstahl must watch this movie; there is an awesome (and awful) grandeur to it. Following this, another of her major works, the film that focused on the 1936 Olympics. Technically, another strong work. Some of the same troubling questions, though, remain, including her ties to the Nazis.
Her work as, at least functionally, a propagandist of the Third Reich essentially ended her film making career, although she made a handful of efforts. Thwarted, she moved to documentaries (in Africa) and photography. At a point later in life, she became one of the oldest scuba divers around and took what are apparently fine photographs underneath the sea. In her 80s and 90s, there was renewed interest in her earlier classic works, including showings at some film festivals. Even at that, though, when interviewed she would deny involvement with the Nazis, with the use of Gypsies as extras (some of whom would perish in the concentration camps), and so on. One of her later statements makes this clear, when she said (page 274) "I have never done anything I didn't want to do, and nothing I've ever been ashamed of."
This is a strong biography of a fascinating character, whose denial of her role in World War II leaves the reader troubled. She was remarkably ambitious and used whatever tools that she had at her disposal to get ahead; she was strong-willed and made enemies. This is a work that illuminates this complex person.