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The Films of Leni Riefenstahl [Paperback]

David B. Hinton
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 28 2000 Filmmakers Series, Number 74
After considerable controversy over the bold appraisal of Riefenstahl in his first two editions, Hinton continues to celebrate the life and films of this brilliant woman in the absence of the repetitious clichés that so often accompany a discussion of such a controversial filmmaker. Provided with access to Leni Riefenstahl's personal archives and film collection, the author explores her career. In addition to examining her most famous wartime works, Triumph of the Will and Olympia, the author also investigates her less recognized Tiefland, her unrealized film projects, and her African and underwater films. David B. Hinton drew on recent interviews with the filmmaker to update this edition. (Previous edition is No. 29 in The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series.) Reviews of the Previous Edition: "Raises significant issues involving the relationship between art and politics." —CHOICE "...a solid piece of research....the author is able to illuminate aspects of the production of Triumph of the Will and Olympia previously unknown."—FILMS IN REVIEW "It's best to read her [Leni Riefenstahl] memoirs, anybody's memoirs in fact, with some independent scholarship at hand, and the best place to start is David B. Hinton's thoroughly researched The Films of Leni Riefenstahl."—THE MAGAZINE

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Review

...a readable introduction to each of the controversial director's films. (Classic Images)

About the Author

David B. Hinton (MA, film, University of Iowa; PhD, Vanderbilt University) researched and wrote the first edition of The Films of Leni Riefenstahl while serving as a lecturer in film at Heidelberg, Germany. He is now Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs at the Watkins College of Art and Design in Nashville, TN.

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2.0 out of 5 stars More Riefenstahl revisionism Feb. 7 2001
Format:Paperback
In its third edition or printing, Hinton's book obviously has an audience. I wonder if it is largely an academic audience suggesting that young Americans are still being exposed to Riefenstahl's work as a filmmaker and to an increasingly revisionist view of that work as dedicated to beauty and not at all bound up in politics. Most especially, this work, according to Hinton and to Riefenstahl whom he greatly admires, has nothing to do with Hitler and Nazis. Hinton takes issue with both Kracauer and Sontag whose treatments of the filmmaker he views as unjustifiably placing her in the ranks of those who knowingly and willingly served the Nazi regime as propagandists. The eternal return of Riefenstahl and the arguments that swirl around her work and her person continues to be a fascinating if alarming component of our culture. Whether she is or isn't implicated as an apologist for fascism is perhaps less important than the fact that she and her works have become inextricably bound up with controversies about Nazi cinema and its afterlife, as Eric Rentschler refers to it in the subtitle of his book, The Ministry of Illusion. Hinton, as an apologist for Riefenstahl, will give little satisfaction to readers who want to know something about those controversies. The book offers a rather naive understanding of the components of German fascist ideology and aesthetics and their historical backgrounds while remaining stubbornly lavish in its praise of the filmaker and her films. Hinton's book will please those who want to believe that art and politics, even in the Third Reich and its various afterlives are completely separate matters. It will also irritate those who are unwilling to believe in such a separation generally and especially in the case of this still living filmmaker whose work is indelibly connected with the propaganda of the Nazi Party.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hinton's Book a Hit Feb. 16 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Dr. Hinton's third rewrite of the history of this incredibly talented woman, detalining her enormous contribution to 20th Century film making. Her detractors, and there are still many non-believers who work so hard to destroy her reputation, will be hard pressed to find fault in Dr. Hinton's work. Now, at age 99, Leni continues her life's work, now focusing on underwater still photography, with the same enthusiasm and unbridled passion that she brought to cinima.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Obcessive and compulsive in hot pursuit of the last Valkyrie June 11 2000
By john kingston - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is Dr. Hinton's third rewrite of the divine Leni and her films. Each time he aquires a bit more information from his research and other bits and pieces from a personal friendship which now spans 30 years and will continue until his death--since Ms. Rienfenstahl has declared herself immortal and God is taking her at her word. This book is a solid piece of film history and worth reading to gain a perspective about this remarkable woman and her contribution to 20th Century film.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hinton's Book a Hit Feb. 16 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Dr. Hinton's third rewrite of the history of this incredibly talented woman, detalining her enormous contribution to 20th Century film making. Her detractors, and there are still many non-believers who work so hard to destroy her reputation, will be hard pressed to find fault in Dr. Hinton's work. Now, at age 99, Leni continues her life's work, now focusing on underwater still photography, with the same enthusiasm and unbridled passion that she brought to cinima.
13 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Riefenstahl revisionism Feb. 7 2001
By Duncan Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In its third edition or printing, Hinton's book obviously has an audience. I wonder if it is largely an academic audience suggesting that young Americans are still being exposed to Riefenstahl's work as a filmmaker and to an increasingly revisionist view of that work as dedicated to beauty and not at all bound up in politics. Most especially, this work, according to Hinton and to Riefenstahl whom he greatly admires, has nothing to do with Hitler and Nazis. Hinton takes issue with both Kracauer and Sontag whose treatments of the filmmaker he views as unjustifiably placing her in the ranks of those who knowingly and willingly served the Nazi regime as propagandists. The eternal return of Riefenstahl and the arguments that swirl around her work and her person continues to be a fascinating if alarming component of our culture. Whether she is or isn't implicated as an apologist for fascism is perhaps less important than the fact that she and her works have become inextricably bound up with controversies about Nazi cinema and its afterlife, as Eric Rentschler refers to it in the subtitle of his book, The Ministry of Illusion. Hinton, as an apologist for Riefenstahl, will give little satisfaction to readers who want to know something about those controversies. The book offers a rather naive understanding of the components of German fascist ideology and aesthetics and their historical backgrounds while remaining stubbornly lavish in its praise of the filmaker and her films. Hinton's book will please those who want to believe that art and politics, even in the Third Reich and its various afterlives are completely separate matters. It will also irritate those who are unwilling to believe in such a separation generally and especially in the case of this still living filmmaker whose work is indelibly connected with the propaganda of the Nazi Party.
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