Leni Riefenstahl-Five Lives: A Biography in Pictures (Photobook) (English, French, German and German Edition)

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9783822862162: Leni Riefenstahl-Five Lives: A Biography in Pictures (Photobook) (English, French, German and German Edition)

One remarkable woman, five remarkable careers: Leni Riefenstahl is the exception to the rule. From dancer to actress to film-maker to photographer to diver, she has excelled in each field and is one of the most important and controversial artists of the 20th century. Her contributions to the art and technique of film-making were vast, most notably in her epochal film "Olympia" (1938). Critically acclaimed during the 1930's for her work under the Hitler administration and harshly criticized after the war, Riefenstahl surged on, completing the famous "Tiefland" in 1954. In the 1960s and 70s she traveled to Africa and extensively photographed East Africa and the Nuba tribes in Sudan, publishing three books. Ready for yet another change, she took up deep-sea diving at the age of 71, beginning a new chapter as an underwater photographer.

Though she has attracted much attention throughout her life and has been the subject of many books, articles, and films, Leni Riefenstahl Five Lives is the first book to showcase her entire career in pictures. Produced in collaboration with Riefenstahl herself, the book includes her most famous images as well as many previously unpublished pictures from her private archives. The main body of the book features photographs (without text) spanning Riefenstahl's entire set of careers, with pictures of her on stage as a dancer and on the set as an actress and film-maker, as well as film stills and her own photographs (precise commentaries about the pictures can be found in the comprehensive appendix). The illustrated biography, international bibliography, and detailed filmography complement the illustrative section with extensive information about her personaland professional lives. Fans and critics alike will be impressed with this sweeping visual tribute.

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Leni Riefenstahl: Five Lives traces the fascinating and controversial life and work of the famous German photographer-filmmaker. Riefenstahl started her creative career as an aspiring dancer in the 1920s in Germany and then became a movie actress. She starred in a number of films, taking challenging roles that were sometimes dangerous and physically rigorous, such as the ice-bound and skiing roles in Storm over Mont Blanc, The White Flame, and SOS Iceberg. These outdoor films foretold the spirit of adventure that later guided Riefenstahl's photography career.

The crux of controversy that overshadows Riefenstahl's career is her handpicked appointment by Adolf Hitler to direct the infamous Nazi party rally film Triumph of the Will. Although, according to her memoirs, Riefenstahl tried to withdraw from the film, she created a work that depicted Hitler's plane descending from the clouds as if it carried a god, and she has been accused "of having significantly increased, by means of this film, the emotional bond of the Germans to Hitler." Riefenstahl then went on to direct the German film Olympia covering the 1936 Olympics. With WWII came great change and Riefenstahl's eventual imprisonment by the French. In her later years, she continued her photography career by documenting her trips to Africa and getting her scuba license in her 70s. Her close-up underwater pictures of sea life float like a dream in vivid color. For as damning as her association with the Nazis is, Riefenstahl is a complex and talented artist. This book is full of remarkable images of her acting and directorial career as well as her still photography, and it includes a detailed biography of her life and career--complete with family and personal pictures. --J.P. Cohen

Review:

A collection of stunning photographs by one of the 20th century's defining image makers. -- New York Times Book Review, 4 February 2001

A good read. -- Flaunt Magazine, February 2001

Those who appreciate good photography and the enduring passion of a true artist will want to own this abundant collection. --Atomic Magazine, Winter 2002

Leni Riefenstahl: Five Lives traces the fascinating and controversial life and work of the famous German photographer/filmmaker. Riefenstahl started her creative career as an aspiring dancer in the 1920s in Germany and then became a movie actress. She starred in a number of films, taking challenging roles that were sometimes dangerous and physically rigorous, such as the ice-bound and skiing roles in Storm Over Mont Blanc, The White Flame and SOS Iceberg. These outdoor films foretold the spirit of adventure which later guided Riefenstahl's photography career. The crux of controversy that overshadows Riefenstahl's career is her hand-picked appointment, by Adolf Hitler, to direct the infamous National Socialist Party rally film, Triumph of the Will. Although, according to her memoirs, Riefenstahl tried to withdraw from the film, she created a film that depicted Hitler's plane descending from the clouds as if it carried a god and she has been accused "of having significantly increased, by means of this film, the emotional bond of the Germans to Hitler". Riefenstahl then went on to direct the German film Olympia covering the 1936 Olympics. With World War II came great change and Riefenstahl's eventual imprisonment by the French. In her later years she continued her photography career by documenting her trips to Africa and getting her scuba licence in her 70s. Her close-up underwater pictures of sea life float like a dream in vivid colour. As damning as her association with the Nazis is, Riefenstahl is a complex and talented artist. This book is full of remarkable images of her acting and directorial career as well as her still-photography. Includes a detailed biography of her life and career complete with family and personal pictures.--JP Cohen ---JP Cohen

The striking front cover on this book is a publicity still as Junta, in the movie "The Blue Light" 1932. As impressive as the cover is, it gets better when you open it to reveal hundreds of artistically shot photos. Dr. Ruth says bigger is not necessarily better. However in this case it is; something about the size of the photographs add to their striking appearance. Most are in grainy black and white with some color sections. This book is just a wee to large to fit in my oversized bookshelf. So I am making a larger shelf to display the books front view. Just as you assume that this is a great coffee table book you will find that there is more too it. Luckily the pictures are not cluttered or distracted by alpha pneumonics. All the descriptions are in a separate section. The title of the book is appropriate as it portray s the different vocations of Leni. (Dancer, Actress, Director, Photographer, Diver) This book also enhances the viewing experience of Leni's films. --By bernie VINE VOICE

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