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The Resource Dietrich & Riefenstahl : Hollywood, Berlin, and a century in two lives, Karin Wieland ; translated by Shelley Frisch

Dietrich & Riefenstahl : Hollywood, Berlin, and a century in two lives, Karin Wieland ; translated by Shelley Frisch

Label
Dietrich & Riefenstahl : Hollywood, Berlin, and a century in two lives
Title
Dietrich & Riefenstahl
Title remainder
Hollywood, Berlin, and a century in two lives
Statement of responsibility
Karin Wieland ; translated by Shelley Frisch
Title variation
Dietrich and Riefenstahl
Creator
Contributor
Translator
Subject
Genre
Language
  • eng
  • ger
  • eng
Summary
Leni Riefenstahl and Marlene Dietrich both came of age in Weimar Berlin, a time of great political ferment. Both women seized upon the revolutionary energy of the 1920s, seeking careers on the stage and in film. In the 1930s, Riefenstahl became the official filmmaker of the Third Reich, a progenitor of fascist symbolism. Dietrich's slender and androgynous beauty made her a fashion icon. Both women had their grand passions, but neither abandoned ambition for the sake of love. Wieland brings to vivid life a time of international upheaval, chronicling radical evolutions of politics, fame, and femininity on a grand stage
Member of
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • The ways that two German screen luminaries embodied the growing status and ambitions of 20th-century women are chronicled in this absorbing dual biography by historian Weiland. Born a year apart, movie star Marlene Dietrich and director Leni Riefenstahl both got their start in Weimar Germany’s film industry—Riefenstahl tried out for the iconic show-girl part in The Blue , which eventually went to Dietrich—and became exemplars of the on-the-make new woman of the Jazz Age. Moving to Hollywood, the glamorous Dietrich specialized in playing jaded man-eaters with secret hearts of gold—a heart she displayed in real life by selling American war bonds and touring with the USO. Riefenstahl, upholder of wholesome Aryan virtue in Triumph of the Will and other Nazi propaganda movies, proved far more corrupt, furthering her own career by employing her skills to celebrate Hitler’s regime. (She blithely used concentration camp inmates as extras.) Weiland highlights the entertaining soap opera in their stories, especially the parade of Dietrich’s affairs with men and women—often abetted by her complaisant husband—which involved endless psychodrama and scenes. But she pairs the humor with incisive cultural analysis of the women’s impact as proto-feminists who used sex appeal, savvy, and considerable talent to pioneer new roles for women. Photos. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed July 27, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 30, p)
  • Separating fiction from the apocryphal, German political theory historian Wieland takes readers on a densely layered, whirlwind tour of Weimar Germany, 1930s Hollywood, the Third Reich, World War II, and more. She alternates distinct biographies of the most famous German woman of the 20th century, actress Marlene Dietrich (1901–92), and perhaps the most infamous filmmaker of all time, Leni Riefenstahl (1902–2003). In effect, there's an implied comparison and contrast. Dietrich comes off as more objective, and less lurid, than the 1993 deconstructionist Marlene Dietrich by the star's daughter. The author matter-of-factly delves into the actress's love life (with men and women), focusing on her significant relationships, and unlike many biographers, accentuates Dietrich's warfront service. Conversely, Wieland dismantles Riefenstahl's lifelong protests of political naÃóveté, depicting her as a delusional, shockingly egotistical figure who was concerned only for her career and who savored her insider status with patron and protector Adolf Hitler. (Much of Wieland's ammunition comes from Joseph Goebbels's diaries.) Additionally, the author's concise descriptions convey the visual impact of Riefenstahl's overtly political propaganda films. VERDICT An absorbing read and a must-have for film collections. Highly recommended where Erik Larson's In the Garden of Beasts is popular. [See Prepub Alert, 4/20/15.]— Kent Turner, School Library Journal --Kent Turner (Reviewed September 1, 2015) (Library Journal, vol 140, issue 14, p107)
  • Two icons and their turbulent times. Contemporaries growing up in Weimar Berlin, Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992) and Leni Riefenstahl (1902-2003) both aspired to careers in entertainment: Dietrich as a concert violinist, Riefenstahl as a dancer. In her engrossing, richly detailed debut book, Wieland, a historian of political theory at the Hamburg Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Culture, offers parallel biographies of the two women, tracing their vastly divergent trajectories. Riefenstahl championed Nazis and exalted Hitler, while Dietrich left Germany for Hollywood stardom. When her future as a violinist was thwarted by tendinitis, Dietrich turned to acting, where her discipline and drive overcame her "modest gifts." "I had no special talent and I knew it. Everyone knew it," she confessed. Nevertheless, when Josef von Sternberg saw her in a revue, he decided he had found the star of his new project, The Blue Angel (1930). She would play Lola Lola, "a sassy, savvy, honky-tonk B-girl," a role that launched her career. Wieland documents her affair with von Sternberg and her many subsequent lovers, including Erich Maria Remarque, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Jean Gabin, American Army Gen. James M. Gavin, Yul Brynner, Fritz Lang, and John F. Kennedy. She also had an intense, though platonic, friendship with Ernest Hemingway. A beloved entertainer of American troops, Dietrich later reinvented herself as a nightclub singer, but her career spiraled downward, and she often was beset by financial worries. Riefenstahl also diverted from dancing to acting, using her training in gymnastics and boxing for roles in mountain films, popular in prewar Germany. By the 1930s, she was not only acting, but producing, directing, and writing screenplays. Hitler, she learned, was a fan "and an anti-capitalist feminist to boot." She was entranced. Egotistical and self-promoting but nevertheless talented, Riefenstahl won accolades in Germany; managed to be acquitted of Nazi collaboration; and reinvented herself as a photographer. Wieland deftly traces both lives through their many ups and downs. A sweeping, revelatory dual biography.(Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2015)
Biography type
collective biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10440405
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Wieland, Karin
Dewey number
B
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • plates
Index
index present
Language note
Translated from the German
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Frisch, Shelley Laura
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Dietrich, Marlene
  • Riefenstahl, Leni
  • Motion picture actors and actresses
  • Motion picture actors and actresses
  • Women entertainers
  • Women motion picture producers and directors
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
Hollywood, Berlin, and a century in two lives
Label
Dietrich & Riefenstahl : Hollywood, Berlin, and a century in two lives, Karin Wieland ; translated by Shelley Frisch
Instantiates
Publication
Note
  • Translated from the German
  • Formerly CIP.
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • still image
  • text
Content type code
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Contents
Youth (1901-1923). The streets of Berlin ; Body, art, and war -- Carving out a career (1923-1932). Early sorrow ; Blue -- Success (1932-1939). Hollywood ; Berlin -- War (1939-1945). The amazon ; The soldier -- Prosecution (1945-1954). The witness ; The accused -- New chapter of fame (1954-1976). The icon ; Camp -- The end game (1976-2003). In the mattress crypt ; At the bottom of the sea
Control code
000055077241
Dimensions
25 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
vii, 612 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780871403360
Lccn
2015026548
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)902661369
Label
Dietrich & Riefenstahl : Hollywood, Berlin, and a century in two lives, Karin Wieland ; translated by Shelley Frisch
Publication
Note
  • Translated from the German
  • Formerly CIP.
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • still image
  • text
Content type code
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Contents
Youth (1901-1923). The streets of Berlin ; Body, art, and war -- Carving out a career (1923-1932). Early sorrow ; Blue -- Success (1932-1939). Hollywood ; Berlin -- War (1939-1945). The amazon ; The soldier -- Prosecution (1945-1954). The witness ; The accused -- New chapter of fame (1954-1976). The icon ; Camp -- The end game (1976-2003). In the mattress crypt ; At the bottom of the sea
Control code
000055077241
Dimensions
25 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
vii, 612 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780871403360
Lccn
2015026548
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)902661369

Library Locations

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