How Did Lubitsch Do It? (Hardback)
  • How Did Lubitsch Do It? (Hardback)
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How Did Lubitsch Do It? (Hardback)

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£30.00
Hardback 576 Pages / Published: 03/07/2018
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Orson Welles called Ernst Lubitsch (1892-1947) "a giant" whose "talent and originality are stupefying." Jean Renoir said, "He invented the modern Hollywood." Celebrated for his distinct style and credited with inventing the classic genre of the Hollywood romantic comedy and helping to create the musical, Lubitsch won the admiration of his fellow directors, including Alfred Hitchcock and Billy Wilder, whose office featured a sign on the wall asking, "How would Lubitsch do it?" Despite the high esteem in which Lubitsch is held, as well as his unique status as a leading filmmaker in both Germany and the United States, today he seldom receives the critical attention accorded other major directors of his era.

How Did Lubitsch Do It? restores Lubitsch to his former stature in the world of cinema. Joseph McBride analyzes Lubitsch's films in rich detail in the first in-depth critical study to consider the full scope of his work and its evolution in both his native and adopted lands. McBride explains the "Lubitsch Touch" and shows how the director challenged American attitudes toward romance and sex. Expressed obliquely, through sly innuendo, Lubitsch's risqu , sophisticated, continental humor engaged the viewer's intelligence while circumventing the strictures of censorship in such masterworks as The Marriage Circle, Trouble in Paradise, Design for Living, Ninotchka, The Shop Around the Corner, and To Be or Not to Be. McBride's analysis of these films brings to life Lubitsch's wit and inventiveness and offers revealing insights into his working methods.

Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231186445
Number of pages: 576
Dimensions: 235 x 156 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
McBride subtly and concretely describes the change in cinematic tastes over the course of a century. We who love cinema and Lubitsch should be grateful to have such a book in our lifetime, and it will be the definitive work for years to come.--Molly Haskell, author of From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies
Joseph McBride's study of Lubitsch matches the breadth and range of his incomparable work on Welles and Ford. Reading it, it is impossible not to want to see each of the director's greatest films again or for the first time - readers will be driven straight to seek out not only the repertory standards but the silents, the musicals, and the German films. It is especially gratifying to see McBride apply his supple understanding of the intricacies of Lubitsch's sexual politics to the paradoxes lurking for contemporary viewers, exploring how the films play both against and into feminist readings. McBride doesn't shy from such explorations, but never leaps to premature conclusions. The book is an act of devotion matched to the heart of its subject.--Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn
Film historian, Joseph Mcbride's tome How Did Lubitsch Do It? makes a comprehensive and enthusiastic case for [Lubitsch]'s importance.--Ben Dickinson "The New York Times Book Review "
In How Did Lubitsch Do It? Joseph McBride has written a love letter to a filmmaker . . . Mr. McBride's detailed appreciations could serve, ideally, as a viewer's companion to the many layers of Lubitsch's art . . . [He] acknowledges that no written description of Lubitsch's work can fully convey its charm.--Geoffrey O'Brien "Wall Street Journal "
How Did Lubitsch Do It? is one of the most indispensable film books I've ever read, not only a rigorously researched and considered biography and an illuminating analysis of Lubitsch's technique but a broader study of how culture affects filmmaking and vice versa.--Jim Hemphill "Filmmaker Magazine "
Revered film historian Joseph McBride's new book, How Did Lubitsch Do It?, explores this master of modern comedy in scintillating detail.--Nathaniel Bell "LA Weekly "

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