Fritz Lang Interviews by Barry Keith Grant (editor) (2003)
Fritz Lang Interviews is an entry in the University Press of Mississippi’s “Conversations With Filmmakers” series, each installment of which collects various interviews that a film director has given over the course of their career. This title focuses, of course, on the Austrian-born director Fritz Lang, and republished and collected here are various interviews with the director, the bulk of which were conducted later in his life during the 1960’s and ‘70’s. During this time Lang was older and thus had the benefit of talking about his career in its totality in hindsight. And it is the little tidbits of wisdom or insight or trivia that Lang offers up in this volume that really made it worth reading for me. For example, Lang’s anecdotes about working with actors or his views about youth and the genertion gap were interesting to me, and helped me to understand what made Lang tick as a person outside of his films. True, there are a number of anecdotes that Lang tends to repeat constantly throughout the book, but its fascinating to see what stories he keeps coming back to and the repetition helps the reader to gain a sense of how Lang conducted himself during interviews.
Overall I recommend this, though I’d like to add that despite the inclusion of a filmography at the front of the book, it helps to go into this book with a decent working knowledge of Lang’s career, and to have already seen a number of his films (the stories he tells will mean more this way). One doesn’t have to be an expert on his films going in, but some knowledge of the different periods of his career and an interest in the man behind the films will go a long way should you choose to pick this book up.