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Overview for Otto Preminger
Otto Preminger

Otto Preminger


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Also Known As: Died: April 23, 1986
Born: December 5, 1906 Cause of Death: cancer
Birth Place: Austria Profession: Director ...


Preminger's "narrative lines are strewn with deceptive counterpaths, shifting viewpoints, and ambiguous characters who perpetually slip out of static categories and moral definitions...Preminger frequently mystifies the spectator who is looking for a fixed moral reference."--Richard Roud ("Cinema": A Critical Dictionary")

Writing about Preminger's 20th Century-Fox film noir classics of the late 1940s, Jean-Pierre Coursodon wrote in "American Directors": [They are] "not only thematically similar, they look alike, and generate the same kind of atmosphere....The fluidity of the camerawork is the concrete expression of his attitutde to his material. The camera unobtrusively but relentlessly follows the characters around in medium shots and long boom or dolly shots, so as to integrate them to the surroundings. Preminger's vision is a global one, he strives to capture the whole, not details--hence the paucity of close-up and reaction shots in his films....This stylistic option is consistent with Preminger's unfailingly objective attitude toward characters and situations....If the harmony of form and content, expression and intention, is the mark of 'classic' art, Preminger is one of the great classics of the American film."

In his autobiography, Preminger explains the discrepancy in his birth date and place: "One set of documents lists Vienna as my birthplace but another set...places my birth at my great-grandfather's farm some distance away. One records that I was born on the fifth of December, 1906, the other exactly one year earlier."

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