Lorentz, Pare

Lorentz, Pare

▪ American filmmaker
born Dec. 11, 1905, Clarksburg, W.Va., U.S.
died March 4, 1992, Armonk, N.Y.
 American filmmaker whose government-sponsored documentaries focused attention on the waste of human and natural resources in the United States in the 1930s.

      Lorentz was a well-known movie critic in New York City when, in 1935, he was requested to set up a federal government film program that would effectively highlight the problems of American agriculture. A film-production unit was formed under the sponsorship of the Resettlement Administration (later, it became part of the Department of Agriculture), and the following year Lorentz' The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936) was released. A classic among documentary films, it recounts, with a harmonious blend of poetic images, narrative, and music, the agricultural misuse of the Great Plains that resulted in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Lorentz then wrote and directed The River (1937) for the Department of Agriculture. This history of the Mississippi River basin and the effect of the Tennessee Valley Authority on the area further realized the potential of the documentary as a powerful impetus to social change. The two films were commercially and artistically successful both in the United States and abroad and stirred widespread discussion not only of the problems presented but also of the documentary approach to filmmaking.

      Lorentz' film unit became the United States Film Service in the late 1930s and was expanded to produce motion pictures and shorts for various government agencies. Lorentz directed The Fight for Life (1940), the compelling and starkly realistic story of the struggle of a young doctor against disease and death during pregnancy and childbirth in a city slum.

      The United States Film Service was disbanded by Congress in 1941. Lorentz made films for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. In 1946, with Stuart Schulberg, he produced for the War Department a stark documentary account of Nazi activities recounted in the Nürnberg trials. The film played to capacity audiences for two years in Germany but was not released in the United States until 1979.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Lorentz, Pare — (1905 1992)    Born Leonard McTaggart Lorentz in West Virginia and educated at West Virginia Wesleyan College and the University of West Virginia, Lorentz moved to New York City in 1924. After working as an editor for General Electric, he became… …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • Pare Lorentz — (* 11. Dezember 1905 in Clarksburg, West Virginia; † 4. März 1992 in Armonk, New York) war ein US amerikanischer Dokumentarfilmer und Journalist. Leben Pare Lorentz wurde als Leonard MacTaggart Lorentz in West Virginia geboren. Seine Mutter war… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pare Lorentz — (1905 December 11 1992 March 04), born Leonard MacTaggart Lorentz in Clarksburg, West Virginia, died in Armonk, New York, was educated at Wesleyan College and the University of West Virginia. In 1936, after working as a critic in Hollywood, he… …   Wikipedia

  • Lorentz — may refer to:In literature:* Friedrich Lorentz, author of works on the Pomeranian language * Pare Lorentz (1905 1992), American author and film directorIn physics:* Hendrik Lorentz (1853–1928), Dutch physicist and Nobel Prize winner * Lorentz… …   Wikipedia

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  • Pare Lorentz — est un réalisateur et documentariste né le 11 décembre 1905 à Clarksburg (Virginie Occidentale) et mort le 4 mars 1992. Filmographie 1936 : The Plow That Broke the Plains 1938 : The River 1940 : The Fight for… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Strand, Paul — born Oct. 16, 1890, New York, N.Y., U.S. died March 31, 1976, Oregeval, France U.S. photographer. He studied photography with Lewis Hine. At Hine s urging, he frequented Alfred Stieglitz s 291 gallery; the avant garde paintings by Pablo Picasso,… …   Universalium

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