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Leni Riefenstahl: Reclaiming Tiefland

Continued from this article

Part I. Denazifying Leni

After World War II, Leni Riefenstahl couldn’t escape the Fuhrer’s shadow. Arrested first by American, then French troops, her property and money seized, she endured interrogations about her ties to the regime. Riefenstahl argued she’d been coerced into making propaganda and wasn’t aware of Nazi atrocities. The image stuck: three denazification tribunals acquitted her (one cautiously branding her a “fellow traveler”), and Riefenstahl began the road to rehabilitation.

More diligent investigators challenged her self-portrait. In 1946, American journalist Budd Schulberg interviewed Riefenstahl for the Saturday Evening Post. Riefenstahl claimed she didn’t know about Nazi concentration camps. Later, asked why she made Triumph of the Will, Riefenstahl claimed Joseph Goebbels threatened her with a concentration camp. Disgusted with Riefenstahl’s self-serving contradictions, Schulberg labeled her a “Nazi Pin-Up Girl.”

Then the German tabloid Revue published a damning article in
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Leni Riefenstahl’s Impossible Dream: Tiefland, Fantasy and the Fuhrer’s Shadow

Part I. A Filmmaker’s Apotheosis

April 20th, 1938 marked Adolf Hitler’s 49th birthday. In the past five years, he’d rebuilt Germany from destitute anarchy into a burgeoning war machine, repudiated the Versailles Treaty and, that March, incorporated Austria into his Thousand-Year Reich. In Nazi Germany, fantasy co-mingled with ideology, expressing an obsession with Germany’s mythical past through propaganda and art. Fittingly, Hitler celebrated at the Ufa-Palast am Zoo in Berlin, Germany’s most prestigious cinema.

There, Nazi officials and foreign diplomats joined dignitaries of German kultur. Present were Wilhelm Furtwangler, conductor of Berlin’s Philharmonic Orchestra; Albert Speer, Hitler’s architect and confidante; actor Gustaf Grundgens, transformed from Brechtian Bolshevik to director of Prussia’s State Theater; and movie star Emil Jannings, Oscar-winner of The Lost Command and The Blue Angel, now an Artist of the State. Also Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, who nationalized German cinema in
See full article at SoundOnSight »

J Michael Straczynski to make directorial debut

J Michael Straczynski to make directorial debut
J Michael Straczynski will make his feature directorial debut on The Flickering Light.

The writer has secured funding from Reliance Entertainment's Motion Picture Capital and will direct from his own script, reports Variety.

The film centres around a group of Romani prisoners from the Marzahn Concentration Camp.

They were pressed into work as actors in the 1942 film Tiefland, a film which was directed by and starred Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl.

Straczynski is best known for his work in comics. He also wrote the scripts for Clint Eastwood's Changeling and Thor, as well as serving as showrunner on Babylon 5.

The Flickering Light is set to enter production in November, using the same sound stages that Studio Babelsberg used for Tiefland.
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

[The Classroom] Hyperreality in ‘Inglourious Basterds’: Tarantino’s Interwoven Cinematic World in 1940s France

By modern standards, Quentin Tarantino would be considered an auteur; a director whose films reflect that his personal creative vision. But what exactly is that vision, and how is it reflected in his work? One major observation that one can make about Tarantino’s films is that he often incorporates a number of references, many of which refer to cinema, specific films, or pop culture. His films are laced with this intertextuality were the relationship between texts (or films) is constantly being redefined. This method of pastiche is one way that he draws attention to the fact that his film is a constructed piece of fiction, or a “simulation.”

His rational behind this is heavily influenced by French theorist Jean Baudrillard’s notion of “hyperreality.” Hyperreality in this case refers to the inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from fantasy, as the two become blurred into one. Baudrillard argues that
See full article at The Film Stage »

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