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August 2002, Week 5


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David Tetzlaff <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 29 Aug 2002 11:31:08 -0400
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>She was a genius in film
>making but NOTHING can ever excuse her participation under the Nazi regime.
>As for being the greatest woman director ever, I would say that form does not
>overcome content or intent.

I find these two quotes from anti-leni posters to be more disturbing,
in a way, than the absurd rants of the apologists ("Until someone can
prove, beyond a doudt that she did know, I choose to believe her
statement"), who at least have the excuse of being delusional.

Form and content are not seperable. Riefenstahl's aesthetics are
fascistic regardless of her knowledge of, or complicity with Nazism,
or the content of the films. Check out the end of "Olympia". Yes,
it's 'beautiful,' but in a way that reflects fascist ideals and ideas.

The reason I say the fact the anti-leni posts has missed this point
is disturbing is that this is film studies 101 stuff, all laid out in
Susan Sontag's classic essay on Reifenstahl, anthologized in 'Movies
and Methods', a volume that has been a major educational tool in this
field for over 20 years...

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