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June 1994


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Gene Stavis <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 18 Jun 1994 15:13:15 PDT
text/plain (21 lines)
Prof. Haupt -
My "excoriating" Riefenstahl was in response to the posts implying that her
account of the past should be taken at face value. I do not, in fact, believe
that she was an untalented woman. Indeed it would be foolish to maintain such
a thing. My point was that her work, unlike Griffith's, was bathed in Nazi
ideals. Notice that I said "most" of her films. I have seen both "Tiefland"
and "The Blue Light". They are clearly the work of a talented film-maker.
However, I do not find "The Blue Light" as free from Nazi ideology as you
Her training with Dr. Arnold Fanck, in the pioneering "mountain" films of the
late silent and early sound era are clearly the genesis for her own excursion
into the genre. While in their purest form, these films are not Nazi works,
they, like Wagner's operas and Germanic myths were critical raw material for
the Nazi view of life. Thus, her mountain film cannot be seen as
disassociated with her later clearly political films.
As for arguing what she "might" have made after 1945 strikes me as about as
fruitful as asking what Grifith "might" have made had he lived in the time of
Martin Luther King Jr. I leave such speculations to the Psychic Friends
Gene Stavis, School of Visual Arts - NYC