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August 2002, Week 5


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 30 Aug 2002 16:13:02 +0300
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I think the problem of relationship between fascism and art is much more
complex than last posts on the list lead us to believe. One of the issues is
aesthetic: what is beautiful. Antoher is more political: how art can be (or
is) used? Even the question of *degenerate art* in Nazi Germany is not so
clear cut: see the art collections of  the Nazi leaders - plenty of
proscribed artwork in their secret cellars.

In Leni R.'s films we can see all the complexity of the issue. Are their
films porpaganda? Without any doubt the answer is yes. And remember, in
achieving it she used also quite modern, almost avant-guarde cutting, not
only pro-filmic objects and events that would please Nazi eyes. Everything
would be much easier if she were not so bloody talented!

The problem is, of course, that we cannot (at least not in such extreme
cases as LR proves to be) separate form, content and the historical and
political knowledge. After all, Wagner's music practically cannot be heard
in any concert in Israel - Wagner musical/operatic merits notwithstanding.

Boris Vidovic
Finnish Film Archive
PL 177
00151 Helsinki
tel.: +358 9 6154 0258
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