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May 1992


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Gabi Kreutzner <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 20 May 1992 15:17:40 CST
text/plain (43 lines)
I hope this goes to Screen-L. Well, one more word (or two) to
Marlene's funeral and Soeren's view that what happened wasn't
"too serious" after all.
Of course, it depends on one's concept of what's serious.
For me it is "serious" business that a public figure like
Marlene Dietrich is re-inscribed into these nationalistic
sentiments that we (? at least I) thought were something
of the past or, better, were finally closed by the 1960ies
at the latest. I take all of this as "signs of the time",
so to speak. I agree with Cal Pryluck that the similarities
between Marlene Dietrich and Paul Robeson are perhaps a
little stretched - it might be appropriate to
see similarities between this incident and demonstrations
in front of some US-American cinemas showing Spike Lee's
movie about an interracial relationship (gee, can't think
of the name, but you will certainly know what I am talking
about). What all of this burns down, I guess, is that
we are facing major changes from the eighties to the
nineties - and to experience these changes here in this
country isn't very funny - I am not saying it's any
"better" in the US. It's different struggles about
who "we" (the "right" Germans/Americans) are and who
the "others" are. In Germany, it is quite obvious
who is constructed as "other" (the political refugees,
re-named into economic refugees, but also the "traitors",
- who's next to be put into that category?
Looking at the L.A. upheaval, it isn't hard to see
who will be constructed as "other" in the US ...
(and hook this up with some of the reactions to
Spike Lee ..)
Perhaps all of this goes a little too far, con-
sidering that we are talking movies and tv
on this list, but it is part of the context,
part of those cultures that many who subscribe
to this list live in.
Back to movies: what's also interesting is that
the US-American press seems to have made it a point
of referring
to Marlene Dietrich and the issue of cross-dressing -
I haven't found any such reference here (while I haven't
done an exhaustive reading).
So much for that - gaby