By Rainer Rother
Leni Riefenstahl accomplished status as a dancer, actress, photographer, and director, yet her whole occupation is coloured through her organization with the Nazi occasion. Appointed by means of Hitler, she directed the Nazi propaganda movie Triumph des Willens together with her best-known paintings Olympia, a documentary of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. by way of 1939 Riefenstahl used to be arguably the main recognized girl movie director on the planet; but, after international battle II, she was once by no means back approved as a filmmaker.Rainer Rother's ebook offers particular assurance, from unique documentation, of these points of Riefenstahl's profession she herself has tried to sanitize. it's a awesome account of the interesting existence and paintings of Germany's so much arguable photographer and filmmaker.Leni Riefenstahl, 100 years previous in 2002, is among the most crucial and debatable filmmakers of the 20th century. This robust translation of Rainer Rother's acclaimed exploration of her lifestyles focuses either on Riefenstahl the girl and Riefenstahl the director. even though favourite by way of such greats as Walt Disney, Charlie Chaplin, and Andy Warhol, Riefenstahl's achievements are clouded by way of her organization with Nazi Germany and the 3rd Reich. This overt pressure among the political that means of her paintings for nationwide Socialism and its crucial aesthetic caliber kinds the root of this compelling account.
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Extra resources for Leni Riefenstahl: The Seduction of Genius
Arnold Fanck loaded the narration with symbolism. Instead of producing a 'boy-meets-girl' story, the encounter is between two elements, two principles - mountain and sea, man and woman. This makes the film top-heavy, for (like other Fanck films) it pays little heed to narrative consistency. The introduction of the 'two friends', who subsequently meet again as rivals for Diotima's affections, is overshadowed by the (extradiegetic) shots of beautiful mountain scenery. Even the central love story fails to develop: 'the friend' (the character played by Luis Trenker has no name in this film) sees photographs of Diotima in the foyer of the Grand Hotel and is immediately gripped, as if by the hand of fate.
The criticism of her propaganda films almost completely obscured her earlier achievements. Das blaue Licht Riefenstahl's first work as a director is unusual in every respect. A film drawing on elements from fairy-tales, horror films14 and romantic symbols represented a unique kind of production for 1932. DÖS blaue Licht clearly reflects its maker's determination to impose her stylistic ideas and achieve a consistent overall impression. Financial constraints partly explain the use of amateur actors and the fact that it was filmed almost entirely on location with relatively few shifts of scene, but there were also stylistic reasons.
In the elevated tone typical of the film's captions, we are told: 'There, where the cliff drops steeply and defiantly down to the breakers . . ' The character's foreignness is related to her anti-realism, which is heavily emphasized. She is introduced as a natural being rather than a social one. The initial shots of Leni Riefenstahl are stark and backlit: she is visible only as a silhouette against the sea and the sky. There are beautiful shots of the sea, which 'is her love'; 'her life, however, is her dancing - the expression of her tempestuous soul'.
Leni Riefenstahl: The Seduction of Genius by Rainer Rother