Limitless Cinema in Broken English

December 19, 2008

“FIRST THE BOURGEOISIE, THEN THE MILITARY”

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 11:25 pm

This post is related to my poll 41: FASCINATING FASCISM
http://celinejulie.blogspot.com/2008/12/poll-41-fascinating-fascism-nazi-and.html

Anton Kaes wrote a great book entitled FROM HITLER TO HEIMAT: THE RETURN OF HISTORY AS FILM (1989). He also wrote about HITLER: A FILM FROM GERMANY (1977, Hans-Juergen Syberberg, A++++++++++) in this book.

You can buy this book from Amazon website:
http://www.amazon.com/Hitler-Heimat-Return-History-Film/dp/0674324560/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1229701028&sr=1-1


Here are some excerpts from Anton Kaes’ writing on HITLER: A FILM FROM GERMANY:

1.“According to Syberberg, Hitler served the Germans as a screen onto which they could project all their wishes, anxieties, and hopes. That is the point of the film’s central monologue, given to Hitler:

“After all, there was no one else who would, who could take over my desired role. And so they called upon me. First, the bourgeoisie, then the military, rubbing their hands in bliss and dirt, and also to defend their honor, do you imagine I did not take notice? Then, industry, to drive out Bolshevism, from whose Lenin I learned so much and whose Stalin could be venerated secretly. Then the petty bourgeois, the workers, for whom I could bring forth so much, and youth, to whom I gave a goal, and the students, who needed me, and the intellectuals, who were now liberated from the Jewish Mafia of their friends and foes, yes, and other countries, which were glad to have a pacified Europe again, strength and solemnity. And one should consider to how many people I gave something worth being against. And just compare the lives of so many people—listless, empty. I gave them what they put into me, what they wanted to hear, wanted to do, things they were afraid to do. I made and commanded for them, for it was all for them, not for me…I was and am the end of your most secret wishes, the legend and reality of your dreams, so we have to get through. Finally. The final time? Nightmares? Not by a long shot.””

2.”Syberberg obliquely asks the taboo question of why fascism attracted such a broad following, even among the elite. After decades of traditional research that explained fascism in moral or economic terms, it was only in recent years that the obvious fascination and the aesthetics of fascism have been openly acknowledged: fascism seemed to have elicited and fulfilled hidden wishes and desires of a people who, after the Versailles Treaty and the self-effacing politics of the Weimar Republic, felt deprived of their national pride and collective identity.”

3.”The mythic dimension of German history seemed forever devalued through Hitler’s misuse of it. The memory of the power of the medieval German empire and the dream of the return of the mythic Barbarossa, the often-evoked honor and loyalty of the Nibelungs, and the charisma of such leaders as Arminius and Frederick the Great—all had been appropriated by Hitler and integrated into the national myth of the Third Reich (itself a mythic idea). According to Syberberg, Hitler killed German identity at its roots by stealing and soiling all national myths. In Syberberg’s film, however, the loss of German identity gives way to a vision of apocalypse.”

4.”The more Weimar politics appeared as meek and “unsensuous,” the more the support for the National Socialists grew. More than any other political party, they knew how to appeal to the collective imagination and satisfy the need for the irrational with their nocturnal torchlight parades, uniforms, and archaic rituals. Already in the late 1920s, Ernst Bloch, a Marxist, correctly pointed out the mass appeal of irrational elements in National Socialism and warned about the consequences of ignoring these potentiality explosive forces. Irrationalism had always been present in German culture as the “dark side” of Reason; in 1933 it became, logically enough, the basis for a secular state religion.”

5.”In a similar way, Syberberg’s filmic work of mourning challenges the present. Hitler, according to the film, lives on in terrorism, in modern totalitarianism, in the pollution of the environment, in the ravaging of life through the entertainment industry, in the quantitative art-hating mass democracy. “Hitler himself is the theme and center of this past, which we must penetrate, this past so wounded and painful, yet so identifiable.””

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Anton Kaes, FROM HITLER TO HEIMAT: THE RETURN OF HISTORY AS FILM (1989). Found on Limitless Cinema Syberberg’s film is epic in length but of chamber-opera dimensions in its dramaturgy (in […]

    Pingback by Shooting Down Pictures » Blog Archive » 955 (97). Hitler - ein Film aus Deutschland / Our Hitler / Hitler: a Film from Germany (1977, Hans Jurgen Syberberg) — February 24, 2009 @ 10:58 pm


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