Leni Riefenstahl

She's probably roasting on a spit as we speak, but good God the woman was a genius with film.

It's impossible not to wonder what went wrong, after her Body Beautiful days (or really, it probably all makes sense) ...

... and in her transformation from leading experimental filmmaker to mouthpiece of the Third Reich.

And most disquieting is how superb her films for the Nazi's are; you can certainly find flaw in her character and choice of message, but the artistry is unmatched. It's so depressing.

Led astray from those heady days of freedom in 1920s Berlin, shown here with fellow hedonist, Marlene Dietrich:

And here at her summer villa, showing unerring taste in striped sun shades, but a less discerning eye in selecting her company:


victoria thorne said...

How perfectly articulated. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

With the likes of Mondoblogo and a select few, I am starting to think that certain blogs with their organic evolution, critical editing, personal wit and social commentary may be the new art form. You are right up there.

Nick Heywood said...

Dear Anonymous,

Why be anonymous! I wish I could tell you directly how touched I am by your comment. I also admire Mondoblogo, and am flattered to be placed in the same category.

Thank you again.

And thanks to you too, Ms. Thorne.

Daniel-Halifax said...

You had me at 1920's Berlin...

The Ancient said...

A wonderful post, with perfect pitch.

Leni Riefenstahl has been a guilty pleasure of mine for more than forty years, when a slightly mad professor revealed a cache of her films.

Olympia and That Other One (cough) are really stupendous technical achievements. And because she was a woman (as well as a Nazi fellow-traveler) she's never gotten quite the professional credit she deserves.

(Given the increasing tendency to qualify "art" with the personal politics of its creator/s --witness the recent kefluffle over The Velvet Underground and The Stooges -- I suppose that credit may never arrive.)

Anonymous said...

that nat sozial stuff is like so appealing.follow the leader and then we will be buff.we just have to submit to the will.then we will become perfect.

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Thanks for commenting on Nick Haus! I look forward to seeing what you have to say. Unfortunately, I had to stop taking Anonymous comments -- too much spam, too much vituperative. Come out from behind the curtain, ye nasty Anonymous! Everyone else, please, I love to hear from you.

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