Book Review: Hollywood and Hitler –

billy wilder

In 1938, when she (Leni Riefenstahl) came to Los Angeles in the hope of scoring a big-money contract, she was given short shrift. Having denied that the Nazis were anti-Semitic even as footage of their Kristallnacht campaign was being shown around the world, she was told by an unnamed “refugee director”—Billy Wilder?—that the only thing she “could interest Americans in would be movies of an autopsy performed on her boyfriend’s brain.”

via Book Review: Hollywood and Hitler –

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  1. George Kaplan
    May 27, 2013

    Oh, *yes*! That sounds like Mr Wilder 😉
    (denying that the nazis were antisemitic? Vile, disgusting, incomprehensible, and – I would say – Evil. Sorry, it’s just the very *thought*…)

  2. May 27, 2013

    Old Leni left this world at 101 never mustering the awareness she was engaged in any thing other than “her art” – it’s mind boggling.

  3. George Kaplan
    May 27, 2013

    It *is* mind-boggling. She never mustered the awareness of the relationship between her “art” and Reality, never understood that Triumph of the Will (that title… Ugh) cast a halo around wickedness. Mind-boggling, you have it dead right dear Vickie.

    • May 27, 2013

      Self-doubt and reflection and remorse and aspiration to be better are what make us human — and I think, what made Leni’s work glossy and inhuman and at the core very wicked, indeed.

  4. George Kaplan
    May 27, 2013

    So Beautiful, so True.
    I’m beginning to sound like a stuck record Ms Lester, but you are so perspicuous and perceptive. 🙂

  5. May 27, 2013

    Yes its incomprehensible because frankly we are not like that.Ideologically blinded people whether convinced of extremist Political philosophies or extremist Religious ones{and they often blend in complex ways} can be convinced of the rightfulness of almost anything.They are not always stupid people either.

    Its always saddening to find people who rightfully denounce Hitler yet are prepared to find excuses to defend the awful Stalin,responsible for the deaths of millions.Sartre for example was blind enough to think that the deaths of millions were a necessary sacrifice{shame no one aked the sacrificed}.If I ever had any respect for him it would have evapourated after that remark.

    Never mind as a friend of mine defending him remarked he loved the proletariat and always tipped waiters very generously in fancy restaurants.There is no reasoning with some people.Lucky members of the proletariat that they must have been to serve Sartre as had they been a few thousand miles away in the Former Soviet Union they would have been-a necessary sacrifice- and he would not loved them.Give me strength.

    • May 28, 2013

      I’m with you on this, any extremist views, beliefs in infallibility, or lack of any form of questioning or doubt, tend to send me shrieking in the other direction. I think in the Wall Street Journal article I linked to the journalist mentioned that Mussolini’s son, before the war, was interning with Hal Roach…

      • May 28, 2013

        Vickie,yes exactly.

  6. May 27, 2013

    Extremist Political or Religious ideas are powerful drugs and seem to banish reason and objectivity.Under their malign influence people can be prepared to do almost anything.Sadly they are long acting drugs also and once in the system as it were are never expelled by some people.

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