Saturday, September 28, 2013

Triumph and Olympia layout studies

Okay- first off:


The following images may be considered offensive/distressing for some of my viewers. Please understand, I am not now nor have I ever been a supporter of the NSDAP (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)- or Nazi party. I am violently against their beliefs and their crimes against humanity.

These images were drawn from two films- Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens) and Olympia Pt.1. These films were assigned to me by my independent study project leader to study the shots that the director, Leni Riefenstahl, used to create these racist German propaganda films.

Triumph of the Will

I think the thing that actually struck me most about all of these shots is actually how WELL they are shot, framed, composed. Riefenstahl really knew how to manipulate the viewer into thinking that this was the most glamorous political party for Germany. She showed repeatedly how massive and all-encompassing the military was and really made the individual soldiers appear to be the best and the strongest and the pride of their country. She also showed their "humanity" by showing them goofing off at their training grounds and lots of smiles.

Further investigation into this film, however, proved just HOW manipulative this Nazi ***** really was. She used multiple cameras for so many angles AND- shot the parade multiple times to get them all. Once, at least- with a camera in the car with Hitler (the Nazi sh*t-head) and at least once without. (Honestly, try to imagine being a person watching the parade, watching them do it once then having to do it again with the same enthusiasm!) Also, it is mentioned that her "arrangement" of the activities and even some of the landmarks of the parade are NOT in order! Meaning, she manipulated it even further to build up and release the viewers, per her "vision". So rather than me even believing that this is a 'documentary' of the 1934 Nazi Party rally, it just feels like pure fiction now.

Olympia, Pt. 1

So, the Film Library's only copy of Olympia was on VHS- which you can't really Pause... So much tracking lines! XD So I didn't do a lot of studies from it. One, there weren't too many shots that I would have redone. It's a bunch of athletes doing athletic things. Or maybe watching the Olympics so many times in my life, I didn't see much of anything "original" or something. (Except the opening, which features mostly naked athletes doing athletic things like they were the original Greeks! VERY cool if you like Greek stuff... like a certain fourth year I know...)

I also learned something interesting though about Hitler's authorized taping of the 1936 Olympics. Riefenstahl actually resisted the typical documentary style previously used of filming the Games and went for her own idea, which is the basis for how the Games are filmed NOW! She recreated the 'genre', I guess. Sick, no?

Overall, I come away from this just feeling so much sadness and sorrow for the people who died under these people's influence and the people who were romanced into believing that they were in the right for the sake of their country under that psycho and his devotees. Also, I really hate that I found so much beauty in the director's choices. If only she'd used her talents for ANYONE other than the Nazis, I think she would have made an amazing contribution to the art form. However, seeing as how Triumph of the Will is considered one of the most infamous "documentary" propaganda films of all time, I'm not sure she could have surpassed that...

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