May 19, 2011

"I think I understand the man. He's not what you would call a good guy, but I understand much about him and I sympathize with him a little bit."

What Lars Von Trier said about Hitler, after Kirsten Dunst tries to stop him from stream-of-consciousness talking. He brushes her off with "There will come a point at the end of this..." as if he's being shocking at this point in his riff, but he's going to bring it all in for a landing in some way that's going to be quite brilliant and good. Later, he says that he ran his mouth off and that he was "egged on by a provocation."

Is it possible that von Trier really does sympathize with Hitler? I find it so hard to believe that, even though I don't much like him as a director, but perhaps that is true. Assuming it's not true, it's a PR blunder. And it's terribly insensitive to get people wound up over the subject of Hitler because you have some clever "point at the end of this."

But I can see why a movie director would think he could speak like this. At the movies, the viewers sit still while the entire 2-hour narrative unfolds, and only after the "point at the end" arrives do they begin talking about what they think it meant. In the meantime, the director can take them through all sorts of twists and misdirections. There are disturbing fears and ambiguities along the way. The viewer is supposed to take it all in, to feel and to think on the fly, as the next thing and the next thing is thrown in their faces.

But the press conference did not work like that. People did not sit still and wait for the end of von Trier's narrative arc. And now, he's being punished, and he's abjectly apologizing. Fine. But could he please tell us what "the point at the end of this" was going to be? That would be more useful than an apology. Where was he going? He is a man whom people have cared about as an artist. I want to hear what he was going to say.

100 comments:

E.M. Davis said...

Von Trier has issues.

He also has talent, but lets the issues get in the way of the talent.

The "I'm a nazi" line was a joke, I'm sure ... because he thought he was Jewish, but was of direct German lineage instead.

Hitler also had issues. Maybe that's where he's "sympathizing"

E.M. Davis said...

"the Kirsten Dunst"

She's a fine actress, but she's not THAT GOOD.

When's the Obama/Palestine/1967 borders post? Is that coming? It's more 'red meat for the Hillbillies.'

Coketown said...

I don't think "abjectly apologizing" is very accurate. What he said, in essence, is, "I'm sorry if I offended anyone. Oh and, like duh, I'm not a Nazi. Pssh." There's a difference between, 'I regret what I said,' and, 'I regret that anyone was offended by what I said.'

Ann Althouse said...

"the Kirsten Dunst"

LOL.

fixed

Franklin said...

Kirsten Dunst and von Trier get tags?

paminwi said...

Gotta watch the video.
http://hotair.com/archives/2011/05/18/danish-film-director-lars-von-trier-i-understand-hitler/

Titus said...

I believe this is overblown.

Let's move on and talk about tits.

BarryD said...

"He's not what you would call a good guy." That's possibly the best line I've read in a long time!

It almost sounds like Von Trier might have discovered an old script that he wants to turn into a film. Think it was called "Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp With Eva and Adolf at Berchtesgaden"?

Scott M said...

Watch the video. Watch KD sitting right next to him. She looks appalled. Cute and snugly, but appalled.

Harry Knowles tries this embarrassing bit of pretzel-making:

ow - seems to me that Von Trier was attempting to tell an awkward and embarrassing story about discovering that his parents were Nazis during the war... and so he is in fact a Nazi by birthright and has attempted to reconcile this embarrassing bit of family history.

Nobody is born a Nazi. Weaksauce.

Titus said...

I loved Dancer in The Dark and Dogville.

Bjork singing and dancing on a train was so fab.

Tree of Life on the other hand is supposed to be a piece of shit. Although I did love Malik's' New World. Pocohantas had nice tits in that movie.

rhhardin said...

Nazis were built on decency and family values.

That's how you get people to go along.

Irene said...

"How can I get out of this sentence."

Lost in translation.

BarryD said...

Lars Von Trier has "F U C K" tattooed on the fingers of his right hand. http://www.dlisted.com/2011/05/18/lars-von-trier-nazi

What an artist! That's some creative shit right there! Wish I could think of stuff like that.

Titus said...

Kristien "Dunst" is mortified in the clip.

Poor girl. She is cute.

E.M. Davis said...

I believe this is overblown.

You would know!

ZING!

Lem said...

The viewer is supposed to take it all in, to feel and to think on the fly, as the next thing and the next thing is thrown in their faces.

Still, I rather wait for the movie.. A good writer tends tosit on your face ;)

E.M. Davis said...

Poor girl. She is cute.

Except when she's not.

Lucius said...

I'm not sure how I stand on Lars Von Trier's place in the pantheon, but he certainly is a kind of visionary.

There's a different between offending in word or by deed, and I'm going to go on the limb and say: let Lars free associate if he wants to.

People have made films portraying Hitler as, ahem, kind of human before. Usually as disgustingly human. But then, like Caligula, Stalin, Pontius Pilate, or take your pick, he's part of the species. More evil (or more successful at carrying out his schemes) than the purely schizo/psycho serial killers that have walked the earth, but not clinically 'crazy' to such a degree that we can't try to look inside the darkness of his soul.

Syberberg's "Our Hitler" was making the point that there's 'a little bit of Hitler' in all of us. If Hitler is our terrestrial embodiment of Evil, the homo sapiens answer to Satan among the angelic hosts, then don't we have to 'own' him in some way?

That's not a form of moral contemplation that common-sense, Anglo-Protestant sensibilities encourage. But Von Trier reads Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, not Samuel Johnson and Burke. Yes, it's a "Continental" way of thinking, but it's these kinds of dark ruminations that we need a Dostoevsky for. He's trying to be *our* Dostoevsky, so I think maybe he has to go there. Let him.

Was Von Trier going to say something more shocking than that, really? Or was it something else he said (or was imagined to be about to say) that really offended?

For Cannes, that coke-orgy of publicity, with an icing of art that frequently delves into the darkest excesses of sex and violence, to talk about "humanity" as though it were one of Voltaire's salons, is patently ridiculous. Explain that one to the hotel service there.

And what does Kiki Dunst, that precious little cokehead, know about holes? I'd rather listen to Von Trier's rants than any attempt at serious conversation from her.

rhhardin said...

Mitchell and Webb SS officers ponder if they're the bad guys.

E.M. Davis said...

It's also funny that von Trier got booted from Cannes for a ill-thought run-on sentence, but Polanski can be welcomed with open arms.

Trooper York said...

Another example of why Europeans ain't worth a shit. These maid raping, Hitler loving, Palastinian blowing commie socialist douchenozzles should stay over there and stew in their own juices until some terrorist stabs them because he doesn't like the cartoon in the morning paper.

I mean we send them our very best. Snookie and Jwow and the Situation. And this is the shit they send back.

Lock the door and keep them the hell out I sez!

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred4Pres said...

Von Trier and Mel Gibson probably should not work together anytime soon.

BarryD said...

"He's trying to be *our* Dostoevsky"

Did Fyodor have F U C K tattooed on his fingers, also?

I find it more plausible that a lot or men say stupid things when they're standing next to The Kirsten Dunst (at least in her less-anorexic phases). THAT appears to be the human condition.

Of course there's a little Hitler in every one of us. That's why Eric Cartman is funny. We don't exactly need Von Trier or any other pompous ass with stupid tattoos to wake us up to things we already know quite well -- and can contemplate further (or perhaps fuerther) by watching South Park.

Fred4Pres said...

Talking about Mel Gibson and innopripriate comments: This one is for you Titus.

gerry said...

Intellectuals - especially the European subspecies - make such interesting subjects for crashes.

The resulting traffic jams are absolutely horrid, however.

Titus said...

Trooper, no worry about Lars coming here.

He is afraid to fly.

Trooper York said...

That's good. We already have Woody and James Cameron and Oliver Stone so we met our quota of douchenozzle directors.

Where are the John Fords and Howard Hawks and William Wellmans I ask ya?

Titus said...

OMG, that pic is disgusting Fred. He has huge saggy tits and gray chest hair. So wrong.

tits.

Titus said...

Don't forget Vincent Minnelli Troop.

Fred4Pres said...

Mel would have to be really drunk to yell out "sugar tits" about Arnold.

DADvocate said...

Let's move on and talk about tits.

Especially when Kirsten Dunst is in the mix.

Von Trier basically seems like someone who has his head up his ass with little clue as to what is acceptable to most people.

Trooper York said...

Another great director Titus and a great American.

On a side note, if you love the movies you should check out the blog of sometimes commenter here Glenn Kenny called "Some Came Running."

He is just about the best movie reviewer guy around. Just sayn'

Fred4Pres said...

If Kirsten Dunst ever pops out a kid or two she might actually have tits.

It would be refreshingly retro if she managed to get married before getting pregnant.

RuyDiaz said...

From the article:

The director stunned onlookers on Wednesday by stating, during a press conference, that while he was "not against Jews... Israel is a pain in the ass".

Then it is settled; the ban was a big mistake.

Think about it--by stating that 'Israel is a pain' in his ass, he shows he's an anti-Zionist. And we all know that anti-Zionists cannot be antisemites.

Ron said...

So I take it then, despite this, Kristen will not be asking Von Trier to direct "Bring It On: This Time, Fer Sure, I Mean It, THE Final Solution."

J said...

the usual Much Ado, tho Lars was correct re Israel.

Besides Der Fuhrer was arguably a patsy--a puppet. The puppetmasters? Waffen SS. Himmler, Goering, Jodl, Goebbels, that hot yankee broad "Axis Sally" screwing the nazi brass.

Now, an Ich bin Reichmarshall GOERING!..whilst in jodhpurs, wit riding crop that might have caused some real commotion.

Titus said...

Thanks Troop for the link. Now after reading his review I want to see The Living Tree-I love that TITle by the way.

I love the term "sugar tits" as well. It really says it all.

Lucius said...

Sofia Coppola should have made "Marie Antoinette" as a "Bring It On" sequel. That would have been PoMo with real resonance.

Ford and Hawks were geniuses. With a sometimes richly disturbing vision of the nuances of evil-- and/or the nuances of America itself.

But there are spaces in the soul where you need a European to go. Perhaps you import them, like Lang, Wilder, or Von Sternberg, and they meld their Old World sensibility with the conventions of Hollywood narrative, producing rich and strange new treasures.

Or they stay over there, and (in the present day) you get something like "Lars Von Trier Antichrist".

Perhaps it's not equal, but it's rich and strange, and not replicable in more commerce-friendly conventions.

I'd need more evidence on these stupid tattoos. He'd be likely enough to fake that. Or not. He has a high/low thing going on.

edutcher said...

"I am not anti-Semitic or racially prejudiced in any way, nor am I a Nazi,"

I guess that means he just believes the means of production should be privately owned, but micro-managed by government.

Just like Little Zero.

Trooper York said...

That's good. We already have Woody and James Cameron and Oliver Stone so we met our quota of douchenozzle directors.

Where are the John Fords and Howard Hawks and William Wellmans I ask ya?


If you know, Troop, I'll be glad to chip in to a fund to bring them someplace where they can make good movies (not films) again.

J said...

the usual Much Ado, tho Lars was correct re Israel.

Besides Der Fuhrer was arguably a patsy--a puppet. The puppetmasters? Waffen SS. Himmler, Goering, Jodl, Goebbels, that hot yankee broad "Axis Sally" screwing the nazi brass.


I had a feeling his history really was that bad.

PS OT: Glad to see Netanyahu told Sgt Barack to stick it someplace after he suggested Israel pull back to its '67 borders.

RuyDiaz said...

Besides Der Fuhrer was arguably a patsy--a puppet. The puppetmasters? Waffen SS. Himmler, Goering, Jodl, Goebbels, that hot yankee broad "Axis Sally" screwing the nazi brass.

Behold, History according to J.

Don't hide behind words like 'arguably'; tell us what you really think. Tell us how Hitler's particular pathologies, as if by miracle, were adopted by the pupetteers. It must have been quite a coincidence.

Julius said...

There is nothing unusual, nor wrong, with what he said from the point of view of an artist. A writer or a director must delve into the darkness of humanity if he or she wants to bring it to an audience. Few deliver the darkness as well as Von Trier does.

Some other cases:

Don't you think that the people behind the well-regarded film Downfall needed to try to "understand" Hitler and the other leading Nazi men in order to portray them in a meaningful way?

Or consider the terribly violent men of Cormac McCarthy's novels... where does their authenticity and resonance come from, if not from McCarthy's own personal "understanding" of them?

And in order to understand these people, you need to try to reach out and connect with them... Doing so makes you more aware. And it's an old idea: In the medieval epic Beowulf, the hero is only able to defeat the two horribly evil monsters because he knows the evil within himself.

Hitler was human, after all. The German people all understood him enough to hand over their country to his autocracy. It would be comforting to think that he was a devil, a demon, or somehow otherwise not human like you or I, but that is self-delusion. And self-delusion is poison for the artist.

That said, Von Trier should have remembered that he was in France, not Denmark. France does not tolerate free expression like his home country does.

J said...

Hawks had a great eye for scenes and backdrops, but......plotting, no. He was usually too sloshed for that, as with his mangling of Chandler's "the Big Sleep." At least the cinematographer was sober.



Ford's My Darling Clementine---def. classic (exceping Vic Mature's miscast Doc H, who was long and lean). But also a lot of schlock.

RuyDiaz said...

Hitler was human, after all. The German people all understood him enough to hand over their country to his autocracy.

Yes. They did that by giving his party 33% percent of the vote in the last fair and free elections the Nazis had to contest.

Those dastardly, (near) unanimous Germans.

J said...

2:08. Us? this isn't your court, Ruy Byatch. Better tell me where you live so I can just kick in yr teeth. .

Actually Hitler was the Rush Limblow of 1935--the NSDAP's peasant pundit. From a Military POV, crap. But Goering was a bit too reckless and ..f-ed up. As were most nazi officers

Trooper York said...

I don't know about that J. The movies of Ford and Hawks are the models and blueprints that everyone else works off of in reality. "Red River" and the "Searchers" are just about the standard for creativity and greatness. So many people have copied them since then that the originals have lost some of their juice. Just sayn'

Trooper York said...

Hawks didn't care about plots. He worked off the same set ups time and again. It was the smart ass dialouge and the reaction of the characters that made him tick.

RuyDiaz said...

J;

Though I suspect your physical performance is similar to your sharp intellectual decline, I must pass the offer. I direct you instead to the nearest mental hospital--psychiatry has advanced greatly during the last decades, and there may yet be hope for you.

Trooper York said...

Ford was the master.

If you don't believe me ask Kurosawa.

Scott M said...

If you don't believe me ask Kurosawa.

Coincidentally, or perhaps not so much (as I'm currently playing through a TW:Shogun 2 campaign) I put "Ran" at the top of my Netflix cue last week. It's been about ten years.

Lucius said...

Hawks is as good with plots as with any other element of his medium: at worst, "The Big Sleep" would be an anomaly, and a glorious one; but why *shouldn't* a noir be impenetrable? And you can't always take jokes like Hawks's self-deprecation about how he didn't understand the plot either at face value.

edbutcher: Don't be defensive about "film." That's a little ungracious. A Hawks film works as "film" as much as anything. Popular art can still be "art", and not in defiance of the auteur's intent. Hawks and Ford are thoughtful, as well as intutive, in ways mere entertainment is not. "The Searchers" or "To Have and Have Not" have more in common, as far as I'm concerned, with Godard or Bergman (or, for that matter, Shakespeare, Rubens or Bach) than they do with Spielberg or whoever.

J said...

John Huston's flicks were superior to Hawks macho stuff or most of Ford. The young Wayne was somewhat believable. The older Wayne was a rodeo clown. Ford also sided with the Nixonian swine




2:28. you suspect, but you're mistaken-- and your attempt to pass yrself off as an intellectual are as pathetic as yr little sunday school yap that "Nazis are bad."

RuyDiaz said...

J, you pathetic fool, let me tell you what I really think.

You, intellectual midget you, are suffering from a chronic psychiatric disease. Your agonistic behavior is a pretty good tell. But you knew that already.

I have, however, some bad news: things will not get better on their own. People reject you now--with good reason--and will reject you even worse as you become more antagonistic. This is not their fault; it is what a reasonable human being should do.

So you are angry, lonely, and not very bright. Your plans never work out, and what little pleasure you enjoy, you take between extended bouts of despair. And that's how things will stay until you die.

Sincerely;

Lucius said...

John Huston was very fine, but that's a steep climb to put him on par with Hawks or Ford.

I suppose a person is 'entitled' to make that case, in a way that's better than the strictly legal/natural right to insist that "Bring It On" Part Quatre is better than "Citizen Kane."

But still, it's like arguing Schumann is greater than Beethoven. I love Schumann, but that's a crank position.

And why is Hawks "macho" in a pejorative sense for you, J? Is "Bringing Up Baby" 'macho'? Are Hawks' women put-upon in your book?

Robin Wood, the Marxist gay film critic (and the greatest in the English language) loved "Rio Bravo" above all other movies ever made.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

"He's not what you would call a good guy"

You'll get no argument from me.

edutcher said...

Trooper York said...

Ford was the master.

If you don't believe me ask Kurosawa.


Or Orson Welles.

Lucius said...

edbutcher: Don't be defensive about "film

Hardly defensive; I think it's always been a pompous, self-regarding use of a term by the pseudo-intellectuals of the New Left to ape the Euros; telling the world that only they are perceptive and intelligent enough to truly appreciate the medium. In their view, movies are for the peasants, but only they can understand "film".

Not unlike foreign policy.

PS A good movie can be art.

J said...

Now, Oliver Stone. A real director, even if one doesn't always agree with his politics. Lars VT never made a NBK. Lars is like a soft porn hack.




--Ruy grrl--don't waste yr breath.

Go back to Rahm.com or something, puto. You have nothing to say--yr ad hominems, juvenile insults, and all around pathetic writing as feeble as the bum who fathered you.

Ken said...

Little noticed is the embrace of Speer. Who was the greatest slave driver in history? Speer has to be in the top 3. Maybe he had a "point" he was going to get to with Hitler; he embraces Speer sand "point" sans caveat.

Scott M said...

yr ad hominems, juvenile insults, and all around pathetic writing as feeble as the bum who fathered you.

lol

Chip Ahoy said...

Man, that's one hell of a fortune cookie.

ic said...

Von Trier has issues.
He also has talent...

Hitler has issues.
He also has no-talent as an artist...

Roman Polanski has issues.
He also has talent...

DSK has issues.
He also has talent...

Just musing... see if one could arrive at a cosmic truth...

Lucius said...

@edbutcher: I just think you're off-track to put this in a paradigm of New Left pretensions.

Yes, there were some major European directors who were committed Leftists; but even someone has extreme as Godard was, essentially, critiquing Leftism as fiercely as he was capitalist society.

How many New Leftists do you know who watch European art house movies anyway? Speaking for the "hipster" progeny, they know nothing about this. Their idea of an "art film" is "Little Miss Sunshine." They're lucky to know Kubrick; they know nothing of the European canon.

And many of those directors are anything but Leftist in any sense.

I'm happy to use "movie" or "film" interchangably. I think you'd agree that stills from "The Searchers" could hang on a museum wall.

But I suspect you feel that Ford and a few others in Old Hollywood are also embodying something more "wholesome", less corrupt, than the Old World. I don't quite agree; first because (you'd probably agree, more or less) Ford isn't *simply* a cheerleader for Old Fashioned American Values. But also: I think you perhaps find Ford's less pretentious style of film storytelling more agreeable.

I mean, take Welles: essentially, those are "European" movies. The crane shots, the angles, the narrative convolutions. Also the sense of evil. Also the literary references/adaptations. It's more self-conscious and more ostentatious. But that doesn't delegitimize it vis-a-vis Ford either.

Anyway, Ford IS a genius, but I don't place him as *the* greatest filmmaker of all.

Trooper York said...

Well I think you are in the minority there Lucius. Even those frog maid rapers in Cahiers du Cinéma loved Ford and placed him at the top. His work is the tenplate for some much of what followed.

I think Ford's early influences are woefully unexplored especailly his older brother Francis who worked often with Griffith. He took those earlier influnces and developed the style and "grammer" of film that is the standard to this very day.

Trooper York said...

I mean look at how everyone copies him.

Look at Obama. He just remade "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance."

J said...

Ford was a "leftie", initially--e.g., The Grapes of Wrath.
Later he gave up on that, befriended the Ho-wood GOP sorts--Fonda walked off his set on some flick.

Trooper York said...

Ford left the "Left" when a lot of people did.....when they sold their souls to the commies.

Ford was a patroit who served in Naval intelligence against the Nazi's and the Japs. He reached the rank of Admiral.

Trooper York said...

Von Trier only made it to Obergruppenführer.

Lyle said...

I can't believe he got "banned" for this. It was just silly talk from a silly guy that people take too seriously perhaps.

Phil 3:14 said...

Quote:

here’s a major lobby in the United States. They are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f*cked up United States foreign policy for years.

Oliver Stone is welcome at Cannes anytime.

Lucius said...

@Trooper: I hope you're not misunderstanding me. I've consistently applauded Ford's genius as a top-rank creator in the art form.

"Stagecoach" is one of the seminal films, like "The Birth of a Nation", "Sunrise", "Citizen Kane" that broke and defined new frontiers for cinema.

As you note, the Cahiers crowd was vital in pointing out his significance as something far greater, more central, than just a commercial entertainer.

Where I wish to respectfully prod a disagreement, is that I feel you and edbutcher are arguing the position that Ford/Hawks represent a singularly pure kind of film ("movie" if preferred!) in such a way that all European film is somehow contaminated, untrustworthy, also socialistic, in comparison.

I'm not interested in 'revising' Ford to somehow be lambasting his own country. He loved America, as he should. He knew our history had flaws, tensions, and he explored them brilliantly and insightfully. I'm not proposing some twisted version of Ford in his place. Not at all.

What I'm saying, rather, is that brilliant filmmakers of other 'traditions" (whether inside or outside Hollywood) are not somehow pretentious weasels just because their compositions are not as clean, or because their heroes not as rugged as Wayne.

I'm sure you genuinely enjoy Ford, and that makes you a good egg in my book.

But I don't want Ford to be celebrated just as some kind of plain-spoken Man of the People who wouldn't know a crane shot if it bit him on the ass, because dolly shots are for snotnose Nouvelle Vaguers or something.

Spielberg, btw, knows his crane shots, but he hasn't approached the resonance of "The Searchers".

Anyway, Ford is huge. It's not improper to mention him in the same breath as Milton, Vergil, Delacroix, Wagner, or Bergman.

For the record though: I place Bergman, Hitchcock, Godard, Visconti, Tarkovsky ahead of him in the pantheon. Hawks too.

But that's no shame on Ford.

Methadras said...

Leftards sympathize with monstrosities daily and nightly. Nothing new to see here.

J said...

Ford wouldn't testify against suspected Reds during the McCarthy days. SO not quite Annie Coulterhouse snitch-o-publican material. And he supposedly sent some cash to the...IRA.

Methadras said...

Man, Dunce just wants to run away and never be seen. She looked like a trapped bird and the cats of the international press were pouncing. Now she is going to have to issue press releases to try and distance herself from this if she hasn't already.

Trooper York said...

He did have a lot of contacts with the IRA. And he wouldn't inform either. He hated squealers of any stripe.

Check out "The Informer." One of his best.

Gypo Nolan: Mrs. McPhillip... 'twas I... informed on Frankie.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

we were nearly having a pleasant cinematic chitchat Trooper York until one of your wannabe Curtis Silwa's shows up. Sa-shay back under your rock, Sarge-tard

Ford was over by 1950 or so --as were most of the "old school" directors. Liberty Valence was like a bad Gunsmoke episode on-an- ether-binge.

Trooper York said...

Well Lucious we have to agree to disagree. I place Ford and Hawks far above the others you list. I mean Bergman. Really? Dude talk about your pretentious European twaddle. What a crock of crapola. I mean I like the early Hitchcock but he was too much of a freak and a fetishist for my parochial All American taste. I mean I will spot you a Felinni and a Eisenstein and a Griffith as equals to those guys but the rest of them are scuberino's compared to Papa Ford and Hawks.

Hot dogs and apple pie beat snails and frogs legs any day of the week.

Trooper York said...

I urge you to check out "Cheyenne Autumn" or "Sergeant Rutledge" of his later work J. I think you will find them very enjoyable if somewhat constrained by the effect of the destruction of the studio system.

I do agree that his early works are masterpieces.

Trooper York said...

Ford's work with the IRA is well documented as one of his uncles was suppposedly a member in good standing and he was involved in a couple of gun running schemes in the 1920's that never really came off.

One man's terrorist is anotherr man's freedom fighter.

Lucius said...

@TrooperYork: Okay, we'll disagree agreeably. Though I must say I'm surprised to see you throw Eisenstein out as a possible Ford rival! Probably never a bloodthirsty man himself, but he towed the Party line faithfully at least until the "Ivan" films-- and though the "Ivan"s may be truly anti-Stalinist, they are also fetid with stylistic flourishes, over-the-top decor, and Fredian decadence.


I mean, the guy was fruity ("just sayin'!").

And if Fellini isn't trafficing in "freaky" and "fetishist", who is?

I think you may be a little ironic here. *Just* the early Hitchcock? I guess "Marnie" might not be your cup of tea, but "North by Northwest"? Or how about "Rope" as an evisceration of the pretentious-homicidal Euro-intellectual fringe?

As for Bergmann: even if you think his narratives and allusions are too self-conscious or "out there", noone has more discipline in the economy of their framing. The severity of "Winter Light" or "The Seventh Seal" makes Ford look extravagant.

But if I have to be the Ethan Edwards out on the porch alone, watching my Bergmanns by myself, so be it. Go in peace, Ford pilgrim.

William said...

John Wilkes Booth was perhaps the greatest Hamlet of his generation. Yet, because of the one rash act on a single night, history ignores his significant contributions to American dramaturgy. It's the same thing with Hitler. A few bad days and the anti-Hitler fanatics want to demonize him. At a time when so called icons like Roosevelt were appearing in public with cigarette holders, Hitler took a forthright stand against smoking. The man was a Bloomberg before his time. And then there's the subject of veggies. You never heard of Churchill turning down a steak or working out in the gymn, but this simple man Hitler spent his life preaching the beauty of a vegetarian diet and healthy exercise. I think it's scandalous that Michelle does not at least tip her hat to the early efforts of this pioneer in clean living.....Does the demonization of Hitler have anything to do with the machinations of the American tobacco and beef industry? This I cannot say with certainty. But one thing's for sure: Von Trier will not be allowed to make a film exploring these connections. And don't look for Kirsten Dunst to be starring as Eva Braun anytime soon.

Trooper York said...

Of course I am busting on you Lucious. I mean I like some of the later Hitchcock. I mean how could you not like "Frenzy." And I mean it doesn't get much better than "Family Plot." Right.

I just have to draw the line at Bergman. He is in my opinion the most overrated director of all time. He is just an affectation of the pompous and pretentious poopyheads of academia who always sound like John Leonard reviewing the "Dukes of Hazard." I mean playing chess with the Grim Reaper?
Dude how pompous and pretentious can you get? Seriously?

Trooper York said...

That's Lucius! Sorry for getting your name wrong. That is unforgivable but talking about Bergman always gets my dander up.

Unless we are talking about Ingrid than something esle gets up.

Trooper York said...

Damn I can't spell for shit today.

Jose_K said...

Another example of why Europeans ain't worth a shit.Hitler loving ... so Buchannan is European? And Henry Ford, and Lindberg and all the people that attendent the Bertold Brecht party in NY to support Hitler's electoral campaign and Ezra Pound , Mussolini´s loving but,
Some people like Ina Kershaw thin that a human image of Hitler would make people sympathetic to him and his ideas . In Germany, the Fail was rejected for the humanity showed by the Hitler character.

Nazis were built on decency and family values
Hitler and Goebbels died with their wives. And gobbels with his kid and hitler with his dog, he loved dogs as evil people usually do, i dont like kids and dogs so i vcant be a bad person.Stalin killed one son, the good one, and his daughter ran away.Borman daughter, she lived in the USA remembered his father with love. The frightening thing about nazis was that. They were decent people with family values, And that did not stopped them from killing 12 millions.
From Lenin, Stalin or Mao nobocy could have expected something different from their , 5, 20 and 50 millions.

Palladian said...

Have any of you ever hung around with Danish men? Every single one of them is a completely insufferable prick. Mind you, they're lots of fun at parties, but they like nothing better than being rude, horrible and obnoxious assholes. One of my Danish friends told me that, on a whim, one of his friends threw a glass over the bar at a restaurant and broke a mirror when he thought the waitress was taking too long to get his 9th drink. Shocked, I asked how he could do something like that, and find it funny. He replied, with a smirk and a shrug, "We're Vikings."

Lucius said...

@TrooperYork: My brother's a fanatic fan for "Family Plot." I saw it only once, long ago, but a small but vocal number of people insist Hitchcock totally got his mojo back with that one.

"Torn Curtain" and "Topaz" are hard to deal with, but everyone's entitled to a fallow period. "Frenzy" is impressive, tho not a pet fave for me.

Supposedly Ingrid insisted she "gave herself" to Hitchcock as a little tribute to the Arts, on the set of "Notorious". With the line "Come here, you great big bear" (or something closely approximating).

Hitchcock apparently denies this. Whom to believe? One of those mysteries, like what the "real ending" of "Suspicion" was *really* supposed to be!

Lucius said...

@Palladian: an American girl in the State Department once told me I could pass for Danish.

She then seemed to think I was silently expressing concern because she added hastily, "I don't mean that in a bad way!"

I assured her amiably that I had no thought of taking it in a bad way. I had only taken it as a straightforward, if unanticipated, comment on blond hair, fair skin.

But perhaps she meant something else all along?

Oh, that this too too solid flesh would melt . . .

Trooper York said...

I think Hitch had sex with most of his leading ladies.

He even did it with that leg of lamb from that famous episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents."

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Thanks Althouse. It made my day to see Hitler and Kirsten Dunst mentioned in the same tag.

Palladian said...

My favorite Directors are mostly Europeans, except for my favorite, Kubrick, who managed to remain a blunt Bronx Jew even after a lifetime as lord of the manor in dear old Blighty.

Bergman, Buñuel, Hitchcock. I dread to say it, but even Michelangelo Antonioni.

Lucius said...

@TrooperYork: Supposedly, Hitch was incredibly abstemious.

That is to say: faithful to his wife. Whom he claimed to have slept with, once.

I daresay that last bit might've been a joke on his part.

Clearly, he wanted Tippi Hedren. Who is the ultimate Hithcock leading lady, as far as I'm concerned. At least as far as Technicolor Hitchcock. That ended badly though.

Personally, I think Joan Fontaine would be incredibly hard to resist. I think Althouse took a swipe at her "Rebecca" performance once, but I don't think that movie has aged a bit. Joan conveys an extraordinary mix of faux-innocence and depraved accessibility. She can play that kind of 'mature ingenue', but I would be incredibly surprised if she weren't as omnivorous as Vivien Leigh in real life.

Not that I'd know. But Joan Fontaine just strikes me as an incredible, and easy, lay.

Lucius said...

NB: though since Joan Fontaine is apparently alive and well and 93, I don't mean that to apply.

Godspeed, Joan Fontaine.

ken in sc said...

York, the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter is that terrorists deliberately attack civilians--women, children, and other non-combatants. Freedom fighters attack military, and other government forces who are maintaining an oppressive regime. Sometimes both may blend, but usually not. We should not the other side determine our terms.

Trooper York said...

Ken don't kid yourself. Those Micks were terrorists through and through. They killed plenty of innocents and when they planted a bomb they didn't worry about who got blasted.

Let's not fool ourselves.

Trooper York said...

I remember in the eighties when Bobby Sands was on his hunger strike......if you went into a "real" Irish pub there would be a bucket at the end of the bar for Noraid or Northern Irish Relief with a gimlet eyed dude from Belfast keeping his eyes on it. They called them a "hard"man and it was true. You best make a contribution or make yourself scarce.

It wasn't the Quiet Man. Just sayn'

Leora said...

I'm really tired of people talking about Hitler like he was some inhuman demon. The problem was he was a rather charming politician who was voted into office by folks who thought anything would be better than the political class they had in place.

The Holocaust is an unspeakable event but the thing that makes it horrible is that is was done by people who thought they were doing a good thing for their country. It was not the actions of one man but of a whole bureaucracy supported on the whole by the majority of the German people.

This is one of the reasons it is good to have governments that are smaller and less powerful and easier to resist.

DADvocate said...

a rather charming politician

That's a description of Hitler I've never heard before.

He was a murderous psychopath. Does he have to look like Freddy Kruger for you to understand that?

That's the problem with monsters, they don't look and act like we think monsters should. By the time enough people figure it out a lot of damage has already been done. That's why I don't care for charismatic leaders, too many people fall for their bullshit and eagerly follow them down the wrong path.

Jose_K said...

http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2011/05/20/cultura/1305881234.html