Thursday, February 17, 2011

Leni strikes back

Leni Riefenstahl was a celebrated German film maker of the 1930's. Her career went meteoric when she was employed by the Nazi Party to film their 1934 party conference in Nurenberg (which can be seen here) and the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin. After the war, her name was mud (being known as a personal friend of Adolf Hitler probably didn't help) and she was shunned by the international film community, even though her 'hated films' weren't, for throughout the last sixty Riefenstahl's composition has been shamelessly ripped off by every one from George Lucas to the Rolling Stones. The reason for this is simply because Riefenstahl, though she only ever made eight motion pictures, was a genius film maker with a knack for unconventional methods. As these things go and despite her subsequent infamy, Riefenstahl was probably the best female film maker of the twentieth Century, and certainly the most influential.

Now it transpires that in 1936, Riefenstahl created two half hour long films which were, technically, in 3d. The Germans called it 'raum film' which means 'space film' and was a reference to the illusion of depth. It took the rest of the western film industry a good seventeen years to catch up.

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