Other studio heads treated her like the pariah she had become, refusing to see her at all.
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Even Disney would later make the unconvincing claim that he hadn't known who Riefenstahl really was. Interrupted by war and other problems, Tiefland - 14 years in the making - premiered February in Stuttgart. It would be the last release of a motion picture directed by Leni Riefenstahl until , when Riefenstahl's Impressionen unter Wasser was to be released. However, Riefenstahl did finally manage to arrange a private screening of Olympia for an exclusive audience of some 50 press people and Hollywood insiders, some of whom felt compelled to sneak into the darkened theater incognito.
Despite the Riefenstahl boycott, the press reviews for Olympia were enthusiastic. Contrary to rumour, it is in no way a propaganda movie, and as propaganda for any nation, its effect is definitely zero. The Denazification Ordeal. Following the war in , Riefenstahl had to face Allied charges that she was a Nazi or a Nazi sympathizer.
Her close ties to Hitler and her propaganda films, most notably Triumph of the Will, made her an obvious target. She endured post-war chaos and was imprisoned and escaped! But she had not reckoned on the French. The Americans were leaving Tyrol, which was to become part of the new French occupation zone. Despite being advised to move to the American zone, Riefenstahl was reluctant to move her massive film library including the Olympia negatives and she believed that her American denazification was valid for all the Allied powers.
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That soon proved to be a mistake. Before long Riefenstahl found herself under arrest once again, this time by the French. They decided to move Riefenstahl to the French zone in Germany, where she ended up in the bombed-out ruins of Breisach near Freiburg. Eventually Riefenstahl was placed in an insane asylum in Freiburg for three months before her release in August But it was not until July that she was officially denazified by a French tribunal. But Riefenstahl was far from free. Freedom and partial denazification did not mean she could resume her career as a director, and she had more legal trials ahead of her.
The French were still holding all the film material taken from her house in Austria. Even her marriage was falling apart. To top it all, her attempts to get her Tiefland film back from the French were now being hindered by the release of a so-called Eva Braun Diary a fraudulent precursor of the later and equally bogus Hitler Diary , the work of Luis Trenker, a former co-star with Riefenstahl in several films, now turned director and con-artist. As is usually the case, a court ruling that the Eva Braun diary was a fabrication failed to stop the false rumours and innuendo the diary had produced.
The Nazi Pin-up Girl. Riefenstahl encountered resistance and protest from too many quarters. There was almost no prospect of getting a Riefenstahl film shot, much less shown in most of the world. So, she did the next best thing; she took up still photography. She lived for a time with the Nuba tribe in Sudan; recording images that have appeared in two photographic essay books. She took up scuba diving in s at the age of 72, and has continued underwater photo work into her 90s. To her dying day controversy surrounded Riefenstahl wherever she went and wherever her work was displayed.
In March , even before the French threw her into an insane asylum, Budd B. Schulberg wrote an article about Riefenstahl for the Saturday Evening Post. An exhibit of Riefenstahl's movie stills and her African and underwater photographs in Hamburg in late brought out a whole new generation of protesters. It's a fascinating, if somewhat long min. Riefenstahl Films - As Actress. In the s and '30s, Riefenstahl appeared in a series of so-called Bergfilme directed by Arnold Fanck.
The plot of such films was always secondary to the spectacular scenes of the Bavarian and Austrian Alps.
The central theme was always human surrender to the power of nature. The Bergfilme played a significant role in shaping Riefenstahl's own approach to filmmaking. Directed by Arnold Fanck.
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Studio: Ufa. Also known as Peaks of Destiny. Also known as Gita, the Goat Girl. Directed by Rolf Raffe. Also known as The Tragedy of Mayerling. Also known as Avalanche. Her first sound film was dubbed in the studio because the sound cameras of the day were too heavy to use in the mountains. Studio: Sokal. As Junta, the mountain girl. Riefenstahl also directed. Directed by Arnold Fanck and Tay Garnett. Studio: Universal. Riefenstahl as the pilot Hella, who is trying to find her lost pilot husband in the Arctic ice.
A German-American coproduction shot on location in Greenland. As Martha. Release was delayed by the war and Riefenstahl's Nazi connections. The thenyear-old Riefenstahl in her own words. Directed by Edgar Reitz. Riefenstahl has an uncredited role as herself in this German production. Riefenstahl Films - As Director. Riefenstahl's directorial debut, in which she also played the role of Junta, the mountain girl. Riefenstahl distorts the diegetic sound in Triumph of the Will. Her distortion of sound suggests she was influenced by German art cinema. Influenced by Classical Hollywood cinema's style, German art film employed music to enhance the narrative, establish a sense of grandeur, and to heighten the emotions in a scene.
In Triumph of the Will, Riefenstahl used traditional folk music to accompany and intensify her shots. Where the film does combine diegetic noise with the music, the effects used are human laughter or cheering and offer a rhythmic extension to the music rather than a contrast to it. The accompanied music conveys the meaning behind the images, that of national pride.
When Germany invaded Poland on 1 September , Riefenstahl was photographed in Poland wearing a military uniform and a pistol on her belt in the company of German soldiers; she had gone to Poland as a war correspondent. You exceed anything human imagination has the power to conceive, achieving deeds without parallel in the history of mankind. How can we ever thank you?
After the Nuremberg rallies trilogy and Olympia , Riefenstahl began work on the movie she had tried and failed to direct once before, namely Tiefland. This issue came up again in , when Riefenstahl was one hundred years old and she was taken to court by a Roma group for denying the Nazis had exterminated gypsies. It is known today that many of them were murdered in concentration camps".
In October the production of Tiefland moved to Barrandov Studios in Prague for interior filming. Most of Riefenstahl's unfinished projects were lost towards the end of the war. Riefenstahl tried many times to make more films during the s and s, but was met with resistance, public protests and sharp criticism. In , Jean Cocteau , who greatly admired the film, insisted on Tiefland being shown at the Cannes Film Festival, which he was running that year. Novelist and sports writer Budd Schulberg , assigned by the U.
She said, 'Of course, you know, I'm really so misunderstood. I'm not political'". Riefenstahl claimed she was fascinated by the Nazis, but also politically naive, remaining ignorant about war crimes. Riefenstahl said that her biggest regret in life was meeting Hitler, declaring, "It was the biggest catastrophe of my life. Until the day I die people will keep saying, 'Leni is a Nazi', and I'll keep saying, 'But what did she do?
Shortly before she died, Riefenstahl voiced her final words on the subject of her connection to Adolf Hitler in a BBC interview: "I was one of millions who thought Hitler had all the answers. Riefenstahl began a lifelong companionship with her cameraman Horst Kettner, who was 40 years her junior and assisted her with the photographs; they were together from the time she was 60 and he was Riefenstahl traveled to Africa, inspired by the works of George Rodger that celebrated the ceremonial wrestling matches of the Nuba.
While heralded by many as outstanding colour photographs, they were harshly criticized by Susan Sontag , who claimed in a review that they were further evidence of Riefenstahl's "fascist aesthetics". Riefenstahl survived a helicopter crash in Sudan in while trying to learn the fates of her Nuba friends during the Second Sudanese Civil War and was airlifted to a Munich hospital where she received treatment for two broken ribs. Riefenstahl celebrated her st birthday on 22 August at a hotel in Feldafing , on Lake Starnberg , Bavaria , near her home.
The day after her birthday celebration, she became ill. Riefenstahl had been suffering from cancer for some time, and her health rapidly deteriorated during the last weeks of her life. Riefenstahl is in great pain and she has become very weak and is taking painkillers". When traveling to Hollywood, Riefenstahl was criticized by the Anti-Nazi League very harshly when wanting to showcase her film Olympia soon after its release. Reviewer Gary Morris called Riefenstahl, "An artist of unparalleled gifts, a woman in an industry dominated by men, one of the great formalists of the cinema on a par with Eisenstein or Welles ".
Film critic Hal Erickson of The New York Times states that the " Jewish Question " is mainly unmentioned in Triumph des Willens ; "filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl prefers to concentrate on cheering crowds, precision marching, military bands, and Hitler's climactic speech, all orchestrated, choreographed and illuminated on a scale that makes Griffith and DeMille look like poverty-row directors". Charles Moore of The Daily Telegraph wrote, "She was perhaps the most talented female cinema director of the 20th century; her celebration of Nazi Germany in film ensured that she was certainly the most infamous".
Film journalist Sandra Smith from The Independent remarked, "Opinions will be divided between those who see her as a young, talented and ambitious woman caught up in the tide of events which she did not fully understand, and those who believe her to be a cold and opportunist propagandist and a Nazi by association. Critic Judith Thurman said in The New Yorker that, "Riefenstahl's genius has rarely been questioned, even by critics who despise the service to which she lent it.
Riefenstahl was a consummate stylist obsessed with bodies in motion, particularly those of dancers and athletes. Riefenstahl relies heavily for her transitions on portentous cutaways to clouds, mist, statuary, foliage, and rooftops. Her reaction shots have a tedious sameness: shining, ecstatic faces—nearly all young and Aryan, except for Hitler's". Pauline Kael , also a film reviewer employed for The New Yorker , called Triumph des Willens and Olympia , "the two greatest films ever directed by a woman". Writer Richard Corliss wrote in Time that he was "impressed by Riefenstahl's standing as a total auteur: producer, writer, director, editor and, in the fiction films, actress.
The issues her films and her career raise are as complex and they are important, and her vilifiers tend to reduce the argument to one of a director's complicity in atrocity or her criminal ignorance". In , director Steven Soderbergh revealed that he had also been working on a biopic of Riefenstahl for about six months.
Riefenstahl's filming merits are discussed between characters in the Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds. It was released in North America on February 19, Riefenstahl was referred to in the series finale of the television show Weeds when Nancy questions Andy for naming his daughter after a Nazi to which he replied "she was a pioneer in film-making, I don't believe in holding grudges. In the short film Leni.
Leni Riefenstahl | The Holocaust Encyclopedia
The video game Wolfenstein: New Colossus which takes place in an alternate where the Nazis won World War 2 features a supporting character heavily implied to be Leni Riefenstahl. Named Lady Helena, this female director is responsible for making the vast majority of the propaganda movies said to be playing most notably a big budget movie detailing how America was "liberated" by Nazis.
Lady Helena is later met face to face and she is seen to closely resemble Riefenstahl. It also revealed that her mysterious "producer" is an aging, delusional Adolf Hitler and that the two share a close working relationship. Members of Rammstein praised Riefenstahl's filmmaking abilities and aesthetic choices in a documentary of the making of the video, particularly the imagery of the athletes, while simultaneously disassociating themselves from Riefenstahl's politics. Riefenstahl appears in the film Hellboy portrayed by Kristina Klebe.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. German, Nazi, film director, producer, screenwriter, editor, photographer, actress, dancer, and Nazi propagandist. Berlin , German Empire. Women in German Yearbook. Daily Telegraph London. JTA News. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 27 February I would consider her an unindicted co-conspirator. Leni Riefenstahl: A Life. Idols of Modernity: Movie Stars of the s.
Rutgers University Press. The Films of Leni Riefenstahl. Leni Riefenstahl — A Memoir. New York: Picador. Comparative American Studies an International Journal. Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television. Jewish Virtual Library. Chapter 17, pp. BBC News.
Retrieved 3 March Archived from the original on 2 July Retrieved 12 September We are Moving Stories. Retrieved 12 March Aitken, Ian Andrew, Geoff A Cappella. Bernstein, Arnie Edmondson, Jacqueline Jesse Owens: A Biography. Greenwood Publishing. Gale, Thomson Cengage Learning. Heck-Rabi, Louise Women Filmmakers: A Critical Reception.
Scarecrow Press. Hinton, David Infield, Glenn Leni Riefenstahl: the Fallen Film Goddess. Kenrick, Donald The Final Chapter. University of Hertfordshire. Langford, Michelle Directory of World Cinema: Germany. Intellect Books. Bloomsbury Publishing. Rother, Rainer Leni Riefenstahl: The Seduction of Genius. Salkeld, Audrey A Portrait Of Leni Riefenstahl. Random House. Tomlinson, Alan SUNY Press.
Buruma, Ian 14 June The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 7 June Crime File News. Connolly, Kate 18 August The Guardian.
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