Sunday, May 22, 2011

Syberberg Screen Shots

Well - for this week's installment of Sunday Screen Shots - let's follow up on Lars von Trier's (self-induced) misfortunes, with some shots from one of the more extraordinary attempts to address the legacy of Hitler and the Nazis, Hans-Jurgen Syberberg's Hitler: A Film From Germany.

I suspect von Trier has drawn an idea or two from Syberberg - the extreme stylization of his early films, especially, seems reminiscent of this film. And I suppose his willingness to dig into evil - and into his own possible sympathy for evil - is consonant with Syberberg's exploration of evil.

And I suspect, in his awkward and ill-advisedly flippant way, von Trier's larger point is that we can't simply expel Hitler and the Nazis from the human race. He didn't act alone, after all... how he got Germany to follow him, etc., remains a question, and how not to do it again remains a problem... I'm not sure declaring him off limits is the best answer to that problem. Mockery has great value.

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