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Leni Riefenstahl dies at 101 (or 100, depending on source).


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#1 of 57 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted August 24 2001 - 09:53 PM

Sorry to hear she's having problems:



[quote]

BERLIN (Reuters) - Age is finally taking its toll on controversial Nazi-era filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, 98, who over the past year went scuba diving in the Maldives and continued to work on various photography projects.

In an interview with the German magazine Bunte released ahead of her 99th birthday Wednesday, Riefenstahl complained about severe back pain that required strong pain killers.

"I get a morphine infusion every eight hours," she said. Morphine is commonly used against severe pain but is highly addictive.

Riefenstahl gained international notoriety with her film "Triumph of the Will" on the 1934 Nazi party rally in Nuremberg, seen as glorifying Adolf Hitler, and followed this with a spectacular film of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Thereafter she was dubbed the Fuehrer's favorite filmmaker.

Even in her 90s she has remained active and in 2000 survived a dramatic helicopter crash in Sudan in Africa where she was taking photographs. Within months she had recovered well enough to spend two weeks diving in the Maldives in the Indian Ocean.

"It is hard for a person who was at one time 100 percent active to experience a slowdown in strength," she said in the interview. "Illnesses increase and one is mentally not as fit any more."

Riefenstahl said she looked forward to her centennial celebration in a year's time.

Reuters/Variety

[quote]

That's one impressive woman - I'm 35 and wish I had HALF her energy!

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#2 of 57 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted September 09 2003 - 03:21 AM

101 year old Leni Riefenstahl died Monday.
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#3 of 57 OFFLINE   Peter Kline

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Posted September 09 2003 - 05:19 AM

BBC says she was 100. Go here:



http://news.bbc.co.u...ent/3093154.stm

#4 of 57 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted September 09 2003 - 05:48 AM

Morning Edition had a segment on her today. She remained unapologetic for Triumph of Will, calling it a documentary, not propaganda. Interesting person and filmmaker.
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#5 of 57 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted September 09 2003 - 06:04 AM

[quote]

Morning Edition had a segment on her today.

[quote]


I heard it as well. I believe they also mentioned that she wished she had never made it, but I could be wrong.



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#6 of 57 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted September 09 2003 - 07:14 AM

The recent release of The Holy Mountain by Kino features Riefenstahl in one of her first starring roles; there's some incredible mountain climbing footage as well.

#7 of 57 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted September 09 2003 - 08:55 AM

This may be morbid, or even in bad taste, but I have to wonder if Riefenstahl's death will be acknowledged at next year's Academy Awards?

#8 of 57 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted September 09 2003 - 09:49 AM

Steve, I think that's actually a fair question, and if we are going to be forward and honest about it I would then add that the large Jewish portion of Hollywood might not be so keen on having her mentioned. Considering her place in film history it makes for a bit of a dilemma.

#9 of 57 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted September 09 2003 - 10:19 AM

Steve and Seth—interesting points. I would think that she is by far the least well known (by the general public) of really significant filmmakers. Plus there is not really much of a connection to the Academy. I would imagine that her relative obscurity insofar as the general public is concerned will allow the Academy to give it amiss.
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#10 of 57 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted September 09 2003 - 10:28 AM

She also claimed there was not a single anti-semitic word in the documentary, and while Jews are not mentioned by name, there are references to racial purity, so I think she's being somewhat dishonest about it.
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#11 of 57 OFFLINE   StevenA

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Posted September 09 2003 - 11:03 AM

[quote]

That's one impressive woman

[quote]



Not a word I would use to describe her, but perhaps the words I would choose are not appropriate for posting on a public forum.

#12 of 57 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted September 09 2003 - 11:51 AM

I know that she made great 'technical' movies and I can understand that some folks can watch them divorced from their ideological background. I can respect that. However, I personally can't bear to watch her work for the Nazis. I have tried watching 'Triumph of the Will' numerous times and just cannot get through it. It sounds melodramatic, but nagging images of people being herded into cattle wagons begin to play in my head. FWIW, I also cannot bear to watch Soviet propaganda movies for the same basic reason. Even Battleship Potemkin sticks in the craw. Curiously, I can enjoy Riefenstahl's later work as a still photographer. If she was committed to the Nazi ideal, then she made a good job of hiding it in her famous pictures of the African tribespeople.

#13 of 57 OFFLINE   Gary->dee

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Posted September 09 2003 - 12:07 PM

Well needless to say Triumph of the Will inspired many cinematographers and filmmakers and I for one respect her work regardless of her what she believed in or seemingly stood for. She was a true pioneer and I don't doubt that come 2005, Episode 3 of Star Wars will once again feature scenes that echo the powerful imagery seen in Triumph just as many films have and will continue to do. RIP

#14 of 57 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted September 09 2003 - 12:21 PM

Honestly, I think it's about time people remember Leni Riefenstahl as a film pioneer rather than "Hitler's girlfriend." It's sad that some sites are going to ignore Riefenstahl's passing or are going to dwell her work on Triumph of the Will. Let us hope that more will be a little more intelligent about her life rather than damning her for one film.

#15 of 57 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted September 09 2003 - 12:47 PM

I can understand your view Andrew, but a lot of filmmakers have been quite influenced by Triumph of Will. Everyone knows about the last ceremony in Star Wars—and sports telecasting is still influenced by Olympia. In the end, I can detach myself enough to watch Triumph of Will, but it is pretty hard to separate the art from the message and how this film was used to convey the party message all over Germany.
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#16 of 57 OFFLINE   StevenA

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Posted September 09 2003 - 12:48 PM

[quote]

Let us hope that more will be a little more intelligent about her life rather than damning her for one film.

[quote]



It really isn't just a matter of one film. The sensibilities that make Triumph of the Will so problematic inform a great deal of her work, not to mention her further collaboration with the Nazis for Olympia.



Furthermore, when that "one film" was part and parcel of an idealogical phenomenon that became responsible for the murder and torment of millions of people, and when the filmmaker in question claimed complete political neutrality and little or no remorse for her involvement with the Nazi regime, brushing over it and simply remembering her as an influential filmmaker and nothing else seems inadequate.



However, there's no reason why we can't do both, i.e. appreciate and analyze her strengths and impact as a filmmaker, and also criticize her as a dangerous propagandist. After all, the operas of Richard Wagner are some of my favorite works of art, but I acknowledge that he was a reprehensible human being.

#17 of 57 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted September 09 2003 - 02:03 PM

[quote]

After all, the operas of Ricahrd Wagner are some of my favorite works of art, but I acknowledge that he was a reprehensible human being.

[quote] Very true and I don’t let the fact that Hitler loved Wagner keep me from also loving the Ring, etc.
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#18 of 57 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted September 09 2003 - 03:06 PM

[quote]

This may be morbid, or even in bad taste, but I have to wonder if Riefenstahl's death will be acknowledged at next year's Academy Awards?

[quote]


Admittedly, I'm going to say something maybe unpopular: I hope the Academy does not give her one mention, not an iota of time during their awards.



Her contention that "Triumph of Will" was not propoganda, but merely a documentary is about as viable as saying Disney cartoons during WWII were just "in good spirits".



Her work, which was, in all means, a great source of solid propoganda was done so unapologetically. While it represented some great cinematic moments, that does not make the person good.



Let's put it this way: the concept of the Heart Transpant came from concentration camps.. we can be OK with using the results, but we don't have to praise the innovators.



Riefenstahl led her life in utter denial of her role - even post her two films - as a force within the party. The use of people out later sent to camps - Gypsies - and the like is not one of those things that you can say makes for a great person. It doesn't help that at one point she intoned that there was a "6 Million Myth" which doesn't hold too hot consider where she's coming from.



Riefenstahl lived her life as a great cinematographer, yes.. but that is not who she was. She forever will be rememembered by many as a nazi apologist and a peddler of propoganda for one of the great evils of our time.



While many others may mirror her ability to see good composition, no one should ever aim to live the life that she led...
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#19 of 57 OFFLINE   Seth--L

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Posted September 09 2003 - 04:28 PM

[quote]

Admittedly, I'm going to say something maybe unpopular: I hope the Academy does not give her one mention, not an iota of time during their awards.



Her contention that "Triumph of Will" was not propoganda, but merely a documentary is about as viable as saying Disney cartoons during WWII were just "in good spirits".



Her work, which was, in all means, a great source of solid propoganda was done so unapologetically. While it represented some great cinematic moments, that does not make the person good.



Let's put it this way: the concept of the Heart Transpant came from concentration camps.. we can be OK with using the results, but we don't have to praise the innovators.



Riefenstahl led her life in utter denial of her role - even post her two films - as a force within the party. The use of people out later sent to camps - Gypsies - and the like is not one of those things that you can say makes for a great person. It doesn't help that at one point she intoned that there was a "6 Million Myth" which doesn't hold too hot consider where she's coming from.



Riefenstahl lived her life as a great cinematographer, yes.. but that is not who she was. She forever will be rememembered by many as a nazi apologist and a peddler of propoganda for one of the great evils of our time.



While many others may mirror her ability to see good composition, no one should ever aim to live the life that she led...

[quote]


Chris,



If she is recognized at the next Academy Awards (what an honor :P)), I'm sure the controversy surrounding her will be of central focus, such as all the articles on her which will be in tomorrow's papers.
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#20 of 57 OFFLINE   Rob Bartlett

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Posted September 09 2003 - 08:40 PM

Let's put it this way. There are many talented filmakers today who are heavily criticized for "selling out". I myself can't think of anything more indicative of selling out then what Leni Riefenstahl did.
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