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   Author  Thread: Clive on Leni Riefenstahl  (Read 1358 times)
Kevin Cryan
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Clive on Leni Riefenstahl
« : 26.03.07 at 09:11 »
Quote

Two biographies of the controversial German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl - Leni  Riefenstahl: A Life by Jürgen Trimborn (trans. Edna McCown) and Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl by Steven Bach - got a lengthy review from Clive in the Sunday Book Review section of yesterday's edition of The New York Times  
 
Kevin Cryan
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Re: Clive on Leni Riefenstahl
« Reply #1: 26.03.07 at 12:25 »
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Clive ends the piece:
 
At the end of the first “Star Wars” movie, George Lucas copied the ambience of “Triumph of the Will” with no apparent sense of how he was really proving that the cause in which Luke Skywalker and his friends had just triumphed could not have been worth fighting for. Lucas wasn’t alone: Trimborn does a useful job of rounding up the unusual suspects. Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol and Madonna all enrolled themselves on the growing list of Leni’s fans. So did Siegfried and Roy. Francis Ford Coppola said he admired her. Steven Spielberg said he wanted to meet her. If he had made “Schindler’s List” 10 times, he could not have undone the portent of such a wish, because he was really saying that there can be art without a human framework, and that a movie can be made out of nothing but impressive images. Some of Leni’s images were indeed impressive. But the question is never about whether or not you are impressed. The question is about whether you can keep your head when you are. Leni Riefenstahl was impressed by the Nazis, and look what happened.
 
Sounds rather like one of my favorite quotes:
 
And that's when I told the practical man
As he drank champagne from the Holy Grail
There are some ideas you can't play round with
Can't let go of and you can't give ground with
'Cause when you die they're what you're found with
There are just some songs that are not for sale

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And so goodbye, my lady of a night
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