Movies from the ‘Documentary’ Category
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
Triumph of the Will (German: Triumph des Willens) is a propaganda film made by Leni Riefenstahl. It chronicles the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg. The film contains excerpts from speeches given by various Nazi leaders at the Congress, including portions of speeches by Adolf Hitler, interspersed with footage of massed party members. Hitler commissioned the film and served as an unofficial executive producer; his name appears in the opening titles. The overriding theme of the film is the return of Germany as a great power, with Hitler as the True German Leader who will bring glory to the nation.
Triumph of the Will was released in 1935 and rapidly became one of the best-known examples of propaganda in film history. Riefenstahl’s techniques, such as moving cameras, the use of telephoto lenses to create a distorted perspective, aerial photography, and revolutionary approach to the use of music and cinematography, have earned Triumph recognition as one of the greatest films in history. Riefenstahl won several awards, not only in Germany but also in the United States, France, Sweden, and other countries. The film was popular in the Third Reich and elsewhere, and has continued to influence movies, documentaries, and commercials to this day.
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (German: Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt), alternatively translated as Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis], a 1927 German silent film directed by Walter Ruttmann, co-written by Carl Mayer and Karl Freund, portrays the life of a city.
Berlin: Symphony of a Great City is largely an avant-garde film, and does not have a story or a plot. However, the events of the film are arranged to simulate the passage of a single day (simulated from an assemblage of film shot over the period of one year). Shots and scenes are cut together based on relationships of image, motion, point of view, and thematic content. At times, a sort of non-narrative commentary can be implied, as in edits that juxtapose workers entering a factory with cattle being beaten and driven into a corral.