13 March 2007

Will and Grace

Say what you will about Leni Riefenstahl -- and plenty of people have -- she is truly deserving of her place in cinematic history for her seminal documentaries including, but in no way limited to "Olympia" (pictured) and "Triumph of the Will."

Was she a Nazi sympathizer? Who knows? And, frankly, who cares? A lot of people thought the Nazis had the right idea, just like a lot of people thought Communists had the right idea, or any number of other political fancies that enjoyed their moment in the sun. That history has shown us otherwise is no reason to dismiss her talent.

A very interesting article in today's New York Times details two new biographies, the woman, the controversies, and the art.

While the radio work of Edward R. Murrow is what made me want to be a broadcast journalist, "Triumph of the Will" is what made me want to create documentaries. Disagree with the politics all you want, you cannot disagree with its power.

The books are: Leni Riefenstahl: A Life and Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl.

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