Leni Riefenstahl

  • Leni Riefenstahl – Tiefland (1954)

    After spending the 1930s as the Third Reich’s principal cinematic chronicler, Leni Riefenstahl returned to fictional films with Tiefland. According to Riefenstahl, she had refused to make any more propaganda pictures–“for good reasons,” she explained enigmatically–choosing instead to direct a period romance, based on an old Spanish play and opera by Eugen d’Albert. Riefenstahl cast herself as the central character, Marta, a Spanish dancer who becomes the romantic bone of contention between humble shepherd Franz Eichberger and imperious marquis Bernhard Minetti. While the material seems to cry out for music, Riefenstahl plays the story straight, though much of the acting can certainly be described as operatic.Read More »

  • Leni Riefenstahl – Olympia 2. Teil – Fest der Schönheit AKA Olympia 2: Festival of Beauty (1938)

    Quote:
    After being commissioned by the 1936 Olympic Committee to create a feature film of the Berlin Olympics, Riefenstahl shot a documentary that celebrates the human body by combining the poetry of bodies in motion with close-ups of athletes in the heat of competition. The production tends to glorify the young male body and, some say, expresses the Nazi attitude toward athletic prowess. Miss Riefenstahl captures the grace of athletes during field hockey, soccer, bicycling, equestrian, aquatic and gymnastic events. Highlights are the Pentathlon and the Decathlon, which was won by American Glenn Morris; it ends with the triumphant conclusion of the games.Read More »

  • Leni Riefenstahl – Olympia 1. Teil – Fest der Völker AKA Olympia 1: Festival of the Nations (1938)

    Quote:
    After being commissioned by the 1936 Olympic Committee to create a feature film of the Berlin Olympics, Riefenstahl shot a documentary that celebrates the human body by combining the poetry of bodies in motion with close-ups of athletes in the heat of competition. Includes the marathon, men’s diving, and American track star Jesse Owen’s sprint races at the 1936 Olympic games. The production tends to glorify the young male body and, some say, expresses the Nazi attitude toward athletic prowess. Includes the lighting of the torch at the stadium and Adolf Hitler looking on in amazement as Jesse Owens wins an unprecedented four Gold MedalsRead More »

  • Leni Riefenstahl – Der Sieg des Glaubens AKA Victory of the Faith (1933)

    Plot
    Der Sieg des Glaubens (English: The Victory of Faith) is the first documentary directed by Leni Riefenstahl, who was hired despite opposition from Nazi officials that resented employing a woman — and a non-Party member too. Her film recounts the Fifth Party Rally of the Nazi Party, which occurred in Nuremberg from August 30 to September 3 in 1933.Read More »

  • Leni Riefenstahl & Béla Balázs – Das blaue Licht AKA The Blue Light (1932)

    Synopsis
    Junta is hated by the people in the village where she lives, especially by the women, who suspect her of being a witch. Only she can climb the nearby mountains to a cave high up, whence a mysterious blue light glows when the moon is full. Many young men of the village have died trying to follow her. She is driven out of town, and takes to living in the mountains. Eventually she shares the secret of the blue light with one man, and he betrays it.Read More »

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