Triumph of the Will

I’ve just watched Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will. I wasn’t as moved as I expected to be; perhaps precisely because the film shows only ‘positive’ messages, which I’m not greatly influenced by because of the benefit of hindsight. All the negative connotations of Hitler, WWII, and the Holocaust are absent. In fact, after some time, the film becomes rather repetitive and I skipped several sections. Nevertheless, Hitler’s closing speech to the Party Congress at the end of the film is well worth watching, as a striking example of just how good oratory can get (ironic from a man that’s so hard to admire in most other respects). It is well worth reading Our Masters’ Voices for some academic study of Hitler and other great orators.


[...] Perversion for Profit is a 1965 anti-porn documentary film. Very little footage is shown apart from the presenter in the studio: George Putnam. His didactic pronouncements, tone of voice, and Brylcreemed presentation would seem hilarious to many today, and this manner is constantly (and justifiably) parodied on TV - The Simpsons perhaps being a good example. Most of the facts Putnam presents are statements of opinion - connected without demonstrating correlation, much less causation. He doesn’t discuss the morality of censorship at all. It’s well worth seeing, though, as an example of propaganda - although less subtle than, say, Triumph of the Will, it’s still crisp, clean filmmaking. [...]