Light and Shadow.
Von Sternberg and Dietrich.
Photographers and Madonna.
Riefenstahl and Life.
Leni Riefenstahl, the woman filmmakers and mortals love to hate, was beyond compare. She lived a hundred and one years here on planet earth. When I was in film school in the early 90's, we saw Triumph of The Will in my Documentary class. I've never been the same. I had to know more about this woman who created this piece of art still being copied, studied, spoken about and feared among many. A dangerous film by a dangerous woman? Too simple. I would also like to state here that I feel it is not a propaganda film. For me, that statement is comparable to when the common folk calls Madonna a 'good business woman'. It's demeaning and takes away from the truth of the artistic soul of these two legendary extraordinary women. This type is extremely rare.
Imagine my delight when I came across Ray Müller's buxom documentary, The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl in the mid-nineties. Fascinating. If you ever get the chance, do yourself a favor and examine it. A true legend, a true star and, above all, a true artist until her last breath.
Yes, I know and have listened to all the problems and debates. Hitler, the Third Reich, Goebbels, Nazis. One thing always gets dwarfed - she was an artist of the highest calibre. It's kind of like when the dingles (sorry Sean - you should understand my position frolicking with the likes of Castro and Chavez) wanted to ostracize Elia Kazan at the 1999 Academy Awards for his lifetime achievement award. Everyone studied Kazan and then wanted to get all PC and turn their backs on him when he was being honored for his tremendous work? Nein.
Anyway, I'm losing my thought and getting all fired up. There are clear parallels between Leni Riefenstahl and Madonna. Both started as dancers and eventually ended up in their prospective worlds of motion picture and music. Both are loved and loathed. Both are unstoppable. Both are Leos. Both are brilliant. I use the present tense here because Leni still evokes these feelings within people long after her death.
It was reported by Kurt Loder on MTV around 1996 that Madonna was interested in playing her life story. Then it moved over to Jodie Foster. We have yet to have a movie about Riefenstahl's life and I do hope Madonna will be playing it. That would be the film to earn Madonna the Academy Award.
Well, here we are (Dorothy Parker - look it up) and every time I get possessed again by someone I feel for (Agnes Moorehead, Gena Rowlands, etc.) I purge.
This is my playground and here all roads lead to Madonna.