Thursday, March 12, 2009

Münchausen


Reports have been arriving at our editor's desk here that the current Global Economic Collapse is causing a major uptick in movie theater ticket sales. Disaster seems to arrive hand-in-hand with a desire for fantastic escapism, and the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany in Stalingrad coincided with the release by Universum Film AG of the spectacular - and spectacularly expensive - fantasy Münchausen, Herr Goebbels' answer to Gone with the Wind. In the contradiction-laden Germany of 1943, the stage was filled with Afrodeutsch extras, some forcibly recruited from the concentration camps; the star of the movie, Hans Albers, was supporting his Jewish lover Hansi Burg in London; and the screenplay was written by Berthold Bürger, a pseudonym for the officially banned Jewish writer Erich Kästner, who was somehow able to give Albers the line "Nicht meine Uhr ist kaputt, die Zeit ist kaputt," a politically insensitive line to say the least. In addition, the movie is filled with sexual decadence, from a nymphomaniac Catherine the Great to topless harem girls (clipped out of the clip above), to the smolderingly hypnotic eyes of Albers, all while Hollywood labored under the Hayes code, but the end was near and none of this immoderation went far enough to salve the growing fear of the German populace.
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