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2013-04-10: Djustice Unchained
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
suds wrote:
Plenty of good points about it here: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-birth-of-a-nation-1915

Quote:
"The Birth of a Nation" is not a bad film because it argues for evil. Like Riefenstahl’s “The Triumph of the Will,” it is a great film that argues for evil. To understand how it does so is to learn a great deal about film, and even something about evil.

Wait, what? Griffith made his film knowing full well what he was doing and the realities of those he was portraying, not to mention the whole blackface thing. Riefenstahl made her film not only in ignorance of Nazi agendas, but also under the coercion of a man who was effectively the single most powerful person in her country. Their goals were different in making the films. That quote by Ebert is just wow. I've never liked him, but now I'm glad he died a shitty death.


so how does riefenstahl's ignorance make it any less a film arguing for evil? in fact, if it was indeed made under coercion, it is even more an opportunity to learn about evil. like: how evil can suborn good to its own purposes.

i'm not even going to comment on your attitude to ebert's death.
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Leohan



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darq: You shouldn't wish death on anyone. Other things you do not do is hoping for their eternal damnation or rejoicing from their deaths. Friend or enemy is irrelevant here. Everyone has an opinion, everyone believes they are acting on good faith. Nobody needs random strangers hoping for or rejoicing from their deaths. In this specific case, I must add, it's specially ridiculous.

I'm not saying it makes you a bad person, really. It's just something you should have in mind.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Triumph glorifies Nazis, Birth belittles blacks. Now if Triumph had scenes depicting Jews and Gypsys as thieves coming to take your money, then it would have been like Birth. The actual content of each film is extremely different.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both Triumph of the Will and Birth of a Nation helped spread and popularize racist ideas which led to many deaths and a lot of suffering of the people who were stereotyped in those films. I can appreciatete grand art from nazi Germany to an extent, but I can't divorce the suffering from it.
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Arkhron



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
Both Triumph of the Will and Birth of a Nation helped spread and popularize racist ideas which led to many deaths and a lot of suffering of the people who were stereotyped in those films. I can appreciatete grand art from nazi Germany to an extent, but I can't divorce the suffering from it.


Because you never have to divorce it! All my point is that to enjoy the controversial pieces of art properly you need to learn their context. Some of them are better pointers of the true identities of their makers than any kind of propaganda tailored to cheer them (or shame them).
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
Both Triumph of the Will and Birth of a Nation helped spread and popularize racist ideas which led to many deaths and a lot of suffering of the people who were stereotyped in those films.


exactly! Triumph celebrates the third reich, it promotes the idea that this is the glorious future. ebert just said they both "argue for evil". celebrating an evil entity certainly argues for it.

and note- birth not only belittles blacks, it celebrates the klan that keeps them down, and indeed the whole 'nobility of the southern cause' thing. there was a huge increase in klan membership in the decade or so after WWI, and "birth" was part of that.
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
Triumph glorifies Nazis, Birth belittles blacks.


yes, yes, the difference, it's so clear! it's like the difference between black and really really really really really really really really really really dark blue! it's so stark i'm amazed you people can't see it.
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Monkey Mcdermott



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OH MY GOD WHO FUCKING CARES!!!
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Leohan



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess that it comes down to a conflict between the value of a piece and the value of its consequences. I have my stance, of course, but understand both of them. If we take art as a reflection of human nature, should we avoid the nastier parts of such a reflection? Should we refrain ourselves from touching upon topics or ideas that can be harmful? I personally think not. A lot of value would be lost in that process, even if some mistakes are made if it's the other way around. At the very least it's worth the debate.

With that said, I think that the correct answer to a harmful piece of work is criticism about the execution, rather than revoking the artist's right to handle the topic.


Btw, I really don't want to jinx it now, but man! A long discussion that isn't about feminism! I thought they weren't possible here anymore!
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leohan wrote:
Darq: You shouldn't wish death on anyone. Other things you do not do is hoping for their eternal damnation or rejoicing from their deaths. Friend or enemy is irrelevant here. Everyone has an opinion, everyone believes they are acting on good faith. Nobody needs random strangers hoping for or rejoicing from their deaths. In this specific case, I must add, it's specially ridiculous.

I'm not saying it makes you a bad person, really. It's just something you should have in mind.

Nah, fuck that noise, if I hate you I wish bad to happen to you. Period. Besides, I don't see anyone calling people on all the rejoicing that's been going on over Tatcher's death elsewhere in the forums.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
stripeypants wrote:
Both Triumph of the Will and Birth of a Nation helped spread and popularize racist ideas which led to many deaths and a lot of suffering of the people who were stereotyped in those films.


exactly! Triumph celebrates the third reich, it promotes the idea that this is the glorious future. ebert just said they both "argue for evil". celebrating an evil entity certainly argues for it.

and note- birth not only belittles blacks, it celebrates the klan that keeps them down, and indeed the whole 'nobility of the southern cause' thing. there was a huge increase in klan membership in the decade or so after WWI, and "birth" was part of that.

I think there's a significant difference between "that which is currently known to be evil" and "that which will become evil, but currently is not known to be such." The film makers should be judged based upon what was known at the time of their films creation, not on what the end result was. At the time of Triumph, the Nazis then were not the Nazis we know now.

But if you do want to talk about after effects, look at what the directors did afterwards. Griffith basically said "Nuh-uh!" in the face of his critics, stuck his metaphorical tongue out, and made Intolerance to try and prove his point. Riefenstahl became a humanitarian and went back to filming and photographing nature.
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it was no particular mystery in 1930s Germany that the Nazis stood for excluding the Jews from German society. they were up-front about that from day one.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShadowCell wrote:
it was no particular mystery in 1930s Germany that the Nazis stood for excluding the Jews from German society. they were up-front about that from day one.

But that didn't make them evil, even the Jews felt it was par for the course. Generally speaking, non-Jews regularly treated the Jews like shit in Europe throughout history. The had been semi-transient in Europe for a long, long time.

Elie Wiesel came to my 10th grade social studies class and talked to us about the holocaust, and someone asked him why the Jews didn't leave sooner. He said that it had happened time and again. Most Jews figured they would be displaced like they had been so many times before. It was (as absurd as it sounds) and attitude of "Here we go again." with regards to their stance on Nazi politics. Mind you, a lot of people thought it might be worse than past times, but they were a minority. It really some fucked up shit.
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

are you seriously trying to say that supporting the Nazis with the knowledge of their antisemitism is okay because everyone else was antisemitic?

i know you're a fucking total clown shoes imbecile but seriously, Darq, are you actually going there? really?
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm saying Europe was anti-semitic for hundreds of years to varying degrees, albeit not on the level of the Nazis. I'm not merely voicing opinion about how the Jews had been displaced countless of times before, it's fact:

http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1309

Werner Weinberg, professor of Hebrew language and literature at Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio wrote:
For a beginning, I shall pick only one of these three sample questions for a sample reply -- the easiest: Why didn’t you leave Germany while there was still time?

One reason this is for me the easiest of the three is that it is the most limited as concerns time and space. I am offered the temporary comfort of not having to consider eastern European Jews, who paid a still higher price in suffering and death, or Austrian Jews, who shared in our fate but began doing so at a later time.

Even so, I still have one reservation. When this question is asked with the implication that those who left Germany early were the only farsighted ones -- people of action, without illusions and false sentimentality -- I reserve for myself the right to keep silent. Why should I heap insult on injury for myself and the other 200,000 German Jews who did not leave while there was still time?

Here, then, are a number of formulated thoughts in connection with that question.

1. I was 18 when Hitler came to power, and I was beginning my education toward a professional career.

2. During the first year of Hitler’s rule most of us thought that he would disappear from the stage now that he had been given responsibilities. We had no doubt that he would fail, just as those before him had failed, and that would be the end of him and his histrionics.

3. For the next three years (approximately through 1936) we thought we would be able to endure the discrimination, the impoverishment, the threat to life and limb to some of us, as other Jewish generations had endured. For together with the blows that fell on us there grew an inner regeneration, an awakening of Jewish consciousness, a pride in our Judaism, a readiness to suffer for it and eventually to triumph through it which I do not believe is paralleled in any three-year period of Jewish history. Far too, little is known as yet about this short-lived inner Jewish renaissance under outside pressure. But just count the publications of the Schocken-Verlag or the Jüdischer Verlag in Berlin during those three years. And let us not forget that along with this newly found wellspring of strength we were still proud of and practicing our German heritage, and often we felt that we were the only true Germans.


The Nazi's weren't 'evil' when Triumph was made, they were just the latest in a long line of anti semitic groups in Europe. Or look at wiki if you think I'm exaggerating: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_antisemitism

Or in bullet point form: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_antisemitism

Also, there's this:
Quote:
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Roman Catholic Church adhered to a distinction between "good antisemitism" and "bad antisemitism". The "bad" kind promoted hatred of Jews because of their descent. This was considered un-Christian because the Christian message was intended for all of humanity regardless of ethnicity; anyone could become a Christian. The "good" kind criticized alleged Jewish conspiracies to control newspapers, banks, and other institutions, to care only about accumulation of wealth, etc. Many Catholic bishops wrote articles criticizing Jews on such grounds, and, when accused of promoting hatred of Jews, would remind people that they condemned the "bad" kind of antisemitism.

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