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The 'Titanic' and 'Avatar': A Curious Obsession with Nazi Sympathizer Leni Riefenstahl
The American Thinker ^ | 4/22/2011 | Mark Musser

Posted on 04/22/2011 8:03:14 AM PDT by Olympiad Fisherman

Robert von Dassanowsky, the director of Film Studies at the University of Colorado, acutely noticed back in 2001 that James Cameron's epic movie Titanic is based on the German mountain films that Riefenstahl starred in. Although largely ignoring Riefenstahl's compromised relationship with the Nazis, von Dassanowsky makes a compelling case that Cameron's Titanic is a German mountain film set upon the sea ice of the North Atlantic.

Von Dassanowsky even went so far to strongly suggest that the heroine in the Titanic, Rose, is actually based on Riefenstahl's personal character. He then intimates that Cameron may have indeed directed the Titanic to show how Riefenstahl's untamed feminism eventually overcame her compromised relationship with the chauvinism of the Nazis, represented by her dictatorial fiancé on the ship, whom she never married. In the end, Riefenstahl, like Rose, redeemed herself from the dictatorial Nazi regime.

Even more startling, Cameron also borrowed from Nazi Germany's own version of the Titanic made in 1943. In the Nazi version, the hero of the story is a German officer who ...

(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...


TOPICS: Arts/Photography; History; Outdoors; Society
KEYWORDS: enemypropaganda; hollywood; leniriefenstahl; riefenstahl; titanic
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1 posted on 04/22/2011 8:03:18 AM PDT by Olympiad Fisherman
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To: Olympiad Fisherman
This is so far fetched it's ridiculous.
2 posted on 04/22/2011 8:07:04 AM PDT by Artemis Webb (What, if not a bagel and coffee, confirms the existence of a just and loving God?)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman
Cameron is a wacky Leftist. I don't like him.

But my God, the man knows how to make movies. I didn't even realize it until I saw a list of his movies. I had no idea he had been involved in so many of my favorite movies, going back several decades. The man is just good at his job.

One way to master your craft is to look at predecessors and to learn from them. Everyone agrees that Riefenstahl was a great film maker. So Cameron studied and learned from her. What's the big deal?

3 posted on 04/22/2011 8:07:48 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: Olympiad Fisherman
This is too much of a stretch for me. There is no cinematic similarity whatsoever between Titanic and Triumph of the Will. Zero. I wouldn't waste my money on Avatar so I can't comment, but stylistically, thematically, and artistically, Cameron is not Riefenstahl.
4 posted on 04/22/2011 8:08:43 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

I thought undersea UFOs destroyed the Titanic...


5 posted on 04/22/2011 8:11:07 AM PDT by WayneS (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman
Reads like an undergrad film paper. Draws some pretty wild comparisons; if the subject matter were green-friendly, would probably get a B+ (I know this because I certainly pandered to my professor and TA's when writing up film themes).

But the thesis ultimately fails due to one simple problem. The hero in Titanic was named "Jack", not "Jake". When faced with such elementary carelessness, I must give a failing grade.

6 posted on 04/22/2011 8:12:06 AM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

7 posted on 04/22/2011 8:12:27 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

Cameron stole his movie ideas from the nazis? What’s his next movie, TRIUMPH OF THE WILL, PART II starring Sean Penn?


8 posted on 04/22/2011 8:12:33 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

Why should Leni Riefenstahl be excluded from all the directors that Cameron ripped off making Avatar?


9 posted on 04/22/2011 8:12:46 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman
The 'Titanic' and 'Avatar': A Curious Obsession with Nazi Sympathizer Leni Riefenstahl

...OR, perhaps a certain 'film studies' professor is bored and craves attention

10 posted on 04/22/2011 8:13:48 AM PDT by WayneS (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: BenLurkin

Those films were referenced by Tarantino in Inglourious Basterds.


11 posted on 04/22/2011 8:15:23 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dead

He took the idea for Terminator from an episode of The Outer Limits so...


12 posted on 04/22/2011 8:15:27 AM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

So, Ms. Rienfenstahl one made a cartoon movie about a racially ambiguous little dude with an arrow on his head who wears robes like a buddhist monk and ‘bends’ air... or something?

;-)


13 posted on 04/22/2011 8:18:00 AM PDT by WayneS (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: WayneS

Either that, or Godzilla — http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2704867/posts


14 posted on 04/22/2011 8:19:27 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both)
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To: IronJack

Avatar without 3-D is a really so-so average movie with a Disney-like simplistic plot.


15 posted on 04/22/2011 8:20:34 AM PDT by WOBBLY BOB ( "I don't want the majority if we don't stand for something"- Jim Demint)
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To: Artemis Webb

It does not appear that you have even bothered to read the article.


16 posted on 04/22/2011 8:21:37 AM PDT by Olympiad Fisherman (Olympiad Fisherman)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

Everybody is influenced by everything. Well almost. Probably not a stretch to think that there is some influence. What’s a stretch it to take that idea and say it’s a conscious remake. That’s where things get ridiculous.

Take George Harrison and My Sweet Lord and the Chiffons’ He’s So Fine. I doubt George set out to consciously rewrite or steal He’s So Fine. But doubtless he had heard the song and somewhere along the line it stuck in his brain. I think that’s how most of these things work.


17 posted on 04/22/2011 8:21:56 AM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten (Welcome to the USA - where every day is Backwards Day!)
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To: Mr. Bird

Yes, you are right about Jack.


18 posted on 04/22/2011 8:22:57 AM PDT by Olympiad Fisherman (Olympiad Fisherman)
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To: IronJack
"Avatar"

They'eve been showing the film endlessly on HBO. Every time I'm flipping through the channels and Avatar appears on the screen, I think I'm looking at overgrown Smurfs. Really, the movie is too absurd to be taken seriously.

19 posted on 04/22/2011 8:25:54 AM PDT by driftless2 (For long-term happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten

Knowing James Cameron’s green streak, this is not a stretch - far from it - it is the heart of the matter.


20 posted on 04/22/2011 8:26:05 AM PDT by Olympiad Fisherman (Olympiad Fisherman)
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To: WOBBLY BOB

21 posted on 04/22/2011 8:26:43 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: ClearCase_guy

The deal with Leni Riefenstahl is much bigger than most people would care to admit.


22 posted on 04/22/2011 8:27:20 AM PDT by Olympiad Fisherman (Olympiad Fisherman)
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To: ClearCase_guy

The deal with Leni Riefenstahl is much bigger than most people would care to admit.


23 posted on 04/22/2011 8:27:30 AM PDT by Olympiad Fisherman (Olympiad Fisherman)
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To: WayneS

Very unlikely.


24 posted on 04/22/2011 8:28:08 AM PDT by Olympiad Fisherman (Olympiad Fisherman)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

Expand? I don’t know what you’re saying.


25 posted on 04/22/2011 8:28:35 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: ClearCase_guy
But my God, the man knows how to make movies.

It's funny when you see some of his stuff and for a moment you might look at how the technology used is a little dated, and then you remember that when he made some of those things, he had to have the technology invented in the first place.

(Granted, folks like Lucas and Henson actually invented stuff, but Cameron still envisioned what he needed.)

26 posted on 04/22/2011 8:28:57 AM PDT by Tanniker Smith (I didn't know she was a liberal when I married her.)
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To: dead

Your question answers itself.


27 posted on 04/22/2011 8:29:19 AM PDT by Olympiad Fisherman (Olympiad Fisherman)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Have you read the entire article, or just the paragraph up front?


28 posted on 04/22/2011 8:30:27 AM PDT by Olympiad Fisherman (Olympiad Fisherman)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

You take yourself VERY seriously, don’t you?


29 posted on 04/22/2011 8:31:04 AM PDT by WayneS (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: IronJack
This is too much of a stretch for me. There is no cinematic similarity whatsoever between Titanic and Triumph of the Will.

That is not what is claimed. It is claimed that it is based on the "German mountain films" (Bergfilme) which is a totally different genre than "Triumph of the Will" or "Olympiad".

".... acutely noticed back in 2001 that James Cameron's epic movie Titanic is based on the German mountain films that Riefenstahl starred in."

A mountain film is a film genre that focuses on mountaineering and especially the battle of man against nature.

The Bergfilme was as popular in the German cinema in the 1930's as the Western was popular in the American cinema in the 1950's.

30 posted on 04/22/2011 8:32:03 AM PDT by Polybius
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To: Olympiad Fisherman
I've seen you post a large number of one sentence replies, which are cryptic and contain no actual intellectual content. You seem to think you have deep insight -- but you hide it well.

Be expository if you want people to pay attention to you.

31 posted on 04/22/2011 8:32:23 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: dfwgator

Well done!


32 posted on 04/22/2011 8:32:31 AM PDT by WayneS (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: dfwgator; All

“Das Blaue Licht” (aka The Blue Light) is availible at Amazon.com It is well worth $18. http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Light-Leni-Riefenstahl/dp/B000HD1MW0/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1303485767&sr=1-1


33 posted on 04/22/2011 8:32:44 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both)
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To: WayneS
"...OR, perhaps a certain 'film studies' professor is bored and craves attention.. "

No kidding. Rose is Molly Brown.

34 posted on 04/22/2011 8:32:46 AM PDT by moehoward
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

Though there is the argument that Cameron’s movie career is nothing more than a vehicle to help him find his next wife, I find this analysis a far, far reach.


35 posted on 04/22/2011 8:33:07 AM PDT by righttackle44 (I may not be much, but I raised a U.S. Marine.)
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To: driftless2

Oh, that’s right, he was talking about the ‘Avatar’ with the blue people in it, not the robe-wearing/arrow-headed guy. I’m glad I’ve finally got that straight.

But now I have to wonder if maybe “Blue Man Group” was influenced by Leni Riefenstahl.


36 posted on 04/22/2011 8:36:38 AM PDT by WayneS (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

Movie reviewers get paid to write nonsense. This is a good example. Avatar was an anti-American leftist fantasy, but it was a ripoff of Dances with Wolves, not Leni Riefenstal.


37 posted on 04/22/2011 8:39:46 AM PDT by ozzymandus
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To: Olympiad Fisherman
The deal with Leni Riefenstahl is much bigger than most people would care to admit.

Is your point that Cameron was very influenced by, and incorporates references to Riefenstahl, in his movies?

If that's it, it's not really a very important point.

Riefenstahl was an amazingly influential director. The entire direction of cinema was influenced greatly by her, as it was Georges Méliès or KKK-sympathetic D.W. Griffith.

38 posted on 04/22/2011 8:45:31 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: ozzymandus
Do you think people will accuse me of being influenced by other directors when they see MY latest film: Titanic Holy Mountain Dances of the Blue Pocohontas People?
39 posted on 04/22/2011 8:46:29 AM PDT by WayneS (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: WOBBLY BOB

I’ve never seen Avatar, and I never plan on it. That would take up 3 hrs. of my life I could never get back.


40 posted on 04/22/2011 8:52:17 AM PDT by KansasGirl
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To: KansasGirl

You can watch Titanic in 5 seconds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuSdU8tbcHY


41 posted on 04/22/2011 8:54:28 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: ozzymandus
Avatar was an anti-American leftist fantasy, but it was a ripoff of Dances with Wolves, not Leni Riefenstal.

Dances with Wolves, certainly. But also the Pocahontas cartoon. And At Play in the Fields of the Lord. And the Mosquito Coast. And Fern Gully.

The reason it took Cameron 10 year to make the movie was that he had to wait for all the films he wanted to rip off to be finished.

42 posted on 04/22/2011 8:54:47 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: blueunicorn6
Cameron stole his movie ideas from the nazis?

As one of my Jesuit high school teachers taught our class, since only God is perfect, even if a man purposely tries to be 100% evil, 100% of the time, that man will certainly fail and, occasionally, come up with something really good and, sometimes, downright lovable.

Later in 1933, Adolf Hitler met with Ferdinand Porsche to discuss Hitler's idea of a volkswagen. Hitler proposed a people's car that could carry 5 people, cruise up to 62mph, return 33mpg, and cost only 1000 Reich Marks. This was an opportunity for Porsche to push his idea of a small car foward, as was it to help Hitler get a real people's car for the citizens of Germany.


43 posted on 04/22/2011 8:58:56 AM PDT by Polybius
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

There is a very good reason that Cameron is fascinated with Reifenstahl. It’s because she was actually a superb director. The author lists several of her movies, but I wonder if he actually looked at any of them.

She made several dynamic innovations to filmmaking, and was hugely influential in both the very advanced pre-Nazi German film industry, and later, in a secondary way, when many in their film industry fled to the US and ended up in Hollywood.

Directors like Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, and Fred Zinnemann were all very familiar with Reifenstahl’s techniques and brought them to the US.

And you can see her influence in such movies as The Big Heat, High Noon, and From Here to Eternity.


44 posted on 04/22/2011 8:58:58 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: blueunicorn6
Cameron stole his movie ideas from the nazis?

We got to the moon because of a "Nazi."

45 posted on 04/22/2011 9:01:17 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Polybius

The guy standing behind Hitler spent a little too much time in the tanning booth.


46 posted on 04/22/2011 9:03:12 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Polybius
".... acutely noticed back in 2001 that James Cameron's epic movie Titanic is based on the German mountain films that Riefenstahl starred in."

I'd like to see some evidence of this acute notice in 2001.

47 posted on 04/22/2011 9:08:37 AM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: KansasGirl

Even soccer can be tolerable if viewed in 3-D.


48 posted on 04/22/2011 9:24:29 AM PDT by WOBBLY BOB ( "I don't want the majority if we don't stand for something"- Jim Demint)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman
Anyone staging a political rally or campaign who *hasn't* studied ‘Triumph of the will’ is an idiot (G Gordon Liddy wrote of showing that film to colleagues and they were blown away) and any competent director is deeply familiar with her work, just as any campaign manager, press spokesman or media director would be a nitwit to not have studied Goebbels every technique and strategy.
49 posted on 04/22/2011 9:27:25 AM PDT by RedStateRocker (Nuke Mecca, Deport all illegals, abolish the IRS, DEA and ATF.)
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To: Bubba Ho-Tep
"Robert von Dassanowsky, the director of Film Studies at the University of Colorado, acutely noticed back in 2001 that James Cameron's epic movie Titanic is based on the German mountain films that Riefenstahl starred in."

I'd like to see some evidence of this acute notice in 2001.

August 19, 2002 .... TIME Magazine .... In Her Own Image: ...... Few movie fans realize how many of Riefenstahl's ideas and images have slipped into recent film. In addition to Verhoeven, George Lucas echoed her in this year's Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones; snippets of Triumph of the Will appeared in Oliver Stone's The Doors; and James Cameron's Titanic took many details from her little-seen 1954 film Tiefland , about a woman who falls under a tyrant's control but eventually finds freedom. "I was sitting in the theater thinking, 'I've seen these scenes somewhere before,'" says film scholar Robert von Dassanowsky. "Isn't that the hallmark of a truly influential artist, that her work survives and influences, even detached from her name?"

**********

Tiefland (Lowlands) is a 1954 film that Leni Riefenstahl scripted, directed, acted in, and edited. .... Pedro, a shepherd, is sleeping in his Pyrenean mountain hut ....

50 posted on 04/22/2011 9:29:34 AM PDT by Polybius
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