Tuesday, February 24, 2009
My current thoughts on "The Blue Light" by Leni Riefenstahl
Plot Spoilers. You are forewarned.
* The Female protagonist Junta, is played by Leni whom wrote and also directed this film. Impressive.
* Junta is a social outcast that relates more to the marvels of nature than to other humans. The film is set in a small Italian villa nestled at the base of an enormous, spectacular waterfall, above which is a cave that glows blue every full moon. Young men from the villa parish as they try and reach the blue light. The local towns folk blame Junta for the unfortunate events and ostracize her. Then a German sap comes to town and befriends Junta. He, without her consent, follows her up the vertical cliff, and enters the cave where the blue light glows. To Junta's dismay the German ruins everything. He leads the town folk to the stones of the blue glowing cave and the cave is soon destroyed, literally raped of every precious stone.
*The men that die in the film are following Junta to get up to the blue light, so is she also part of what they are after? Since they all give her googly eyes when she is in town, it makes me think so. Whatever it is, the men are scaling the mountain on their own accord yet Junta is blamed for the negative outcomes of their ventures. I've rarely see films that depicts this notion, a whole village of people wrongly accusing a women who is innocent. To me it provides commentary on band wagon mentality, a tool of Fascism.
* The Blue Light comes from a cave that has a vaginal shaped opening. It holds Junta and she seems safest/most content there.
* I think it's has anti-capitalist/pro-environmental themes, as well as sympathy for loner mountain woman.
* For a majority of the film there is no dialogue. I was impressed with Leni's ability to tell such a story visually.
* the moon plays a major role in this film. I find that historically interesting.
* the music was cheesy, would have been better with Thomas de Hartmann playing Gurdjeff on harmonium.
* Joaquin said Leni invented the chemical make up on the film stock for this film that emulates night. It's spectacular. Apparently this chemical method is still in use.
* I can't think of a more beautiful film shot in 1932.
* Leni is one of the finest rock climbers I have ever seen. If you are into rock climbing this is a must see.
* Leni hung out with Hitler and worked for the third Reich. If I were in her shoes would I have left my immense privilege to live outside of the regime? YES. I mean this, but I am also not faced with her situation. Neither are you. I believe that most people would not trade there power in for fairness and truth. If they did, we would not have our history or this mess we are currently in. That doesn't mean Leni's choices are okay with me, there is no excuse for Leni working with/for the thrid reich, but I also don't judge her enough to turn my back on her work. I believe she was a privileged person that danced with evil and that she was more passionate about film making then anything else.