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Just_Justine's avatar

In which way did leni riefenstahl's work influence current Documentaries?

Asked by Just_Justine (6486points) February 18th, 2010

I was privy to her propaganda documentary made especially for the Third Reich. The Nazi collaboration aside, I was struck by her explicitly beautiful stylization and poignant graphics. I am actually in awe of her talent as a movie actress turned director and producer. It is said that she was a pioneer in terms of new film aesthetics and camera angles. Does anyone know in which way she pioneered this and how is it seen and used today?

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7 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Current? She’s way too over-the-top to be anything but an historical influence. And don’t forget, she was a despicable person her entire life, an unrepentant Nazi, a liar, a manipulator and a thief.

Just_Justine's avatar

@dpworkin it is well documented that she pioneered many photographic methods that are still used today. (That were never used before). As I said, nazi collaborator aside I believe she was a true artist.

dpworkin's avatar

Why ask when you know the answer?

filmfann's avatar

Most artists are independent thinkers. Leni was not. She rode the Hitler train right into the camps.
I don’t think she was all that original. You can find much of her ideas on cinema began with Eisenstien, and he did it better.
She made remarkable films, but I still wouldn’t go skin diving with her.

Just_Justine's avatar

@dpworkin it was mentioned but her techniques not discussed.

Just_Justine's avatar

@dpworkin It is said that she was a pioneer in terms of new film aesthetics and camera angles. Does anyone know in which way she pioneered this and how is it seen and used today?

dpworkin's avatar

It’s just not particularly true. She mad very effective use of dramatic lighting and sweeping scenes of military grandeur which were extremely effective propaganda for Hitler’s State, but she wasn’t particularly talented. She used her appearance and demeanor to charm older men, and she was a woman in what was supposed to be a man’s field, but she didn’t pioneer any new techniques, she just used the techniques of her betters (Sergei Eisenstein was mentioned above) very, very well.

Orson Welles was quite an innovative cinematographer; his pioneering techniques have been extensively written about. She is a clumsy cliche by comparison. Have you ever sat through one of her movies? The best one was filmed at the 1936 Olympics. It is very, very effective and not in the least novel.

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