Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Leni, Leni - Why You Buggin? (Or, Krautastic Tuesday)

I'm behind on posting...and writing this week's Krautastic Tuesday in the wee hours of the following Thursday. So, I'm busting a Jackie Collins / Sidney Sheldon / Herman Wouk move and turning this topic into a mini-series event.

I'm currently reading Steven Bach's comprehenisve biography / analysis Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl. Despite my intital misgivings about reading the book (I feared it would feel like an obligatory homework assignment), I'm flying through it. In between the obvious issues surrounding Riefenstahl (her status as both "most influential woman filmmaker" and "Hitler's filmmaker"), there's a whole lot of pulp. In some ways, I feel a little dirty reading this book - like I'm pounding through a steamy Jackie Collins novel poolside at a Motel in Fort Lauderdale sipping frozen margaritas and requesting a "massage" from a dubious character at the front desk. Although Bach isn't tawdry in chronicling Leni's many, many affairs, he is super detailed about how many lovers she had (and who she strung along and used to her advantage).

What I'm learning most about Riefenstahl (which, in hindsight, I should not be surprised about - at all) is that she was an ace opportunist and master spinster above all else. Before I began reading this book, I would have been a bit more of an apologist for her - giving her the benefit of the doubt and casting her as a "beauty freak" rather than a fountainhead of evil.

Now...I'm not at all so sure.

Which leads to next week's part two: Was Leni Just an Asshole?

I know - it goes without saying in some ways...discuss if you'd like.

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