Category Archives: film

RIP Claude Lanzmann (1925 – 2018)

Claude Lanzmann was a French filmmaker known for the Holocaust documentary film Shoah (1985).

Above is a fragment of a Siskel and Ebert review of Shoah.

Siskel and Ebert show two scenes:

One of a Jewish Holocaust survivor standing next to a Polish church where Jews were held prisoner before being murdered.  The holocaust survivor is being ignored by the Polish who reminisce of the moaning and hungry Jews.

A second fragment is of the famous barber Abraham Bomba who cut the hair of women before being gassed. He had to lie to them that it was just procedure, knowing that they would soon be dead.

Update 10/7:

In this clip Abraham Bomba explains how he knew many of the women personally whose hair he had to cut because they were all from his hometown Częstochowa, even from his own street.

“I knew them. I lived with them in my town, in my street, and some of them were my close friends. And when they saw me all of them started hugging me, Abe, this and that, what are you doing here, what’s gonna happen with us? What could you tell them? What could you tell?”

Then, 13:30, the most gripping moment of the whole Shoah documentary:

“A friend of mine, he worked as a barber, he was a good barber in my hometown, when his wife and his sister… came into the gas chamber… I can’t. – Go on Abe, you must go…. You have to. – Cannot. It’s too hard. – Please… We have to do it. You know it … I won’t be able to do it … You have to do it. I know it’s very hard. I know, and I apologize …  Don’t make me go on please …  Please. We must go on … I told you today it’s going to be very hard … They were taking that … [hair] … in bags and transporting it to Germany … Okay, go ahead. What was his answer when his wife and sister came? … They tried to talk to him and the husband of his sister. They could not tell him this was the last time they stay alive, because behind them was the German Nazis, SS, and they knew that if they said a word, not only the wife and the woman, who were dead already, but also they would share the same thing with them. In a way, they tried to do the best for them, with a second longer, a minute longer, just to hug them and kiss them, because they knew they would never see them again.”

RIP Maria Rohm (1945 – 2018)

Rohm belongs to an age of cinema that died in the 1980s. She was one of the euro girls.

In the picture above you see her kissing Marie Liljedahl in Eugenie… The Story of Her Journey Into Perversion, one of Jess Franco’s Marquis de Sade film adaptations, in this case Philosophy in the Bedroom. In that book, Madame Saint-Age, the part played by Rohm, is responsible for the terrible maltreatment of Madame de Mistival.

Here is the trailer to that film.

In the documentary clip below you see how Christopher Lee was tricked into “doing” nude scenes.

Maria Rohm is the blond one.

Here is Rohm’s page from the original Jahsonic site.

And the “un” un-nazied the world! Forever!

I forgot how exactly the film Idiocracy (2006) came to my attention last Saturday. I googled it, it was on archive.org of all places. I watched it.

I enjoyed it immensely, at first unaware that its director also did Beavis and Butt-Head.

The film is a science fiction satire and it reminded me of the similar film The Invention of Lying (2009), another favorite.

The best science fiction stories are satires, just as the novella Flatland was or Voyage to the Moon by Lucian.

The clip above comes from the time machine theme park ride episode which was quite a clever plot element.

RIP Mel Gordon (1947 – 2018)

Research occasioned by the death of Adam Parfrey (see prev. post) brought to my attention that one of the writers who were often published by Parfrey, Mel Gordon, also recently died.

Mel Gordon was a theatrical historian. He wrote on 1920s BerlinGrand GuignollazziHanussenDadadrugs and Expressionism.

From left to right: Hanussen: Hitler's Jewish Clairvoyant (2001) The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber (2006) Horizontal Collaborations (2015) Voluptuous Panic (2006) The Stanislavsky Technique (2000)

From left to right:

Why I like the rhetoric of censors so much

Not a Love Story: A Film About Pornography (1981) is one of the best anti-pornography documents around, better than Perversion for Profit (1965).

I found Not a Love Story while researching my paper and being sidetracked into feminist antiporn rhetoric.

The most blatant variety of this rhetoric is the part where they say that pornography leads to rape, first expressed by Robin Morgan in 1974 when she said “pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice“.

Recent feminists such as Anne W. Eaton have toned down their statements from the once virulent rhetoric of women such as Robin Morgan, but Rae Langton, a well respected source in the current debate, still references Ed Donnerstein in “Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts“, her much-cited paper of 1993.

Researching Ed Donnerstein brought this film to my attention. He is interviewed on the effects of violent porn.

New to me was a soundbite uttered by Robin Morgan who states that “the first things that the Nazis did when they moved into Poland was to engineer a huge proliferation of pornography.”

The statement baffled me and I knew right away that I would not be able to find whether this was true or not, the only thing I could hope to discover is who first spread this piece of information.

After some googling I found this information cited in Take Back the Night (1980) by Laura Lederer. Some more googling and I discovered that it can be pinpointed to Pamela Hansford Johnson’s statement “when the Nazis took on the government of Poland, they flooded the Polish bookstalls with pornography” recorded in On Iniquity (1967), an attack on permissive society occasioned by the Moors murders.

I’ve previously mentioned why I like the rhetoric of censors so much but must write more about it, see in praise of censorship. This documentary is up here in its entirety but for how long considering the amount of explicit imagery?

PS 1. There is another explicit video on censorship, which has escaped the YouTube censor, I’ve written on it here and the video is still there.

PS 2. If you know where Pamela Hansford Johnson got her info from, I’d love to hear from you.

RIP Stéphane Audran (1932 – 2018)

Stéphane Audran was a French actress, known for her performances in award-winning movies such as The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) and Babette’s Feast (1987) and in critically acclaimed films like The Big Red One (1980) and Violette Nozière (1978).

A well-known photo of the actress shows her sitting at a dressing table doing her toenails. It is from the film from the film La Femme Infidèle (1968).

Above is the clip of that film with Audran tending to her nails.