Tag Archives: cultural significance

Battle of the books

The Bookworm (c. 1850) by Carl Spitzweg

The Bookworm (c. 1850) by Carl Spitzweg

I’m reading Why Read the Classics? by Italo Calvino which I recently purchased at Het Ivoren Aapje in Brussels.

What Is a Classic?” you may wonder.

That question alone is the title of three well-known essays.

All three explore the nature of a classic book.

Why don’t we let the books fight it out for themselves?

On Youtube, of all places

I can’t remember exactly how but I managed to stumble on a complete version of the German short film Besonders wertvoll.

On Youtube, of all places:

Besonders wertvoll (1968, English: Of Special Merit) is a short subject directed by Hellmuth Costard and produced by Petra Nettelbeck.

The film, now almost fifty years old, criticized the new German Film Funding Act of 1967 by way of a talking phallus representing German politician Hans Toussaint, co-sponsor of the new film funding law. The title Besonders wertvoll translates as ‘of particular merit’ (as in cultural significance vs. ‘utterly without redeeming social importance‘) and is an allusion to the highest film rating given by Deutsche Film- und Medienbewertung.

Love misquotations? Here’s a good one. This film is famous for originating “Only the perverse fantasy can still save us,” (misattributed to Goethe), which is shown at the end of the film credits.

For those of you interested in weird films, here[2] is a Youtube playlist of films featured in Amos Vogel’s Film as a Subversive Art (1974)

The film is a milestone in the history of the sexual revolution in Germany.