Search This Blog

Monday, November 17, 2014

The World As Thing

Siefried Kracauer

Reading Siegfried Kracauer's great book From Caligari To Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film published in 1947 In the present section, he is writing of the German films in the early years of The Great Depression, and has just finished discussing UFA's production of Mensch Ohne Namen (Man Without A Name) made in 1932 and starring Werner Krauss.
The next paragraph begins:
Times were indeed so bad that even qualified specialists could not count on re-employment once they had been dismissed.
Indeed!We have gone through such times.

Kracauer picks up the thread with a discussion of Die Gräfin von Monte Christo (The Countess of Monte Cristo) of 1932, another UFA film. Brigitte Helm is cast as a film extra cast as a leading lady. While shooting at night, she drives her luxury car used in the film to a real de luxe hotel, where she is treated royally because of her impressive luggage emblazoned with "Countess of Monte Cristo".
Things happen, and eventually she is found out. With a flair for publicity, the film company soothes over things with the hotel and turns the escapade into a great front-page story which is good for everyone involved: the film is on everyone's lips and she gets a good contract.
So ends that story,
...proving conclusively what all these screens opiates tended to demonstrate: that everyday life itself is a fairy tale.

It sounds so much like Reality TV, which itself is crudely and cheaply scripted, and is so remote from "reality" that when a member of the cast commits suicide, all references to such unpleasantness have to be removed from the film already shot... all this in order to maintain the diseased  fairy tale illusion of our modern lives.

We allow illusions, because we treat the world as an "it", an object which we manipulate.
When we pray to God for something, we are treating the Holy as an object to be cajoled and manipulated into giving us miracles.

Only the film companies can work miracles!


No comments: