3)Tom Gunning writes: “Mabuse’s claim to be a state within a state not only expresses his megalomania but acknowledges the fragmentation of power, especially the control of force and violence in Germany after the Great War. ” (p. 138) Drawing specific examples from the film(s), demonstrate how Lang’s Mabuse illustrates the chaos of the Weimar era. How does the struggle between Mabuse and Von Wenk articulate the larger struggle within Germany? Throughout the hardship that Germany faced during the Weimar Era, their power struggle remained the most eminent of their problems.
Dealing with the hyperinflation, political extremists, and hostility from the victors of the war, Germany’s ability to keep its once growing sustainability post World War I began to collapse. Dr. Mabuse remained persistent to his megalomaniac character throughout most of the film. Because his power constantly grew and only declined at the very end of the movie, it is hard for Mabuse’s character to represent Germany’s struggle as a whole. Instead, Mabuse more accurately portrays the end of the Weimar Era in 1933 and the beginning of Hitler’s Third Reich. Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse, conveniently released in 1922, illuminates the chaos of the Weimar Era because it exemplifies the Great War Germany had just faced.
In Tom Gunning’s article he expands, “The images of warfare in the city streets, especially when the police force gives way to the military armed with grenades, certainly recall the battles between Freikorps and revolutionaries in various German cities. These, among the most realistic images in a film often classified as “expressionist”, strongly support Anton Kaes’s claim that for the Weimar cinema, as for Germany generally, the image of the war was traumatically repeated and never resolved theme” (P. 38). More representation in the movie of Germany’s crisis in 1919 is shown through Germany’s struggle to escape their debt. This resulted in the printing of money, in which over time lost its value. In the attempts to escape his probable capture, Mabuse is found trapped in Hawasch’s counterfeiting workshop, at which point he confronts his complete loss of power. Mabuse’s inability to compel the blind workers with the power of his gaze elucidates the idea that he no longer has any control.
As he faces this reality, he begins to go insane, rolling and throwing around the stacks of money as if it has no real value, typically signifying the currency crisis Germany faced. At only one specific point in Lang’s film is Mabuse representative of Germany’s suffering rather than Hitler’s Third Reich. This is during his struggle with Von Wenk. Von Wenk, being the Chief inspector, only represents morality and justice like most of the roles of law enforcement in movies. In this case, Von Wenk represents the allied countries.
These countries expected Germany to pay reparations for damages caused during World War 1, as well as restricting their army and military numbers. This is represented through Von Wenk slowly killing off all of Mabuse’s henchmen, before, after and during the big raid. He completely eliminates the forces that keep Mabuse strong, isolating him and forcing him to the underground space that demonstrates his desperation. In this way, the struggle between Mabuse and Von Wenk articulate the larger struggle within Germany and the allied countries. ) Bill Nichols challenges our conception of the term “documentary” when he distinguishes between the goals of reproduction and representation. He states: “documentary is not a reproduction of reality; it is a representation of the world we already occupy. It stands for a particular view of the world…. ” (p 83) Select a film screened during the course and, using examples from it, evaluate Nichols’ focus on representation. How does an analysis predicated upon this question yield insight into the film you have selected? Being able to differentiate between a documentary and a dramatic film could be challenging.
Both of the films present an actual period of history; use real people and real events. Bill Nichols incessantly expresses the concept of a documentary being a representation of reality rather than a reproduction. Nichols explains that if documentary were a representation of reality, the work would simply just be a replica or copy of something that already existed. As stated above, “documentary is not a reproduction of reality; it is a representation of the world we already occupy. It stands for a particular view of the world…. ” (Pg. 83). The film Nanook Of the North is a 1922 silent documentary film by Robert J. Flaherty.
The film was credited with being one of the first documentary films, in which reason it is a suitable example for the representation of documentary. Being filmed in the Canadian Arctic, it was made accurately to portray the traditional life for the Inuit’s. Flaherty managed to grasp the exotic culture of the remote location as well as the struggles of the Inuk Nanook and his family. Nanook ice fishes, harpoons a walrus, catches a seal, traps, builds an igloo, and trades pelts at a trading post. The family is portrayed as fearless heroes that endure severities that people say, “no other race could survive”.
Until this day Nanook Of the North remains as a prototypical documentary. Its use of representation rather than reproduction is evident throughout the film while it is simply based on a journey. The documentary manages to educate the viewer about the lifestyle of the Inuit. It explains a view of the world that many people have never encountered before, and it stays true to the story and representation of the family and culture. The documentary does not have the “capacity to look like, act like, and serve the same purposes as the original” (pg. 83). Nanook Of the North is its own original production in every way.
Nanook Of the North epitomizes Nichol’s basis of representation as it includes “a simple quest narrative to organize events, its exemplary or representative individual, and its implication that we can understand larger cultural qualities by understanding individual behavior also reject romanticism, emphasis on a challenging natural environment and occasionally patronizing elements of Nanook” (pg. 83-84). 6)Kristen Moana Thompson writes: “As Ian Cameron has emphasized, ‘no genre has been more consistently shaped by factors outside the cinema than the crime movie’.
He goes on to suggest that the crime genre ‘demands to be seen in the context of actual crime, and consistently refers to identifiable people, events or situations” (p. 177) Drawing specific examples from films screened in class, trace the interrelationship of the crime genre to outside factors. How does the cinema utilize the historical world as raw material for its stories? What value is gained through this process? Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol between 1919 to 1933. The ban was initiated by the Volstead Act as well as the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
Contemporary prohibitionists stated that the ban of alcohol was a “Noble Experiment” in which set a victory for public morals and health. Most of the population in the United States disagreed with the prohibition as they came to see it as an indicated distinction between the classes. They saw the prohibition as a factor that favoured the elites rather than the working class. Historian Lizabeth Cohen writes: “Prohibition worked best when directed at its primary target: the working-class poor. ” She then continues, “A rich family could have a cellar-full of liquor, but if a poor family had a bottle of home-brew, there would be trouble. In response to the prohibition, criminal organizations (normally with specific ethnic identities such as Jewish, Italian and Irish) began to provide illegal liquor to Americans. Leading one of the largest Prohibition related crimes was the famous gangster, Al Capone. It was the real violence and exploitation on the tabloids that inspired the gangster film genre throughout American history. Many films were made in order to emulate the same fear and excitement the nation felt towards the crimes of Capone, especially during the time of the Prohibition Era.
A well-known work during the period was Mervyn LeRoy’s 1931, Little Caesar; the story of a hoodlum, Caesar Enrico “Rico” Bandello, who ascends the ranks of crime until he reaches the ultimate heights of power. It was insisted that, “crime films could not show (in any detail) the commission or execution of a crime, or show criminals succeeding in a criminal enterprise” (pg. 177). With these constraints in action, it became a general typecast for gangster films to solely result in the criminal being destroyed or put to justice.
All gangsters in films would face a violent downfall that reminded the viewers the consequentialism of crime as a whole. For its pronounced specificity, the classic gangster movie is ranked as one of the most successful creations in the American movie industry. By the end of each gangster movie, an audience expects to see a significant crime violently resolved for the safety and well being of the American nation. In the case of Little Caesar, we attain our anticipated justice as Rico Bandello exclaims: “Mother of God, is this the end of Rico? ”