Monday, June 06, 2005

Weekend Netflix

Very interesting not only for its presentation of the rather remarkable achievements of Leni Riefenstahl as a cinematic innovator and technician, but also for the troubling moral ambiguities of this enigmatic genius. I'm not convinced she was wholly innocent of being an enthusiastic Nazi, but I'm less convinced now than before I saw the documentary. I love the shot of 90-year-old Leni carressing a giant skate on the ocean floor.

An almost perfect thematic match for the above documentary. Sometimes the Netflix queue exhibits a bit of synchronicity. Another morally ambiguous subject, but perhaps less understandable than Leni. Fred Leuchter refuses to acknowledge evidence which contradicts his own, and whatever his motive (fame? money? a sense of belonging?) his case is less ambiguous than Riefenstahl's--her explanations are possibly acceptable, but his aren't. He's still an interesting guy, and Erol Morris (The Fog of War) presents Leuchter's case and the contrary arguments without judgment.

Before he was Elrond or Mr. Smith, Hugo Weaving and two other drag queens went on a quest in the Outback. They partied with some Aborigines, were threatened by toughs, made bitchy observations about each other, and wore fabulous costumes. A cliche-ridden film but still a lot of fun.

Except for the Abba. I hate Abba.