Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Der Schuh des Manitu

Native Americans are a dicey subject in fiction, mainly because of the stereotyping. There is also the problem that the term Native Americans can rub a cheese grater over the nerves of their souls. But really, it’s the stereotype that bothers most of us, I think. I mean, think about it a moment. I said Native American, and what did you think of? Buck skin wearing, noble savages with long straight black hair and a rudimentary grasp of language at best? Well, shame on you! They also talk about the Great Spirit at the drop of a hat and want to sing you the song of their people. Them and the Orientals get that weird, condescending attribute of being strangely wise, or mystical while also insulting them with the old ‘but of course they’re like children’ refrain as well. I’m not going to go into a lengthy discussion on it, but I sort of am because I’m talking about a movie that is set in the old west and involves made up Apaches. But it’s made by Germans, so they have like no connection to the actual history of the Native Americans and the movie is actually pretty funny since its jokes rarely ever touch on the known stereotypes beyond basic visuals and the Apache characters are the heroes. The best way I can describe it is that it’s like watching a hilarious movie about slave conditions in the Antebellum South made by Italians in blackface. You know that there is something terribly wrong with what’s being done, but the people who are doing it can’t begin to understand, and they’re being genuinely funny anyway. Look, maybe its better if I explain from the beginning…

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Valkyrie (2008 United Artists Dir. Bryan Singer)

This is going to be different than a lot of the reviews I’ve done here were I describe the movie and my reactions to it as I go. This time I’m going to just talk about my impressions as I watched the movie two days ago and I’m not in a real hurry to watch it again just to give you a blow by blow. Besides, there isn’t much wrong with this movie, so there’s not much to make fun of. I can’t be snarky at the movie and needle it, because it’s well made and held my interest every time I’ve seen it. You can take that as an ‘above the fold’ review if you want. I liked it. I don’t do stars, or numbers, or anything like that so I can’t quantify the argument without explanation. Suffice to say though, I enjoyed this movie.

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Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (1922 Prana-Film GmbH Dir. F. W. Murnau)

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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920 Decla Film Ger. Dir. Robert Weine)
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