247 words on German Films
When I watched Pasolini’s Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom a few years ago, I thought it was about the grossest film I had ever seen. I was very close to leaving the cinema while watching it. And in addition to be gross, I didn’t think the film had any point. While it claims to be a statement against fascism, it evades me how that film is supposed to be any better at communicating what’s wrong with fascism than at book, for example. I’d even say it’s worse. So while I wouldn’t have shot the director for making the film, I didn’t appreciate it either.
Recently I saw a film that’s remotely motivated by the ‘120 Days’, namely Die 120 Tage von Bottrop by Christoph Schlingensief. Schlingensief is mainly famous for being controversial and overdoing things. His work might be considered ‘social commentary’ and tends to be borderline tasteless. While I’ve sometimes thought he’s quite a smart and witty guy in interviews – full of great ideas ranging from great to insane –, I’ve yet to see a film by him that I consider good. While it’s presumably done on purpose, the films, including Die 120 Tage von Bottrop, just look bad and are full of bad acting. Sure, there may be some good or at least witty points in there, like about having to end the ‘New German Film’ we had in the 1990, but it’s not worth watching the films for them.