The right impression: Hans-Jurgen Syberberg's website moves
I find this utterly amazing, in this age of closely-guarded copyrights, that if one is so inclined, one can watch Hans-Jurgen Syberberg's entire 7 1/2-hour film opus, Hitler - ein Film aus Deutschland (Hitler, a film from Germany, 1977), on the web, for free. The film is divided up into 4 parts so you don't have to watch the whole thing in one sitting. (At the moment, the film is only available in its original German. However, there are indications on the site that an English-subtitled version will be available soon.)
I have never seen this film, but it has been oft-written about (most famously by Susan Sontag; her essay on the film is available in her book Under the Sign of Saturn), and was released in the United States in 1979 (as Our Hitler) through the efforts of Francis Ford-Coppola. Syberberg was part of the "German New Wave" of cinema artists to appear in Germany during the late 60's, though his works were too experimental and inaccessible to achieve anything near the level of popular renown that Fassbinder or Wenders or Herzog did.
This film, along with a 60-minute piece from 2000 called Nietzsche Ecce Homo (Schleef), is available on Syberberg's website Syberberg.de, a site divided into 4 parts, and well worth checking out even if your German is limited to "Ich bin ein Berliner" like mine is.
Of particular note is part 4, Syberberg's quasi-weblog ("Web-Tagebuch: Daily Currency"), which dates back to January 2001, and which has been updated everyday, as far as I can tell, from December 2001 through to today. While there is some writing, for the most part it's a visual diary, each day a "collage" of images. On any given day, you can find photographs both old and new (those taken by Syberberg as well as found images), magazine and newspaper clippings, video captures of his various films, or stuff he has shot on video, or off the tv, and scans of various ephemera. I could spend hours in his archives, for each day feels like you're walking into an installation or standing in front of a collage in a gallery, forced by the absence of language to make your own associations and meaning. Absolutely wonderful.
By all means check out the remainder of the site as well. The "autobiography" page has clips from a lot of his various works, as well as old home movies, and images of the various ephemera of Syberberg's career, like old 8mm cameras and film boxes, and old family snapshots as well.
At the moment, there is an Syberberg exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris called Nossendorf Syberberg Paris, which includes a retrospective of some of his films. On his site, there are web cams set up in Nossendorf (Syberberg's birthplace) and at the Pompidou, though as Syberberg writes, "Paris Webcams dont move. Therefore wrong impression."
Posted: May 16, 2003 3:42 AM (Japan Time)
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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference this post from hmmn: musings from the far east(erwood).Comments:
Thanks for sharing the reference. I am greatly enjoying the films.
Chuck (www)
May 19, 2003 06:21 AMchuck-
I'm glad you found it worthwhile. thanks for letting me know.
Kurt (www)
May 19, 2003 12:37 PMWhile I would very much like to mail this site to my former biology teacher, I am sorry to say, he resists turning to computers for even the things that interest him the most- I know he would enjoy it! Be that as it may, could I ask if you know where I could buy a copy of "Our Hitler" on DVD (english) for him? He has been wanting to see it again, and I thought I could find it for him. Thank you very much, kim
Kim (no URL given)
June 9, 2003 06:57 AMPost a comment:

Donnerstag, den 21. August

neuer Computor im Haus.
Alles, was vorher einfach nun kompliziert . Künstlich. Vieles nicht zu finden. Höre, dass die besonders komponierten Bildfenster bisher, gar nicht für alle anderen gültig. Also alle Mühen umsonst. Erste Übungen wieder an den Aktualitäten des Tages.