Jan 8, 2011

Ich Will!


Despite narcissistically putting out a full-page ad in 1969 to announce his retirement from cinema (he would also go into retirement again in the early 1980s, not making another film for around 20 years), Kenneth Anger still continues to make films despite being in his golden years. Although being known as a magnificent magician of mise-en-scène, Anger’s newer films lack the extensive labor of love that were obviously put into his earlier films. Unfortunately, like David Lynch, Anger has decided to give up using film and has committed himself to using digital video. In the digital short Anger Sees Red directed by Kenneth Anger, the film reaches it's climax when Anger literally sees a young muscular man named Red; surely a disappointing film that looks like it was made in a couple hours. Unsurprisingly, not all of Kenneth Anger’s recent films are total disappointments, his tribute to the Hitler Youth Ich Will! being a perfect example of the Crowleyite director’s (still somewhat seemingly intact) cinematic brilliance. For Ich Will!, Anger compiled together Nazi propaganda footage, news reels, and stock footage of Uncle Adolf’s heroic, yet ultimately damned - youth.


Ich Will! starts in the tomb of teenage Nazi martyr Hans Mallon, a young man that was killed by Communists in 1931. On the tomb reads “The Fame of the Dead Lives Forever,” a motto stressing the Nazi value of giving one's life for the collective good of Germany. The rest of Ich Will! features everything from members of the Hitler Youth kayaking to parades taking place around various German towns. Kenneth Anger tinted the short with the color red, most likely to stress the "Satanic" Nazi religion of blood and ancestor worship, not to mention the "blood" these German youth would have permanently embedded on their hands after the German defeat at the conclusion of World War II. I must admit that I have seen my fair share of Nazi footage and none of the footage in Ich Will! seems like recycled material like you find on the History Channel, where it feels like they play the same three clips of Adolf Hitler over-and-over again. Of course, Kenneth Anger is no fan (only a fetishist) of the Third Reich as he made clear in his sadomasochistic Nazi leather-fest Scorpio Rising. Like Scorpio Rising, Ich Will! stresses the homoerotic undertones in male camaraderie and hero (Hitler) worship. 


Ich Will! ends just as ritualistically as it starts, concluding with a gigantic flame-lit Nazi rally which gives off an atmosphere that feels like German army is preparing for a holy war after making a Faustian pact with the devil himself. Despite having most of his works banned and his assets/property seized by the German government in 1934, I am sure German writer and occultist Hanns Heinz Ewers would be still proud of his contribution to the Third Reich (he wrote a biography of Nazi Martyr Horst Wessel) had he personally seen the Nazi Hellfire rally featured at the conclusion of Ich Will!. Although the short is essentially various Nazi-era footage woven together, Ich Will! is a powerful film (Dr. Goebbels would have no doubt approved) certainly worth watching alongside Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will.. Nowadays, your typical American youth looks up to a mulatto messiah and krappy kosher klowns like Jonah Hill. Knowing that, the values of heroism, athleticism, and comradeship as featured in Ich Will! don’t seem half bad. 


-Ty E

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

where can I watch it?

Soiled Sinema said...

Other than cinemageddon, I am really not sure where you could find it.