Jul 30, 2011

Auschwitz



When I saw the minute longish trailer for Uwe Boll’s upcoming film Auschwitz – a B-grade cinematic work that portrays death camp death via Zyklon B and postmortem incineration via unkosher oven – I was more than a little bit intrigued. In the trailer, Uwe Boll can be seen dressed up in SS garb while guarding the gas chamber door in an unintentionally hilarious manner. Upon first watching the trailer, I thought Auschwitz was an exploitation film as the deaths are portrayed in a manner that would probably bring a tear to Spielberg’s Asiatic eyes and incite unrelenting ecstasy in the blackest of hearts (especially members of the Black Israelites). In reality, Auschwitz is a docudrama that was supposedly designed to spark fear in the souls of thoroughly desensitized American audiences, as well as sinister historical revisionists. In various interviews, Boll has remarked that films like Schindler’s List are no longer emotionally and aesthetically potent enough to leave a powerful mark on modern moviegoing audiences, thus, the German director thought it was his duty as a good German to make a film that would provoke fear, sympathy, and historical knowledge in common apathetic folks and demonic anti-Semites alike. Boll has summed up his cinematic mission with Auschwitz as follows, “The movie is made for the people who deny or don’t know enough about the holocaust. It will possibly be tough for survivors to watch that movie, but I think they will agree that the movie is important.” Showing his true commitment to historical authenticity, Boll even went as far as hiring a real holocaust survivor to play an extra in the film, stating “We actually had a survivor in the gas chamber, and he was overwhelmed with the situation. If you see the movie, he is the old man just standing there while everybody was flipping out.Auschwitz is divided into separate parts; a dramatic portrayal of the Teutonic murder mills and a segment where Boll interviews German high school students to find out how well versed they are in Holocaust trivia; no doubt a deranged dichotomy. Unfortunately, these two separate segments are from seamlessly interconnected; thus, the film sometimes feels like a jumble mix of anti-pornographic Jew-slaughtering and abandoned footage from an aborted after school special. During the beginning of Auschwitz, Boll makes the questionable claim that various academic professors have congratulated him on being “German” due to his Fatherland’s history of Jewocide. Of course, anyone who has ever had the misfortune of being involved with the modern academic world knows that such views can only result in career suicide, so I am somewhat dubious of Boll’s claims. Additionally, I doubt many people will buy Boll’s purported empathy for the Jews while watching Auschwitz as he seems to have made the film for the sole purpose of stirring sensationalism that sells.  I certainly cannot think of another film where naked prepubescent corpses are run through an easy-incinerate oven.  I honestly would not be surprised if Boll viewed Agustí Villaronga's ssicko masterpiece In a Glass Cage (1987) religiously for inspiration throughout the production of the Auschwitz. The fact that Auschwitz, like Boll's politically incorrect satire Blubberella, was made with the leftover set from BloodRayne 3: The Third Reich, only makes the film seem all the more insincere yet, at the same time, strangely charming.





 One mustn’t forget that Uwe Boll is infamously known for heckling and baiting three of the biggest Jewish filmmakers in Hollywood: Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, and Eli Roth. Of course, most liberally inclined individuals, especially modern cosmopolitan members of the self-loathing post-Holocaust Germanic race, tend to refrain from verbally assaulting members of the Judaic persuasion yet bodacious Boll has publicly bullied members of God’s chosen race like a jubilant SA brownshirt who got lost at a Hebraic wedding. In short, Uwe Boll’s empathy for his subjects in Auschwitz seems about as honest as Spielberg’s emotions would be had he directed a film about the Anglo-American firebombing of Dresden, Germany (aka the "German" Holocaust) during World War II. Although Boll may be less than honest in regard to his condemnation of Germany’s infamous past, that does not mean that Auschwitz is a film that is totally devoid of historical accuracy. In fact (and unsurprisingly), most viewer will learn more about the Holocaust and National Socialism watching Boll’s B-grade death camp flick than by watching Spielberg’s Shoah epic; Schindler’s List. Although post-World war II German youth may have had their brains lobotomized via Americanization of the Fatherland just like American adolescents do, they are certainly more proficient in history than their former "freedom loving" occupiers. Aside from the non-Aryan (aka Ausländer) German high school students featured in Auschwitz, most of the ethnic German teens featured in the film seem to know quite a bit about Das Dritte Reich. For example, a goofy hippie Aryan teen discusses Austrian rune-master Guido von List’s occult influence on National Socialist ideology; a subject that is no doubt unknown to your average American history professor. Of course, films like Schindler’s List are designed to stir the emotions of goys and god’s special girls and boys alike, thus, one cannot criticize Spielberg for directing a film that is nothing more than big budget and expertly disguised agitprop. When it comes down to it (and this is very low, I might add!), Auschwitz is one of the most bold and uncompromising looks at everyone’s favorite death camp. After all, what other German director would have the glorious gall to include himself in a film about Auschwitz as a German guard who is “just following orders.” I don’t think I am the only one that would agree that Boll has a striking resemblance to Rudolf Höss; the real-life first commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp. I certainly would not complain if Boll decided to direct and play the lead role in a biopic about Höss; der todesking of the Holocaust. After all, it is the duty of every good German citizen to honor the legacy of their ancestors. 






 At the beginning of his filmmaking career, and while still a thoroughly confused work in progress, Uwe Boll directed Amoklauf (1994); a pretentious artsy farty serial killer flick that attempted (but failed) to steal the psychopathic cinematic brilliance of films directed by fellow Aryan auteur filmmakers Michael Haneke, Gerald Kargl, and Jörg Buttgereit. Of course, Dr. Boll soon realized that if he ever wanted to have a financially successful career in filmmaking, he would have to make films that could further wet the lips of drooling American buffoons, therefore, making Auschwitz was only the next logical step in his somewhat successful and equally notorious filmmaking career. The name of the game when working in Hollywood is prostitution and Uwe Boll has certainly proven to be quite the ghetto gigolo yet unlike most individuals working the streets of Sunset Boulevard, he has been able to maintain some dignity due to the dubious ambiguity and subversive subtexts of his films. It is pretty much a given that most audiences will find the production line murder featured in Auschwitz to be a glaring exercise in mores-shattering bad taste, but it is also the most rewarding and memorable aspect of the film.  I think that Uwe Boll might want to consider creating a director's cut of Auschwitz by exterminating the high school interview segments from the film. At the very least, Auschwitz is worth viewing just for the trip down Heaven's Street. Some film critics have already described the film as a work of “torture porn” but Auschwitz – with its assortment of ghastly nude bodies of every age and size; which are more horrifying than the actual Nazi gassings – lacks even the slightest inkling of eroticism (unless you have some sort of bizarre pedophile/necrophiliac dual-fetish). If Boll was aiming for all-encompassing ugliness with Auschwitz, he most certainly achieved it. Of course, as one finds out while watching the film, Mr. Boll certainly did not lose his appetite while standing around nude and supremely emaciated death camp slaves.  Now I just wish I could hear Steven Spielberg's thoughts on Auschwitz.


-Ty E

5 comments:

Mick said...

I've never been the biggest fan of Uwe Boll, but he does have some balls for his unflinching look at Auschwitz. People are always going to be divided on these sorts of films, with one camp calling it vile torture porn, another camp revelling in the violence, and then you have the camp that can look past what they're seeing on screen and give a more educated take on the film. People won't like it due to the violence and lack of narrative, but I think Uwe Boll is trying to show it like it really was. Cold and uncompromising. Who knows what his real agenda is, but he's certainly made one of his more memorable films.

I've just joined your blog but I've been a friend of your Facebook page for a while, and have enjoyed your reviews. I also have a blog on left field cinema, perhaps you could check it out and follow if you like it?

Michael :)

Anonymous said...

"Unless you have some kind of bizarre pedophile/necrophiliac dual-fetish", now theres a phrase right out of "THE TIME OF SEXUAL REPRESSION". Er...it also desribes (in its ludicrously out-moded and hideously sexually repressed way) a certain rodents obsession with a certain departed blonde moppet, was that what you had in mind when you wrote it ?, IT BLOODY-WELL WAS, WASN`T IT ! ? ! ?, you bloody cheeky sod ! ! !.

G O D said...

cool blog! could you add me to your blog roll? your'e on mine!
http://mediachrist.blogspot.com
thanks

Earnest Anderson said...

A genuine internet "EVENT", as it were, (and i`m not overstating this either) will be a couple of months from now when Soiled Sinema reveiws the new version of "The Thing", theres no question that your take on that movie will be one of the all-time classic and greatest reveiws ever posted anywhere on the internet (irrespective of the actual quality of the film itself).

Soiled Sinema said...

Mick: First, sorry for the late response!

I just checked your blog and will be following it as it certainly seems interesting and its always good to read reviews written by someone with somewhat similar cinematic taste.

-Ty E