[ Free kindle ] Dietrich & Riefenstahl - Hollywood, Berlin, and a Century in Two Lives Author Karin Wieland – Andy-palmer.co.uk
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- Dietrich & Riefenstahl - Hollywood, Berlin, and a Century in Two Lives
- Karin Wieland
- 04 February 2019 Karin Wieland
Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl, born less than a year apart, lived so close to each other that Riefenstahl could see into Dietrich s Berlin flat Coming of age in the Weimar Republic, both sought fame in Germany s silent film industry While Dietrich s depiction of Lola Lola in The Blue Angel catapulted her to Hollywood stardom, Riefenstahl who missed out on the part insinuated herself into Hitler s inner circle and directed Nazi propaganda films, most famously, Triumph of the Will Dietrich could never truly go home again, while Riefenstahl was contaminated by her political associations Moving deftly between two stories never before told together, Karin Wieland contextualises these lives, chronicling revolutions in politics, fame and sexuality on a grand stage. Very thorough telling of these stories If anything, there is too much detail I purchased it primarily to learn of Dietrich s involvement in World War II, but found myself immersed in the early days of her career in Germany and Hollywood. Riefenstahl and Dietrich were both totally self absorbed, maybe even narcissists They were focused and ambitious Dietrich was practical, in her way, less concerned about art Riefenstahl said she was all about her art, but just like Dietrich, she was all about herself.I think they both invented themselves as they went Neither seemed to have deep relationships and neither was very self reflective The book shows them in all their long lived glory, self absorption and all Each did something right to live as long as each did.The book makes it clear that Dietrich chose her side far better than Riefenstahl did, morally and as a career move I approve of Marlene much than Leni, but I sure can t say I like her any better You d always be waiting for the other shoe to drop, if you were friends of either of them.The compare and contrast was well done The book flowed and was very readable I thoroughly recommend it. A terrific read From the historical standpoint it was hard not to compare with what s unfolding politically right now in the USA These were two very complex and egocentric woman who coexisted in the changing and tumultuous twentieth century The book is very well written and obviously thoroughly researched Although they were about the same age and started their careers in the Berlin of the 1920 s, their paths took them in very different directions Dietrich became a vehement anti Nazi and American movie icon Riefenstahl became a friend of Hitler and his documentary film maker. provided exactly what i was looking for two interesting females who grew up having different yet similar backgrounds great read about the blemish on germany during world war ll filled with fascinating history good read. This book compares and contrasts Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl who were great artists and creators as well as famously beautiful and sexual women They shared the heritage of growing into adulthood in post WW I Berlin, a place of turmoil that produced amazing sparks of genius especially in the cinema while also producing one of the blackest chapters of the human soul One of these women became closely linked to Hitler and much of her work was intended to glorify Nazi values Dietrich took the other path and spent much effort in working for the USO wearing an American uniform The book tells their biographies in easy to read alternative chapter form.The strengths of the book are the clear expository writing which keeps the story threads clear even when switching back and forth between the two protagonists The life story of each of these women is fascinating and would be interesting on its own the juxtaposition increases the drama The reader gets a real sense of knowing the details of these lives without a sense of being dragged into salacious gossip which is a real trap in telling the stories of two sexually active women Of course, real lives do not follow narrative arcs that make fiction read better than reality.The weakness of this book is perhaps something that can not be avoided Berlin is full of beautiful, intelligent women a quick walk along the Kudamm will confirm this Exactly what made these two rise above their quotidian sisters Ambition, intelligence, and opportunity are important, but ultimately genuine original creativity might not be explainable to us ordinary folks How did one become a Hitler sycophant while the other became an opponent What was the role of frank sexuality in achieving success in a country whose leaders promoted a Kids, Kitchen, and Church place for women The book made me admire both women Dietrich for her uncompromising stance for what is right, and Riefenstahl for the thought provoking clarity of the images she produced.One minor quibble I would have enjoyed a lot illustrations Both produced thousands of striking images A picture album might be a good addendum to this book.