Archive for July 15th, 2011

by Allan Fish

The time has come over the last couple of days to step back and question the purposes of the Fish Obscuro series.  As you all know the series is meant to highlight rarities that few people will have seen with the intent of people going out seeking these films for themselves.

Today Sam and I have had a heated but friendly enough discussion where I have once again mentioned how little progress he makes on watching the DVDRs I send him and I explained again it’s not his not watching them that irritates, it’s the waste of time and money making copies that will never be used.  I made a suggestion along the lines of why not make a giveaway on WitD on all the discs in his backlog of viewing.  That way someone will get them who wants to see them, I’ll be happy, and Sam’ll be happy as he won’t have me badgering him to watch stuff he doesn’t want to watch.

Sam then advised me that no-one would want them.  As this is indeed probably the case, I will keep the series going till the end of this month but afterwards may change my tack and just post pieces on films everyone has seen but haven’t been in the countdowns and accepted directors.  That way, everyone’s happy.

So look forward to some more traditional pieces from August onwards.



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by Allan Fish

(Germany 1932 79m) DVD1

Aka. Das Blaue Licht

Up the Monte Christallo

p  Herry R.Sokal, Leni Riefenstahl  d  Leni Riefenstahl  w  Leni Riefenstahl, Carl Mayer, Béla Balázs  novel  Gustav Renker  ph  Hans Schneeberger, Heinz von Jaworsky  ed  Leni Riefenstahl  m  Giuseppe Becce  art  Leopold Blonder 

Leni Riefenstahl (Junta), Mathias Wieman (Vigo), Beni Führer (Tonio), Max Holzboer (innkeeper), Martha Mair (Lucia), Franz Maldacea (Guzzi),

If one thinks of that legendary, incendiary opening sequence of Triumph of the Will, with Hitler’s plane descending through the clouds to Nuremberg like a returning Messiah, it’s tempting to see Leni Rienfenstahl’s career doing the same thing.  Yet Triumph didn’t come out of nowhere.  Not even out of the middling documentary about the 1933 Nazi Party rally, Victory of the Faith, long thought lost but recovered from a private collection in the UK, could be seen as its genesis.  Riefenstahl herself was already a famed star of German silent films, notably the mountain films of Arnold Fanck, Holy Mountain and The White Hell of Pitz Palu (the latter recently referenced in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds) and it’s to these films that her directorial debut owes its debt. 

            The Blue Light is a simple tale set in 1866, a peasant legend of the Austrian/Italian Alps of a small village in the valley below the Monte Christallo (Crystal Mountain).  Their elders, devout Christians, frown on all things unsanctified, and this includes the free spirit mountain girl, Junta, who lives on the mountain and is rushed away from the village every time she descends like the Frankenstein monster.  One young man takes an interest in her, and vows to follow her to her hiding place, a grotto high up in the mountain inside which there is a natural supply of blue crystals.  He follows here there and tells her that the villagers need to know of this discovery as it will make the prosperity of the village secure, but they take the whole hoard of crystals, Junta is left devastated and alone, and promptly falls to her death from the mountain. (more…)

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