Downfall

Perhaps it's the highest form of compliment that Bruno Ganz's astonishing performance as Hitler in Downfall (Der Untergang, Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2004) has been so often 'parodied' by writers of spurious subtitles.  Or perhaps it's xenophobic race hatred as allegedly perpetrated in the ep 'the Germans' by John Cleese's Fawlty Towers (which may belatedly be censored, apparently). Be that as it may, there have been few more powerful, and more important performances than this portrayal of the vegetarian house-painter.

The film as a whole is edited more along Eisensteinian lines than continuity editing Hollywood-style: scenes are more indicative, emblematic. In some scenes in the bunker, soldiers are hopelessly drunk, in others, going about their business with grim determination. It's a well-known story (like Lincoln's), and the film simply shows us the key moments in it (unlike Lincoln, which shapes the story for maximum entertainment).

Downfall (Der Untergang, Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2004)


reviews | Garry Gillard | New: 1 March, 2017 | Now: 1 March, 2017