starring Daniel Radcliffe, Samara Weaving, Natasha Liu, Rhys Darby
written and directed by Jason Lei Howden
by Walter Chaw One of my favourite stories--much-embellished, probably, by its author--is Fritz Lang's account of being called into Propaganda Minister Goebbels's office in 1933 to be told that Lang's The Testament of Dr. Mabuse was going to be censored, alas, but would Lang like to be in charge of Nazi-run movie studio UFA? It's funny because Lang had bankrupted UFA six years prior with the colossal flop that was Metropolis--an event that made UFA vulnerable to its eventual takeover. For context, during those last days of the Weimar, Leni Riefenstahl was the freshly-installed head of the Nazi Film Commission and had that year shot the annual Nuremberg Rally on behalf of her greatest admirer, Adolf Hitler. Riefenstahl was a genius-level filmmaker eventually given more resources--the support of an entire industrialized nation--than arguably any other filmmaker received before or since. She used it to coin new ways of looking at things. When you watch a professional football game now, well, Riefenstahl set the stage for that. Star Wars, too.