Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Louise Brooks mentioned in Nazi era publication

I recently came across this short piece in a German magazine. It caught my attention because it referenced Louise Brooks and G.W. Pabst and Pandora's Box. I ran it through a couple of translation programs (see the results below), but its meaning escapes me. I am guessing that it is meant to be a joke, or perhaps to ridicule the Pabst film. I think the meaning of this brief piece is found between the lines.

Der Jagdfilm (original text)
Lange bevor man beschloss, Wedekinds "Buchse der Pandora", mit Louise Brooks zu drehen, kam ein Schriftsteller zu einem Munchner Filmproduzenten und sagte: "Herr Direktor, ich habe eine ausgezeichnete  Idee. Konnte man nicht mal "Buchse der Pandora" verfilmen?"
Des grosse Filmmann sah ihn an, wiegte den Kopf hin und her, dann meinte er: "Buchse der Pandora? Gar nicht schlecht. Jagdfilme gehen bei uns in Baiern immer!"

The Film Search (approximate translation)
Long before it was decided to shoot Wedekind's "Pandora's Box" with Louise Brooks, a writer came to a Munich film producer and said, "Sir, I have an excellent idea. Could you not make a movie of Pandora's Box?"
The great movie man looked at him, shook his head back and forth, then said: "
Pandora's Box? Not bad at all. Hunting movies are always welcome in Bavaria!"


What's interesting about this otherwise ephemeral piece of filler is that it is from 1943. That's during the second World War, and at a time when Wedekind's and Pabst's works were viewed with a suspect eye and Brooks herself had fallen far into obscurity both in Germany and in America.

"Der Jagdfilm," attributed to S.S., was published in Kladderadatsch, a satirical humor publication begun in 1848. With the rise of the Nazi Party, it's politics turned conservative. It was a favorite of Berlin, and supported the Nazi ideology. For something like this to run in a German periodical in 1943 suggests to me that Pandora's Box, with Louise Brooks, was still a familiar work in Nazi Germany.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who could shed some light or parse the meaning of this bit of text. Please post your comments or translation in the comments field to this post. Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. There si another meaning of the German word büchse

    büchse = rifle

    Not only box ...


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