Thea von Harbou & Fritz Lang

From a reader:

Good evening Mr. Goldberg,

If you’re interested in another movie that embodies the progressive spirit

of the day and further illustrates the ideological overlap between

international socialism and socialism of the nationalist sort, I suggest

Thea von Harbou and Fritz Lang’s ‘Frau im Mond’ (Woman in the Moon – 1929).

It could have been produced in the Soviet Union but for Lang’s penchant for

detail and Harbou’s dramatic touch.

Interestingly (well maybe only to me), Hermann Oberth and his assistant

Werner von Braun, both of whom were later tapped to work on the V-2 rocket

program, provided technical assistance for the film, and it shows. The

effects are every bit as stunning as those in Metropolis and the quaint but

often prescient accuracy with which the movie depicts a voyage to the Moon

is something to behold. So much so that the German military police later

confiscated nearly all rocket-related materials from the film’s production;

treating them as state secrets for the duration of the war.

Overall the movie really brought home for me the point you made in your book

about the progressive nature of fascism being so seductive because it is

appealing to many people on many levels. Personally it’s kind of creepy to

so enjoy an artistic work that you know is part of such a dystopian

intellectual continuum. Harbou’s gravitation toward the National Socialists

seems almost inevitable in retrospect. Her lending her name in service of

’the movement’ must have had quite an impact within the context of its day.

Anyway, thanks for linking my YouTube vid. Damning with faint praise (with a link) still beats the heck out of plain  old damning.;^)

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