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.;^)