Sunday, October 26, 2008

Always good for a punchline...

Another article worth a look in today's Sunday Times is Virginia Heffernan's piece about how Hitler's rant in the movie Downfall has been turned into a mini-sensation on youtube.

If you haven't seen the movie Downfall, it's basically about the final days of Hitler in a Berlin bunker. The movie uses as its primary source Joachim Fest's book, Inside Hitler's Bunker and Albert Speer's Inside the Third Reich. (I haven't read Fest's book, but I can't imagine that it could improve upon the official British account by Hugh Trevor-Roper which was eventually published as The Last Days of Hitler. If you can get a hold of the Trevor-Roper book, buy it!)

To set the scene, all is pretty much lost. The Russian army is in the Berlin suburbs and will be in the city shortly. Hitler is meeting with his must trusted generals to discuss the situation. And somehow, this scene can be turned into really funny satire. How? Instead of translating Hitler accurately in the subtitles you sub in whatever you want.

I watched a few of these satires earlier this year and thought it was hysterical. The best one, of course, is Hillary Clinton discussing the fate of the superdelegates when it wasn't at all certain that she would concede defeat. Check it out!