Worst-title #2: Thoughts stirred by Werk Ohne Autor
Worst-title #3: Stop old money making all the films so that someone else can have a shot at it.
“My salad days, when I was green in judgement…” -Cleopatra, Shakespeare
Disclaimer: spoiler alert.
This worst-post, like so many other worst-posts, contains spoilers. Not a lot of spoilers, mind you. But a few. These spoilers, by-the-buy, are from the film Werk ohne Autor (Never Look Away), which premiered in 2018 (or so) and I just happened to finally watch the other night on German compulsive-tax-paid TV received through my cord-cut digital world (which means I streamed it). With that in mind, as you like, this is a worst-post with a bit of NSFW worstness that may or may not include incredibly beautiful tits and ass galore wrapped in the historically confused megalomania of… What the hell do we do with them frickin Germans now that they’ve gone and lost two frickin world wars and pacified the Wirtschaftswunder like never before? Or something like that.
FYI, watching this movie the other night was something akin to “Date Night”. And even though we only do this a couple times a year–on account she always falls asleep during movies but not necessarily date night–I have to put this (worst-thought) out there: we didn’t just watch any film on post Xmas/New Years date night, don’t you know. No. We watched a frickin three hour long film that went right through the heart of who/what we are not unlike a love-hate dagger lost and found in a sock-pile from the Middle Ages. I mean, come on. Did you get that, dear worst-reader (above and beyond the sock pile)? This film is three hours long. I mean. Again. Come on! I get it when Hollywood makes three hour long comic book movies that fascinate child-minds with everything except tits–that I have to watch with my millennial son. But when a German dude that’s, like, eight frickin feet tall… and he makes a movie that is as long as he is tall… What the hell could go wrong on a date night where the chances of wifey falling asleep and thereby occupying the couch as though it were the Germans invading Sudentland…?
Let me try to put the beginning of this worst-post another worst-way. I finally broke down and watched Werk ohne Autor the other night on account I’ve been meaning to watch it ever since I found out it was made by the same dude that made Das Leben Der Anderen. Of course, I failed to find out how long this movie actually is. Still. Also. I failed to do any preliminary study about the film which could have warned me how stunningly beautiful tits and ass on digital celluloid can be. In fact. Praise be to the #Eurowasteland lore of artsy-fartsy films and their ease of showing skin. Lots and lots of beautiful, gorgeous, luscious, juicy, scrumptious, appetite wetting… skin.
But all worst-gesture aside.
As we traverse this $hithole of life together, dear worst-reader, let us give thanks to the privileged few that can entertain (and enlighten) us because, well, they’re rich enough to be able to finance the development and creation of… artsy-fartsy stuff. As opposed, of course, to comic book films that not only bore the $hit out of wanton minds but also prohibit the necessary jerk-off content that so many young males require in order to not turn into fascist rapists. But. Again. I die-gress. But. Again-again. Wait. Before I die-gress. Let me say this. The movie Werk ohne Autor really fcuked with my head. Hence, I should worst-write something about it before things explode into the nothingness that is my mind.
By-the-buy, before I worst-continue, if you want a film review that includes a half-decent summary or explanation of this movie, use the google-machine and then trust in the capacity of the Interwebnets. At the least there’s enough promotion material and various interviews with the makers and players of this movie to hold ones attention for hours. If, on the other hand, you want to know how this film fcuked with worst-writer’s mind, and you’re also open to a bunch of anger, bitterness, spite and a worst-post that will include the least amount of worst-writing about my beloved & missed united mistakes of #Americant that is reaching the crescent moon nadir of its demise, stick around. Otherwise. Again. This movie has me in the mood of: Fcuk off baby because there is some serious gorgeous naked skin that I haven’t seen since Eva Green in The Dreamers. And so…
Dresden with a bunch of Nazi $hitbags.
As with all German stories that need be told before and/or after The Brother’s Grimm and/or Napoleon, this story starts with the Austrian Adolf Dipshit Hitler and the spiteful bombing–and good use of surplus bombs–of Dresden in 1945 after Hitler failed just a tick worse than Donald Dip$hit #Trump failed (since 2016) as president Stupid. Oh wait. Hold a sec. I said I wasn’t gonna get-on about my beloved & missed #Americant. So let’s take a breather. Ok. Gulp. There. Gulp.
Werk ohne Autor starts a bit before the fire bombing of Dresden which was/is covered in-full by Vonnegut’s Slaughter House 5 so I certainly won’t get into that here. Which means, the creator(s) of Werk ohne Autor need to prep the audience with some form of conduit to make this fcuk-over cinematic art $hitshow with hapless yet fantastical acting palpable on account… Who the fcuk doesn’t know everything there need be known about the fire-bombing of Dresden? And so. Let’s f’n move on.
Enter… Wait for it. Here comes the name of the director…
Hold a sec. Werk ohne Autor is written and directed and produced and and and by… Here it comes… What’s in a name, eh.
Florian Henkle von Donnersmarck.
And what a name it is, huh? Is it worst-moi or do you also get this strange anti-aristocratic, monarch-hating, loathing of all-things hereditary chill through your whole body when you hear/read a name like that? (Or is it just worst-moi?) And did I mention that the director with the douchebag name is like… thirty-five feet tall? I mean, dear worst-reader, you have to search the Interwebnets a bit to see how frickin tall this guy is. I mean. Again. A German, his name, a dude standing something like seven feet tall… what else do you want in a artsy-fartsy film maker that’s making film about…? Or?
But. Again. I die-gress.
The first too-many minutes of this movie is about Dresden and some gorgeous aunt and her nephew viewing art that is declared Entartete Kunst or: degenerate art. For, don’t you know, dear worst-reader, back in the day art is called degenerate by Nazi douchebags that claim it doesn’t represent national socialist virtues. And who better to bring this up in a film than a guy who totally does not look like some seven foot tall family connected goober that reminds worst-writer of what Butthead (yes, of Beavis and Butthead fame) would look like if he were real–and seven feet tall. Oh. Wait. Did I mention Florian Henkle von Donnersmarck’s hair style might be as weird as he is tall? Again. But I die-gress.
The aunt and her nephew are this hot little couple that get royally screwed by the Nazis, don’t you know. In fact, they are so screwed that the aunt gets gassed because, well, she’s suddenly schizophrenic after handing The Führer (that’s #Trump English for dear-leader, aka Adolf Hitler, don’t you know) a bouquet of flowers during a small town drive-by visit. Immediately after handing Hitler the flowers–and being taught/shown/told that any form of “art” that is NOT national-socialist is degenerate–hot Aunt goes nutso and is then turned over to the Nazis by her family. The Nazis proceed to sterilise her and, as previously mentioned, kill her in a gas chamber made to look like group showers for half-chromosome deprived girl-scouts. Did you get all that, dear worst-reader? No. Well it’s a complicated if not intricate artsy-fartsy movie, don’t you know.
This/the long winded initiation into this movie culminates in the nephew learning that in order to see the truth he can/should Never Look Away, hence the English title of the film*. Never looking away is also, somehow, the subtext of this film. The problem with never looking away, though, is that it’s no different than putting a cookie jar in front of a child and telling him no touchy-touchy. The cookie jar, btw, is filled with the actresses Paula Beer and Saskia Rosendahl. They are both so stunningly beautiful that without them I would not have gotten past the Dresden bombing–or the first hour of this movie. And since I’m on the subject of hot actresses, my better half also helped me get over the trauma of watching yet another film that gives just a tick too much humanism to Nazis. And so… it’s hard to never-look-away when so much beauty may or may not be distorted by the ugliness of trying to tell Nazi stories.￼ But. Again…
Now we move on to Dresden after the most devastating bombing in all of human history–even when compared to Hiroshima. The film goes to post Nazi waw-waw gibberish in the dreamland of Marx & Co., aka DDR subpar pseudo-bourgeois nobody get rich eastern Germany. That’s right. Our nephew is now a young man after the war and he’s learning NOT to use the word I (Ich) as he embarks on a life of artistry–by drawing pictures of pre-#Trump #Americants with sickle and hammers in one hand and Vladimir Putin as saviour in the other hand–or was it Marx, Lenin and Trotsky and the New York stock exchange? #Nomatter.
Our nephew has to draw pictures of/for DDR Germany which, in a way, is kinda exactly like how one might draw #Trump and my beloved & missed united mistakes of #Americant today as it too delves into the Mein Kampf confusion of political circumstance dictated by greed, greed and more greed albeit in a nation of mindless nationalism run amok. And… Ok. Wait. Stop the worst presses. I know I get-on a bit too much here and there with #Trump & Co and #Americant. So forgive me. Let me take a swig of post Xmas drink and I’ll try to move on.
While dabbling in DDR waw-waw, studying, smoking, drinking communist beer, our cold-war artist/Nephew falls for a chick (Paula Beer) that looks perfectly NOT unlike his gassed aunt (Saski Rosendahl). This young couple now get it on in wondrous ways that the porn industry probably doesn’t want anybody to see–on account these actors loved each other on screen so well that it even gave me hope that love is real. Their post-nazi love, of course, leads to a pregnancy which in turn leads to the girls father–who I have purposefully left out up to now even though he plays a major role from the beginning to end of this film. I have left him out of this worst-post because I think he’s stupid. That’s right. I said it: stupid. In fact, I think the character of the Nazi/doctor/father is so stupid that this will be my last mention of him.￼ If you want/need to know more about him, watch the movie. Otherwise, fcuk you and all ￼Nazi/doctor/fathers.
Now. Before I continue worst-summarising. This is a movie where the director (remember his name?) seems to think he can somehow work through Germany’s past in about three hours. And while working through that past, he thinks/assumes all will be well. Or? For it is a dilemma, don’t you know, dear worst-reader, that Germans and oh-so many German speaking old white men of #Eurowasteland have to rehash their Nazi past even more than their money has paid for WW2 reparations. That’s kind of the essence in this movie. I think. Either that or rehashing the past is a new past-time for Germans born of Wirtschaftswunder parents. But don’t worry. If you’re unattainably confused about what worst-writer is trying (and failing) to say about this movie… Get this. It’s creator/director has a really really really (sarcasm on) important name and the artistry of his movie is naked… I mean stunning… I mean the actresses in this movie are gorgeous and… that… Well. Hint. I’m not sure anymore about what I’m trying to say. So maybe I should just move on–and at the same time try and stop summarising this movie. Indeed.
Our beloved nephew and his luscious wife end up leaving DDR waw-waw-land and make it to The West. Once in The West our nephew pursues his art career along side a bunch of other post WW2 guys who somehow find a way through life via art school at the behest of the infamous Joseph Beuys–in the town of Düsseldorf–which is also worst-writer’s golden cage… Blah. Blah. Blah. Stop. Pause.
This is where I should definitely break from my attempt at worst-writing about this film and get into a long-winded rant about the artist Joseph Beuys who died a few years prior to worst-writer arriving in D’dorf which also turned out to be the beginning of my expatration. But I won’t do that. Instead. Allow me this.
Once I got over the waw-waw of Florian Henkle von Donnersmarck’s (what a name, eh) attempt at rehashing Germany’s recent past with lots of Nazi drama which, for him, seems to have begun in Dresden and then ended in my beloved D’dorf, I realised: Hey! This film ain’t so bad after all. I mean. Beyond the spectacular cinematography of actresses, actresses and more naked actresses, there’s actually a highly confused story that reminds me of an ugly but extremely useful quilt. But. And here’s a big but. If it weren’t for the post WW2 art school in D’dorf and the love story of a couple who deserve love, I might not have made it to the end of this film. That’s not to say that it’s bad. But it is to say that it’s long. Way too long. It’s also a rehashing of the past that I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to get a grip on–as though it were my calling on account of my mother and her war-torn Prussian father who was born in 1918 and died in 2001. With that in mind, I think it’s time to get on about Joseph Beuys.
The thing is this, dear worst-reader. This film could be condensed to an hour and a half and all the Dresden stuff could still be included as flashbacks (except the naked scenes, of course; they need to be seen in full) and then the movie could focus on what kept me watching it: namely a movie about Joseph Beuys. For here’s the kicker, dear worst-reader. In 1992 I spent three days in Kassel, Germany, at Documenta 9 staring at various Beuys’ exhibits that did nothing less than blow my weak #Americant pseudo-intellectual mind. I was so enamoured with Beuys that for a few years after that I never passed up a chance to visit a museum just to see his work.
So let me be as clear as only worst-writer can about this movie. It’s an ok movie. It’s a artsy-fartsy film. It has some good cinematography and some of the dialogue is really good–except for the scene where Ben Becker, as a DDR sign-maker foreman, spouts Shakespearean, if not Goethe-like text that was/is completely misplaced telling the protagonist (nephew) that he’s not making art but instead making posters that promote communism. And so… The only problem I have with this film is that it is miraculously indulgent. It is a film about exuberant film making–and those who can afford to make it. It is long winded and at times a bit boring. But it’s also a film that a lot of people should see. They should see it even if it’s not as good as Florian, Count Henckel von Donnersmarck’s (can you believe I’ve forgotten to include the “count” this whole time?) previous artsy-fartsy film Das Leben Der Anderen. This movie should be seen because it has something in it about the 20th century’s greatest artist, if not best German rehasher of Nazis: Joseph Beuys.
Which brings me to one last worst-thought about Werk ohne Autor. This should have been a movie about how one makes art, which may or may not include a love story. From the beginning to end, a movie about wielding a paint brush, as the nephew of this film does, or wielding the idear of art as life, as Joseph Beuys did, would have made this film a bit less banal, a bit less mediocre, a bit less mendacious. For those who have said wondrous things about this movie. That’s cool. I too recommend it. But for those who say something critical about it–take heed. In the end there’s three hours of quilt parts in this film to have fun with or without the directors stupid name.
Fcuk aristocracy, old money, the past in all its forms–even film making. It’s time to change your name, dude–because, in case you don’t know, names like yours are what gave the world (Germans) Nazis in the first place–and obviously set the example of how fascism wins wars even when Nazis lose. Instead make a film about Joseph Beuys. Stop revealing how painters paint–on account you take the fun out of it. Or go the way of worst-writer’s salad days, where/when worst-writer’s cock could cum ten times a day on Cleopatra’s face because she smiled the only way a scorned woman can–and that’s hotter than hot. And that’s what happiness is to those of us who can’t make it as an artist because, well, I guess, some of us just don’t have the right name–or all the old (name) money.
Or something like that.
*The translation of the German title is just as fun, dear worst-reader. It goes something like this: work without (an) author or an author without work or, maybe, art without an artist or or or, etc. WTF.