erik lundegaard

How W. is Dumber than a Fascist

Andre Harris: Bearing in mind what you learned in the last war, the results of National Socialism, which, as you explained, had a certain appeal or charm about it at one point in your life, bearing this in mind, would you change the choices you made at that time?
Christian de la Mazière: Yes, of course. I think only an idiot would refuse to change their opinion. 

— from "Le Chagrin et le pitie" (1971), Marcel Ophuls great documentary on the occupation of France during World War II. The original New York Times review can be read here. Among the many fascinating details — the equivocation of collaborationists, the straightforward account of an aristocrat like de la Maziere, the sad amusement (and heroics) of Pierre Mendes-France, who had to wait for two lovers to seal the deal, or at least the agreement, and leave, before he could climb down from a prison wall and escape an unjust sentence, along with the horrors of such propaganda films as "Le Juif Suss" — I was also intrigued to discover that, in French anyway, sorrow (chagrin) is masculine, while pity (pitie) is feminine. True? And does this expand our interpretation of "Annie Hall"? Feel free to discuss.


Posted at 12:00 PM on Tue. Mar 03, 2009 in category Quote of the Day, Movies - Foreign  
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