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  1. #1
    John Bragg's Avatar
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    Leni Riefenstahl ; Jesse Owens Portrait.

    I know she had a controversial life, but this is one of the best sporting portraits ever in my eyes. Anyone else ?

    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...D%26ie%3DUTF-8

    Regards, John.

  2. #2
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    There are many other good, portraits John by photographers who weren't committed nazis, and friends of Adof Hitler.
    Ben

  3. #3
    John Bragg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bentley Boyd
    There are many other good, portraits John by photographers who weren't committed nazis, and friends of Adof Hitler.

    I understand that, and (not wishing to get into the background of the author of this image), it is the look of total focus and determination in Owens eye that I find compelling. Nothing else is implied !!!!!!!

    Regards, john.
    Last edited by John Bragg; 09-08-2006 at 09:29 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Typo

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bentley Boyd
    There are many other good, portraits John by photographers who weren't committed nazis, and friends of Adof Hitler.
    Dear Ben,

    It's disputable how committed a nazi she was. Also, it is disputable how far she was a friend of Hitler, and how far they used each other for their own ends.

    There are those who will hear only ill of her, and those who refuse to believe any ill of her. Having read a good deal about her, including two major biographies, I suspect that the truth lies somewhere between.

    And regardless of which camp you fall in, she was a brilliant photographer. There's no law saying that great artists have to be nice people.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  5. #5
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    ALL sports photography is indebted to Leni Riefenstahl in a way or another. The way she shot the Berlin Olympics pretty much defined the template for the years to follow.

    That said, it's a beautiful portrait. I always think of her portraits to be more like the other ones on the same page you linked to: two-thirds to full-length. The expression on Owen's face is so alive, almost amused.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  6. #6
    blansky's Avatar
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    She was a great photographer and her work was outstanding.

    The fact that she worked for the state she grew up in and rose to the top of the heap is a mark of her greatness. Was she a Nazi. Of course. How else would she get the commissions. It was the dominant party of her state.

    It is unfortunate that he state turned out to be a what it did, but using her as a whipping boy for that state makes little sense.

    Many of the founding fathers of this country were slave owners, and we excuse that by saying they were "of their time".

    She was also "of her time" and place.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  7. #7

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    Michael precisely said it as it is...

    What Bible said: let it throw first stone one who didn't make any sin... something like that, I didn't tell it precisely, but you got the point...

    Just think would you reject job offered by your government. And would you think it that situation "My government is evil (if it is), I will reject offered job"

    Like Mafia, they give you an offer you can't refuse...

    I don't know was she Nazi or not, but, she got the oportunity to do what she like (make movies and photographs), government secured her budget, and else, by that working she had oportunity to establish herself as world recognized artist, etc... Not many people would reject that offer. And if you know that offer come from somebody (in this case dictatorship government or dictator himself) for whom you know that lots of bad things can happen if you insult them by rejecting (like stopping you to work, kill you, kill your familly or/and friends, remember that was Nazy government in 1930es/40es, who would say anything if some artist dissapear...), then...

    Being suporter of that government or not, rejecting that offer would be dangerous, and than, it would be rejecting of many oportunities. And people sold themselves for much less...

    Look what happens these days with Nobel price receiver, Gunter Grass...

    Today there are countries which rest of the world don't like, even hate. But, people in those countries don't think they do anything wrong if they work for governments of those countries, and don't pay much attention what rest of the world think. Leni did the same 70 years ago...

  8. #8
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    She was a great photographer..... .....She was also "of her time" and place.
    Well said, Michael.
    —Eric

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bentley Boyd
    There are many other good, portraits John by photographers who weren't committed nazis, and friends of Adof Hitler.
    Therefore, we should ignore a person's obvious talent because we have a problem with some of their beliefs. I find this logic rather offensive.

  10. #10
    Helen B's Avatar
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    So, she used her talent to make some of the best Nazi propaganda ever made. She knowingly glorified Hitler and the Nazi ideal. An ideal which was repugnant in its time and which is repugnant now. Can we really forget all that and judge her photographs in isolation? I'd be interested to know how many of the people who are suggesting that we acknowledge her talent without reservation (if that is what they are suggesting) have seen "Triumph of the Will". Hitler deified.

    Best,
    Helen

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