Wednesday, March 12, 2008

authenticity? identity?

I was also struck today in class by a feeling that someone judged to be 'authentic' worshipping the Austrian empire on the eve of the first world war is extremely misguided. Redl's inability in the film to see through the appearances and pomp is symbolic of the entire text and subtext of the course. I am thinking now of the buildings on the Ringstrasse, all meant to evoke philosophies that were not held by those institutions or the monarchy compared to the architecture of Loos and Wagner. There is a self-hating, destructive drive in Redl that propels him through the film, from when he is a snitch in military school (thus exposing himself as a lower class person; none of the aristocratic boys would snitch) to his self-sacrifice for the lie of the empire. He never knows what he is, and to me he becomes a fractured allegory of the empire itself. 

1 comment:

erin andersen said...

Great job here, you were able to tie what I was trying to say about this film into the greater context of our course. I'm glad to hear that someone else agreed with my view that this film really only represents the entire facade of the empire itself.