Sunday, March 9, 2008

False Pretenses

What I find interesting about Franz Ferdinand is that he is actually part of the blood royalty of Austria. However this is shown to be a stark contrast to his actual actions. He "is" Austrian, but he doesn't act or behave Austrian. He doesn't really dress properly and is unshaven. Colonel Redl on the other hand came from everywhere but Austria, however he was in the Austrian army since childhood and represented the very best of Austrian ideals through his actions. He acted Austrian in the true sense. These two characters I see as inverses of each other in regards to heritage and respective actions.

The question of authenticity is a very difficult one, because one could say that what Austria portrayed in many cases was inauthentic (an example being the Ringstrasse). I don't know if anyone in the film can truly be called authentic. Most people have something to hide and play a part in some kind of deception. Redl can't because he denies his family, his roots and is only concerned about his image most of the time (how Austrian!). Franz Ferdinand can't because he doesn't portray himself as royalty should (he is devious and weaselly to boot). I think maybe Redl's childhood friend (I can't remember his name) who is around during most of the movie and who gives Redl the suicide weapon is perhaps the most authentic person in the entire movie (not counting the smaller parts/characters).

I think this movie shows the immorality issue quite well, although it doesn't connect to art directly. It does show how inauthenticity can be immoral and lead to the degradation of society.

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