RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 34355001 LA English T1 The ministry of illusion : Nazi cinema and its afterlife A1 Rentschler, Eric., PB Harvard University Press PP Cambridge, Mass. YR 1996 SN 067457639X 9780674576391 0674576403 9780674576407 AB German cinema of the Third Reich, even a half-century after Hitler's demise, still provokes extreme reactions. More than a thousand German feature films that premiered during the reign of National Socialism survive as mementoes of what many regard as film history's darkest hour. As Eric Rentschler argues, however, cinema in the Third Reich emanated from a Ministry of Illusion and not from a Ministry of Fear. Party vehicles such as Hitler Youth Quex and anti-Semitic hate films such as Jew Suss may warrant the epithet "Nazi propaganda," but they amount to a mere fraction of the productions from this era. The vast majority of the epoch's films seemed to be "unpolitical"--Melodramas, biopics, and frothy entertainments set in cozy urbane surroundings, places where one rarely sees a swastika or hears a "Sieg Heil." Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, Rentschler shows, endeavored to maximize film's seductive potential, to cloak party priorities in alluring cinematic shapes. Hitler and Goebbels were master showmen enamored of their media images, the Third Reich was a grand production. The Nazis were movie mad, and the Third Reich was movie made. Rentschler's analysis of the sophisticated media culture of this period demonstrates in an unprecedented way the potent and destructive powers of fascination and fantasy. Nazi feature films--both as entities that unreeled in moviehouses during the regime and as productions that continue to enjoy wide attention today--show that entertainment is often much more than innocent pleasure [Publisher description].