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Films on IceCinemas of the Arctic$
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Scott MacKenzie and Anna Westerstahl Stenport

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748694174

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748694174.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

‘See the Crashing Masses of White Death …’: Greenland, Germany and the Sublime in the ‘BergfilmSOS Eisberg

‘See the Crashing Masses of White Death …’: Greenland, Germany and the Sublime in the ‘BergfilmSOS Eisberg

Chapter:
(p.148) 10. ‘See the Crashing Masses of White Death …’: Greenland, Germany and the Sublime in the ‘BergfilmSOS Eisberg
Source:
Films on Ice
Author(s):

Lill-Ann Körber

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748694174.003.0011

This chapter traces the history of Arnold Fanck’s S.O.S Eisberg (1933), a Hollywood-Germany co-production released in separate versions in English and German by Universal Studios. Starring Leni Riefenstahl, the film tells the story of a scientific expedition lost in Greenlandic ice fjords. Körber considers the film in relation to the rugged, purity-of-nature Bergfilm (‘Mountain film’) genre and examines its proto-Nazi leanings, drawing on Siegfried Kracauer’s From Caligari to Hitler (1947) and Susan Sontag’s ‘Fascinating Fascism’ (1975). She also analyses Fanck’s perhaps spurious claims about the authenticity of his representation of the Arctic, which were used as promotional material for the film, and signals their connection to the close collaboration with Knud Rasmussen, who was filming The Wedding of Palo (1934) in Western Greenland at the same time.

Keywords:   Leni Riefenstahl, Bergfilm, Arnold Fanck, SOS Eisberg, Greenland; sublime, Luis Trenker, Fascist aesthetics, Siegfried Kracauer, Susan Sontag, Universal Studies, Knud Rasmussen, Nuummioq

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