Interview with the man who launched a million Hitler parodies
In my other life, I am somewhat of an expert on left-wing German terrorism of the 1970s. On my site devoted to the Baader-Meinhof Gang, I recently interviewed Bernd Eichinger, the writer of the Baader-Meinhof Complex, as well as Downfall, the story of the final days of Hitler. That’s right, the guy that wrote the actual words to probably the most parodied film clip on youtube.
The good news is that Eichinger finds these parodies hilarious and he even told me of his favorite one.
Richard Huffman: As the writer of Downfall, the superb film about Hitler’s final days, I’m sure you’ve seen your work parodied on youtube literally hundreds of times with the various “Hitler Mash-up” videos. What do you think of those videos? If you find them at all amusing, do you have a favorite? Or are they too inappropriate? I confess that I find “Downfall of Grammar” pretty amusing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8fbrUjjivw.
Bernd Eichinger: I find those parodies tremendously amusing! Obviously, the film and this scene in particular is a real fire starter for people’s imagination. What else can you hope for as a filmmaker? This is moviemaking heaven! My favorite one is when Hitler is having his tantrum over his losses in the real estate crisis. Hitler’s real crisis at the time was also about a gigantic real estate loss: the loss of all those territories he had conquered fuelled by false credit and driven by avarice, megalomania and extreme ruthlessness. And then history’s Down Jones came crushing down on him….I find this parody so funny because it’s historically relevant.