The Pointless Century

S2E4 - The Monstrous 20s (pt. 2)

We reflect on the Jan. 6 coup attempt; Frank then lectures on the Culture Industry; Rachel ponders the multiple versions of Phantom of the Opera; Anna rips on another cheesy ending; we all marvel at the work of Lon Chaney and Brigitte Helm but are left wondering why Conrad Veidt’s performance ended up being so influential.

1 year ago

Episode Notes

S2 E4: The Monstrous 20s (pt. 2)

The Phantom of the Opera. Dir. Rupert Julian. Writ. Gaston Leroux. Prod. Carl Laemmle. Perf. Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin. Universal, 1925.

Metropolis. Dir. Fritz Lang. Writ. Thea von Harbou. Perf. Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich. UFA, 1927.

The Man Who Laughs. Dir. Paul Leni. Writ. Victor Hugo, J. Grubb Alexander. Perf. Conrad Veidt, Mary Philbin. Universal, 1928.

This late follow-up to our last episode of 2020, starts with some reflections on the Jan. 6 coup attempt; Frank then lectures on the Culture Industry; Rachel ponders the multiple versions of Phantom of the Opera; Anna rips on another cheesy ending; we all marvel at the work of Lon Chaney and Brigitte Helm but are left wondering why Conrad Veidt’s very restricted performance in The Man Who Laughs ended up being so influential.

[Shout-outs to Robert Evans (@IwriteOK / @BastardsPod) and Scott Poole (@MonstersAmerica)] // T-shirts are now available: http://www.teepublic.com/user/the-pointless-century // Watch us on Instagram: @thePointlessCentury // Troll us on Twitter: @PointlessCent

CORRECTION: Frank identifies the law enforcement officer who shot and killed an insurrectionist in the Capitol as a Secret Service agent, but that person was actually a Capitol Police officer.

The Pointless Crew: Frank Fucile (he/him/his) – Lit & Theory, Film & Media, Genre, Enviro & Tech Studies // Anna Wendorff (she/her/hers) – Communications, Rhetorics of Sci & Tech, Feminism // Rachel Hamele (she/her/hers) – History, Humanities, Queer Studies, Fandoms // Madalyn McCabe (she/her/hers) – Sound Editing, French, European Studies

REFERENCES:

Elsaesser, Thomas. Weimar Cinema and After: Germany’s Historical Imaginary. Routledge, 2000.

Horkheimer, Max & Theodor Adorno. The Dialectic of Enlightenment, ed. Gunzelin Schmid Noerr, trans. Edmund Jephcott. Stanford, 2002.

Kracauer, Siegfried. From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film. Princeton, 1947.

Poole, W. Scott. Wasteland: The Great War and the Origins of Modern Horror. Counterpoint, 2019.

MUSIC: The Melvins – “Vile” from Ozma (Boner, 1989)

Fantômas – “Der Golem” (written by Karl Ernst Sasse) from The Director’s Cut (Ipecac, 2001)

ART: Paul Nash, We Are Making a New World. Oil on canvas, 1918. Imperial War Museum.

The Man Who Laughs, film still feat. Conrad Veidt (Universal, 1928)

Find out more at https://the-pointless-century.pinecast.co

The Pointless Century is a podcast of informal discussions about literature and film seeking to understand 20th century history and illuminate 21st century politics. Professor Frank Fucile and research assistants Anna Wendorff and Rachel Hamele work their way through comparative studies of canonical works, examples from pop culture, and some cult classics while reflecting on subjects like technology, art, class, race, gender, sexuality, the environment, (as always) war, and (inevitably) fascism.