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11 January 2010 @ 10:40 pm
I'm glad to find that there's an online outlet for my enthusiasm (and I hope you'll put up with my layman's - or laywoman's - knowledge for the moment). I hope these aren't repeats: as an advertisement for a new MvR biography Spiegel-Online posted some photos and a video clip of Manfred. Of the 16 images and 1 video, two are to do with that awful 1971 film, two are biography advertising, but happily for us the rest are actual fact. Judging by #13, this was the first research point for the 2007 film as well. (Der Jagdflieger Manfred von Richthofen mit der Krankenschwester Käte Otersdorf. Es gab Gerüchte, die beiden seien ein Paar.. Bah.)


The end of a legend - the birth of a myth
 
 
21 April 2008 @ 08:11 am

Ninety years ago—nearly a century. I look into the eyes of an ancient photograph, looking across time.

I doubt he could have ever guessed that ninety years after his death anyone would remember him. In that cataclysmic war at the beginning of the bloody twentieth century, so many were dying and he didn’t seem to think he was anyone remarkable. Even the modest fame that came his way during his lifetime seemed to bemuse him. He could not have guessed how the public—inflamed by the gaudy press of the 1920s and 30s—would seize upon “the bloody Red Baron” and create from his life an icon of ruthlessness. Time and legend and the sensationalism of our culture would create a caricature of the man, a lens to focus our fears, dreams, and lusts.

I doubt he would recognize himself, interpreted by the twentieth century.

The sunlight that illuminated that face in 1918 also shone down on my grandmother—just fourteen years old. She lived her life and died in the span of years that separate Manfred and me. His own mother and sister died over forty years ago. No one now lives who knew him. Perhaps that eases the pain—the knowledge that we never could have known each other as adults. We are forever sundered by time, forever destined to never meet.

I can’t explain the feeling of connection. He left too few words behind and his life has been interpreted by others and shaded by their perceptions. I have a sense of him, a person remade in my own imaginings, but I can never know how close to the actuality I have come. But the feeling of recognition remains.

"Like Lufbery and many of the others who never came back from that war, Richthofen is hard to know.” --Lou Cameron, Iron Men With Wooden Wings

The skies remain—but even the skies have changed. Or rather, the way we interact with the sky. It is less a frontier to us than a thoroughfare, a pathway from one point to another. We thoughtlessly board a craft in Atlanta and arc over the continent to Seattle, Los Angeles, or Anchorage. The sleek and sturdy Cessna that I learned to fly in was generations removed from his quirky, hard-to-handle Fokkers with their open cockpits and rudimentary control systems. Could he have foreseen the day when the skies would be familiar to the general populace, when the view from ten thousand feet seemed normal? Even here, in remote Alaska, the turboprops that depart our airport are followed by radar and kept in radio contact with us as they fly invisible airways over the trackless wilderness.

A half-century after his day, human beings stood on the moon and looked back at the Earth. And those human beings were pilots. Undoubtedly, they knew his name.
 
 
19 April 2008 @ 09:54 pm
TO THE GERMAN FLYING CORPS:
Rittmeister Baron Manfred von Richthofen was killed in aerial combat on April 21st, 1918. He was buried with full military honours.

From the British Royal Air Force


Manfred in 1916:


Manfred, on 21 April 1918, an hour after his death in combat:


IN MEMORIAMCollapse )
 
 
17 April 2008 @ 03:40 pm
I finally saw “Der Rote Baron” (2008) yesterday. And, having seen all the available footage of the real Manfred von Richthofen, as well as the 1970 movie “The Red Baron” with John Phillip Law, and read “Der Rote Kampfflieger” as well as two bios about MvR, I have very mixed feelings about this version. The following is a wholly subjective first-view impression.

Let’s start with the best: Matthias Schweighöfer (Manfred), Til Schweiger (Voss), Steffen Schroeder (Leutnant Bodenschatz), Tino Mewes (Leutnant Wolff), and whoever plays Udet - nearly all the *real* main characters are superb. Their performances alone are worth the ticket price. There are also awesome dogfight scenes, brilliant trench war, great comic relief moments, a few wonderfully understated friendship scenes, plenty of visual and SF means, and enough in-depth knowledge of Manfred/the Jastas/World War I for this to have been the ultimate Richthofen movie. It had everything to be at least memorable.

So what went wrong?

Achtung, SPOILERS!Collapse )
 
 
13 April 2008 @ 12:12 pm
Hallo Kameraden, the movie is out in Austria :)

(Reviews are very mixed ("SF and combat scenes rock, plot flops"), but what can you expect from grounded Allies? *eg*. I´m going to see it on Wednesday, and post a full account (with spoilers too, if you wish) and make up my own mind about it, thank you very much.)

And next Monday I´ll be in Wiesbaden, to visit his grave on his 90th death-day.
 
 
 
19 February 2008 @ 09:25 pm
Hilfe, Kameraden!!

I asked around in several theatres here in Vienna for the release date, and they have absolutely no clue. His 90th death day is practically upon us and it´s not even planned, wtf?

Is it out already in your countries?? Has anyone seen it? Please, please do post a blow-by-blow review when you have. Vielen Dank!
 
 
 
05 December 2007 @ 10:29 pm
Hallo Kameraden, please excuse the OT but in case you haven´t heard yet, please check this:

Six Apart has sold Livejournal to SUP, a pro-Putin Russian media company
and
More about the possible consequences.

What does this mean for Lj users?Collapse )
 
 
Current Mood: determined
 
 
01 December 2007 @ 10:03 am
Hallo Kameraden!

A monument dedicated to Manfred von Richthofen has been just unveiled in his natal town (nowadays in Poland). I saw the news fleetingly in the Euronews TV channel but can´t find images or more data about it - if you have more, bitte post it for all to see! (hyperventilating, moi? *g*).

The most curious fact about this is, not the German but the Poles did this. One in the eye for the self-glorifying Allied, eh?
 
 
Current Mood: happyhappy
 
 
07 November 2007 @ 10:55 am
Long time no news, no updates, nothing... :/ This is just to know if y´all are still alive, and I have two questions:

1) When is the movie out, at least in Europe?! I´ve been waiting all autumn for SOMETHING - even a trailer - and the lack of news is disheartening. If any of you have seen the trailer already, especially on the big screen, please do share your impressions about it!

2) Anybody going to Wiesbaden for April 21, 2008 (a Monday - bummer)? It´s the 90th anniversary, after all.

And a link for you, with the last known picture of "our boy", taken on the morning he fell, as well as oodles of pics of the wreckage, his funeral at Bertangles, and his personal objects recovered from the triplane.