Saturday, August 20, 2005


Thursday I went to see The Goebbels Experiment down at the Quad Cinema. Somebody thought of a way to combine Joseph Goebbels' (Hitler's minister of propaganda) diary with never before seen German archival footage. He should have kept thinking.

I suppose the concept could have worked. It could have shown how the Nazis used propaganda to motivate an entire country to insanity. But far too often the movie just took cheap shots, pulling out some prediction of Goebbels' that turned out to be totally wrong, or excerpting some exaggerated diary entry that was merely a personal pep talk. The audience was laughing, but Goebbels was not funny at all.

What I found most interesting were Goebbels' home movies, mostly of his children. Home movies is a bit of a misnomer. They were movies taken at his home, but they were obviously staged, professionally lighted and filmed. I found this quite strange, even for a Nazi egomaniac.

BTW, the Quad is always showing interesting films (I didn't say always good films) that are seldom shown any place else. If you like such things, its president, Elliott Kanbar, sends out a weekly e-mail newsletter that details what they're showing, plus he always adds a few comments about films in general that are quite entertaining if not informative. You can subscribe on their website.

Anyhow, after the film we went to dinner at Japonica, over at 100 University Pl. We lucked out--we were seated immediately, a highly unusual occurrence at this very popular place. The food is very good (but I haven't had the sushi there in quite a while), though on the expensive side. The service is great (though having a Latino waiter in a Japanese restaurant is strange). We recognized one of the other waiters from our usual pre-Lincoln Center spot, and he recognized us, greeting us on our way out.

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