Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hitler Gets Slammed by Housing Meltdown


** Michelle Miller Slingerland, a former colleague in real estate marketing, sent this to me today and it's a knock-out.

** The parody below consists of new subtitles placed over Hitler's dialogue -- (portrayed by Swiss actor Bruno Ganz) -- ruminating about the adverse effects of the housing crash.

** Its creator is a contributor who goes by the name, "Jamnospam" -- and he or she has assembled what I believe to be the best of the parodies taken from the critically acclaimed German drama, "Downfall" ("Der Untergang," 2004) -- director Oliver Hirschbiegel's take on the final days of Adolph Hitler.

** The parody (and "knock-offs" like it) -- draw from the same climactic scene, which show Hitler going on a tirade, railing against his officers. All have been somewhat controversial, generating protests from Holocaust groups -- as well as objections from Constantin Film Production, which distributed the film. According to news reports, Constantin has even called on YouTube to remove many of the videos, citing copyright infringement.

** However, YouTube left this version alone because its creator skillfully inserted a title card, citing (with a link) fair-use law and its relationship to parodies protected by the First Amendment.

** As Mel Brooks says about his parodies of Nazi Germany -- beyond punishing Nazis for their crimes, an equally effective way to "get back" at Adolph Hitler is to mock him, to make fun of him, to humiliate him, etc. This is how he defended his work on "The Producers" in 1968 -- and again when the Broadway stage version of his film won a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards in 2001.

** While "knock-offs" of this parody have addressed pop culture phenomena -- none, in my view, have the sparkling clarity and wit as this version, e.g., Hitler's whining references to "flipping properties for profit," missing his "granite countertops," and the presumed safety of his 401(k). He even takes out his rage against the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

** The popularity of this parody is uncontested, generating nearly 2 million hits since its debut in November 2008.

(Original material © 2009 by David Kusumoto.)

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