By Ryan Gierach, West Hollywood, California
The discoverer of Eva Braun’s home movies of Adolf Hitler, which he made into a devastating documentary called “Swastika” outlining how easily the German people fell under the spell of Nazi-ism, and which opened at Cannes to fights and a near riot (and banned in Germany for 37 years), is being feted for a long career as a pop and high culture provocateur during the festival, which opens September 10.
Excerpts from the program notes describe him as, “like every major modernist… a relentless provocateur.
“His works incite discomfort and always run the risk of being misunderstood.
“Films like the orgiastic horror show “The Howling II,” or “Absolutely Modern” – an homage to the Australian Art scene of the postwar era, full of affectionate tender love and delicate melancholy, offer an open, completely unbiased perspective.
“Only through this can he open their entire bursting richness, closed to all other conventional limitations, to a way of seeing born out of the free and eccentric spirit of the 60s.
“This era, decried over time, whose ideals were perverted and buried in terror, lives on in Mora’s films; its longings and hopes, its artistic dreams and revolutionary politics that flowered in 1967 when Mora first arrived in London and began his painting career. And his core never wavered.
“Like Roy Lichtenstein in the preceding generation, or Sidney Nolan who belonged to the artistic circle of his parents Georges and Mirka, Mora threw himself into each of his works: from the new into the inexhaustible reservoir of pop culture.
“And at the same time, managed to transcend it.”
For much more about Philippe Mora’s career, films and Oldenburg Film Festival Retrospective, see this PDF.
“The Oldenburg Film Festival is being labelled the German Sundance by an increasingly curious trade press.”
The Hollywood Reporter
“One of the most off-beat festivals in Europe.”
Oldenburg is rated among the Top Five Film Festivals worldwide by the Ultimate Film Festival Guide.
Mr. Mora has been a long time contributor to WeHo News.