Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder
Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2005 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.
Leonard and I just rented some classics on DVD. Last night we watched The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin's great anti-Hitler movie that began production in 1937 and released in 1940. As Kris has pointed out in his comic, our contemporaries decades after the Holocaust think of Hitler as the sine qua non of evil, a synonym for Satan. But Chaplin, a contemporary of Hitler, made a movie that is much more specifically anti-Hitler. The satire is more audacious in hindsight. Leonard suggested that the original title of The Great Dictator was F$&# You, Hitler. It's that sort of spirit. Except the ending. That's a weird ending.
If someone remade The Great Dictator, who would be the new Hitler? Leonard suggests Mugabe but I'm not sure who would play him. Then again, I'm not sure who would play Jong Il, either.
We enjoyed The Ladykillers tonight - not the Tom Hanks remake, but the Alec Guinness original. Every single Ealing Studios film will eventually end up in our library, I just know it.