- - Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nazi film gimmick

“James Cameron and his team of minions may have produced the high watermark for 3D technology in the 21st century, but it seems the Nazis got there first. The Australian film-maker Philippe Mora says he has discovered two 30-minute 3D films shot by propagandists for the Third Reich in 1936, a full 16 years before the format first became briefly popular in the U.S.

“The first of the films, titled ‘So Real You Can Touch It,’ features shots of sizzling stereoscopic bratwursts on a barbecue while the second, named ‘Six Girls Roll Into Weekend,’ features actors Mora believes were probably stars from Germany’s top wartime studio, Universum Film.

“‘The quality of the films is fantastic,’ Mora told Variety.com. … Mora discovered the movies while doing research for a new documentary, entitled ‘How the Third Reich was Recorded,’ which explores the way the Nazis used film to shape public opinion and manipulate the German people.

Ben Child, writing on “Nazi 3D films from 1936 discovered,” on Feb. 16 at the Guardian

Respectable money

“Promoting adultery and creating a market for it has made [marital-infidelity website guru Noel] Biderman rich. It has not made him popular. ‘Nobody knows how many people are adulterous. But there is something important here,’ says Helen Fisher, an anthropologist specializing in love and relationships who is also a consultant to the dating site Match.com. ‘Even though some people are predisposed to adultery, we do have a big cerebral cortex with which we make decisions — some people are predisposed to alcohol and they give up drinking, drug addicts overcome addiction. This guy is preying on human frailty. It’s a little bit like pimping if he’s making money.’

“Still, ‘they certainly own that cheaters’ market,’ said David Evans, publisher of Online Dating Insider. ‘It’s quite lucrative and successful.’

“What Ashley Madison does is legal. It’s also illicit, in that it helps users violate their marriage vows and engage in deception and secrecy. This presents enormous branding challenges as well as financial ones: How many fund managers want to go home to their wives and announce, ‘Honey, I found the perfect investment opportunity!’ Some of Avid Life’s employees don’t publicly admit where they work for fear of jeopardizing their spouses’ jobs, provoking family disapproval, or seeing their houses pelted with oranges; Biderman says he sometimes worries about his security. All of this puts him in a unique position: He is running a budding empire built on an activity that most people would say is wrong. Is that the easiest thing in the world or the most difficult?”

Sheelah Kolhatkar, writing on “Cheating, Incorporated,” in the Feb. 10 issue of Business Week

Cash cows

“Oh, Warner Bros., you are crafty. Instead of just selling plain old DVDs of popular films like ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Inception,’ the company has now created ‘app’ editions of each film for the iPhone and iPad. There’s a lot of marketing speak that goes along with the apps (‘a fully-loaded, connected viewing experience that gives consumers the first five minutes of a feature film and a portion of bonus content that can include games, trivia, soundtracks and soundboards’) but what it comes down to is coming up with a new way to sell the same movie to people all over again.

“Which, if you’re into that sort of thing, is fine. The apps, which come with some bonus features and the first five minutes of each film, are free. Getting the entire movie will run $9.99 for ‘The Dark Knight’ and $11.99 for ‘Inception.’ (It’s newer!)”

Russ Fischer, writing on “Warner Bros. Creating App Editions of ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Inception,’” on Feb. 16 at Slash Film

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