Monday, June 25, 2007

Die Blechtrommel aka The Tin Drum

"That day, thinking about the grown-up world and my own future, I decided to call a halt. To stop growing then and there and remain a three-year-old, a gnome, once and for all" - Oskar

Volker Schlöndorff's Tin Drum is the best German film I've ever seen! (It’s the only German film I've seen) Anyways, the little boy who plays Oskar (David Bennett) is such a remarkable actor even at the age of 11. Oskar is a little boy who, after seeing all the horridness of being an adult, decides to stop growing and stay a 3 year old forever by falling down the stairs. A gross Peter Pan if you will.

The film, I believe, is an abstract tale on how Germany grew in the late 1800's/early 1900's. Also, there are subtle points in the film showing how the people of Germany were almost mind washed into the Nazi regime and how they almost wish it not part of their history. By today's standards, the film is very grotesque and sometimes unbearable to watch (incest, child sex, fishing for eels with a horse's head), but the images happen during the most gruesome times of Germany's history. I believe the director used this to show his message of how Germans were led astray for a long period of time. Also, an image I remember vividly: at the beginning of the Nazi involvement of Oskar's family, the father takes down a picture of Beethoven to make way for a new radio and a picture of Hitler. Towards the end of the film, Beethoven is put back in it's place while the father speaks of how regretful he is of what has happened, what he has done (possibly a metaphor of how the German people are regretful of how they lost their way??? something to think about...)