I’m back! – now with extra Zeppelin porn

Yes, I’m back. Turned out the problem was caused by a WordPress plug-in. Oddly enough, the plug-in had been working just fine for months, then it suddenly fails.

In other news, my new TV was delivered today. I have now joined the ranks of the monster-sized widescreen Full-HD 3D screen owners. To be honest, I was perfectly happy with my old tube TV with its 4:3 image ratio. But it died on me, which isn’t all that surprising considering that it’s almost twenty years old (it used to be my parents’ and they bought it in the early 1990s). And since I needed a new TV anyway, I decided to splurge for the monster screen, since HD will probably become standard in the future (though it’s still pretty rare in Germany) and widescreen already pretty much is standard. I don’t care for 3D at all, but apparently 3D screens have a higher image quality in 2D and the price difference between 3D and non-3D wasn’t that big.

I decided to inaugurate the new TV by watching part 2 of the Hindenburg two-parter, which is one of the most expensive German TV productions ever. I had missed part 1, but that didn’t really matter, because everybody knows that all of the interesting stuff happens in part 2 and that part 1 was likely just set-up for the soap opera melodrama that usually accompanies disaster films. And honestly, does anybody ever care about the star-studded soap opera melodrama at all? I mean, let’s be honest, the reason people watch disaster flicks is to see stuff blow up.

Spoilers under the cut:

Yes, the Hindenburg blows up! Shocking, isn’t it. Would never have seen that one coming.

In other news, the soap opera melodrama was about as dumb as it usually is in this sort of film. There’s a conspiracy between a bunch of Nazis and a couple of American industrialists played by Stacey Keach and Greta Scacchi to blow up the Hindenburg in order to end the US embargo against Nazi Germany and allow Stacey Keach to sell helium and super secret rocket fuel to the Nazis. However, the conspirators are so stupid that half of them are on board of the very airship they’re trying to blow up.

There is the requisite love story and a dashing young hero who spends 160 of 180 minutes sneaking around the Hindenburg trying to locate and defuse the bomb. He even succeeds, dangling above the landing site at Lakehurst. And then – boom – the Hindenburg catches fire due to a combination of totally unrelated unlucky circumstances. I must confess I really liked this bit, because while they needed the whole bomb conspiracy plot to keep up the suspense, it was also deeply silly, because we know with approx. 98 percent certainty what happened to the Hindenburg and that it wasn’t destroyed by a bomb. But first having the characters run around looking for a bomb and finally having them find and defuse the bomb, only for the Hindenburg to explode anyway in accordance with the historical record and prevalent theories – now that is a stroke of plotting genius in an otherwise pedestrian script.

One thing that did annoy me was that in the miniseries, Dr. Hugo Eckener, head of the Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei, was portrayed as having been involved in the bomb conspiracy. Now the other characters in the film were fictional, even though some of them were obviously based on real passenger of the Hindenburg‘s last flight. But the names and details were changed, so it didn’t matter that much whether the script portrayed them correctly. But Dr. Eckener was a real person, they used his real name and therefore involving him in a completely fictional bomb conspiracy is just plain wrong. Never mind that the real Hugo Eckener did not get on with the Nazis. I think everybody writing historical fiction (and this includes screenplays) using people that really existed has the responsibility to portray those historical figures as accurately as possible and this definitely includes not blaming them for crimes they never committed. It’s a matter of respect, plain and simply. If they wanted to involve a real historical figure in a conspiracy that never existed, they should have just changed his name, like they did with everybody else*.

My Mom had come over to admire the new TV and wasn’t too thrilled that I wanted to watch the Hindenburg film and remarked on the dreadfulness of the dialogues.

I said to her, “Who cares about the dialogues – this is Zeppelin porn.”

Mum: “I don’t understand. How is this porn?”

Me: “It’s Zeppelin porn, because the whole point of this film is gawking at the Zeppelin and the thrill of seeing it like no one has seen it in 74 years.”

And I must say, the Zeppelin porn was great. The effects shots of the Zeppelin in flight looked absolutely realistic, its fiery demise looked just like the famous newsreel footage it was based on, the interiors looked like the surviving photos of the real Hindenburg interiors**. If they had cut out all of the melodrama and just left the Zeppelin shots, I would still have watched it. Because Zeppelins are just plain cool.

In fact, one of the things I always wanted to do, if in possession of a safe and controllable time machine, was take a trip on the Hindenburg. There wouldn’t even be a risk involved, after all you know which journey to avoid. And a Zeppelin flight is an experience you just can’t have anymore today.

Hell, I’d even settle for the modern day descendant Zeppelin NT, if I had the money to blow on a one hour trip.

*Actually, I am not sure whether they changed the names and details of the three high-ranking Nazi officials who were aboard the Hindenburg during her last voyage and who were portrayed as masterminding the conspiracy together with Greta Scacchi. But then, those guys – though not bomb layers – were high-ranking Nazi officials and I don’t think anybody minds them being portrayed falsely.

**The passenger cabins in the film look nicer than the real passenger cabins, but that’s probably because shooting a sex scene is difficult on a bunk bed. The ubiquitous Hitler portrait is also missing, but I don’t think anybody minds that.

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1 Response to I’m back! – now with extra Zeppelin porn

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