Nietzsche Returns?

Oliver at Cult Punk posts this haunting footage of Nietzsche. "I had no idea he'd actually been filmed," he writes, "but just before he died primitive motion pictures were being made, and I guess that included these uber rare scenes of a mentally-gone Nietzsche vegetating in a hospital."

But the problem -- which I noticed on the second time viewing -- is that the quality of "film stock" is just too good. Not a scratch; no grain or degeneration, either. And the images are quite familiar. Chances are, this is what you get from feeding photographs of Nietzsche into some CGI gizmo that can bring the dead back to life.

A matter of time before we get breakdancing Bergson....

February 18, 2008 6:26 PM | | Comments (4)



What you say is true, and maybe this is mere wishful thinking, but did you see the Emma Goldman video below it? The Goldman vid was from '34 and and, like the Nietzsche vid, is very choppy and pixellated, and likewise shoes no real scratches or blips, perhaps because of the pixellation that YouTube makes all videos undergo before displaying them. (YouTube transforms all uploaded videos into Flash files, and the lower quality the original, the more blocky/pixellated it looks; this would, I would think, in its own wy eliminate the scratchiness or other residue simply because it makes the whole thing blurrier -- hence why there's little of that on the Goldman newsreel as well.) Also, as with so many silent movies, like, say, Clara Bow films, might it not have been remastered and/or cleaned up and then that version was uploaded?

I know the difference between filming in 1934 (Goldman) and Nietzsche (1890s?) was light years in difference in film technology. Hell, maybe needs to look into this.

But the Emma footage is actually much jumpier and more beat-up looking than the "Nietzsche video." I've never seen any footage from the 1890s that didn't look much worse than the Emma film.

Not that it's impossible something might have been perfectly preserved, but it's a real stretch.

Also, I just found this discussion, which tends to support the idea that the Nietzsche footage is fabricated from still photos:

Argh - yeah, but did you read the commens to the blog you just linked to. It just adds further mystery.

For example, someone int he comments linked to this film/video/whatever of Nietzsche:

And they insist that one is legitimate. now, that one does look more beat up. Not as haunting -- more pathetic, actually.


I uploaded the more authentic-looking Nietzsche footage to YouTube, here:

Leave a comment

Recent Work

Fidel Castro: My Life 
A review from Newsday
40 Years of "The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual" 
Marking the anniversary of Harold Cruse's great book
Style and Grace 
A review of a book by the late, great Grace Paley from ... sheesh, almost ten years ago.
Oh, Canada 
National identity -- going south?
The LaRouche Tabernacle Choir 
An interview with me about the LaRouche movement, on Pacifica radio in Los Angeles
Open Library 
An interview with Aaron Swartz, one of the developers....
Sailing From Ithaka 
The new report calling for a digital platform for scholarly publishing deserves a wide audience


Battle of the Titans 
Dinesh D'Souza and Alan Wolfe debating? Imagine a slime mold in conflict with a patch of mildew. It's just that inspiring.
To the Tehran Station 
Not about Edmund Wilson
more picks


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Quick Study published on February 18, 2008 6:26 PM.

NBCC-DC Weekend Update was the previous entry in this blog.

Can't We All Just Get Along? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

AJ Ads

AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.