The Tin Drum (1979) Volker Schlöndorff

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Original German name: Die Blechtrommel

This film is based on a novel, has a scene parodying a propaganda docu filmed at the time of Hitler's Third Reich, which is very satirically humorous. The protagonist and narrator, Oskar, decides at three years of age that he does not want to grow any more, after observing the ridiculous behaviours of the adults and the society around him, at the time of Adolf Hitler. He is inseparable from his toy tin drum that he received for his third birthday, and will not stop playing it. The tin drum is a symbol of his protest of the chaotic world he lives in. Another of his talent is his high pitched voice which shatters glasses nearby.

Both the incessant drum playing and his screams are, to be honest, quite annoying. I kept thinking how Oskar has a very penetratingly scary eyes that stare at you, and a large head. The role was played by a small 11 year old actor, and have raised controversies because there are scenes where Oskar licks sherbet from a woman's navel, and have intercourse with her. This has caused the film to be banned in some states for its critisms of child pornography.

Midgets (is this politically correct? or should I say "growth-stunted"?) also feature in the film, since Oskar learns from one, Bebar, that he should be on or under the stage, never in front of it, for spectators can be manipulated. Oskar takes this advice to heart, and this is shown in the parody scene I mentionned earlier. I am always amazed at the works that must have gone through to know so many films to be able to parody or reference them, and also how many must I watch to be able to pick them out, just like that, without having studied them through courses like this, where we learn, by seeing actual comparisons.

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