Sep 16, 2013

Several Interesting Nietzsche Portrayals

One of my YouTube subscribers, commenting on the third video in my 4-part series on Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals, suggested I ought to watch a video which depicts Chesterton vs. Nietzsche.  I did look it up, watch it, and commented on it.

It's really a mixed bag -- a segment from an EWTN show hosted by Dale Ahlquist that is primarily about Chesterton.  What's particularly good about it is that it has an actor portraying Nietzsche, reciting some of his particularly pot-stirring passages -- and another actor portraying Chesterton.  It's well worth watching for those portions.

What's not good -- in fact, positively bad -- is Alquist's tendentious interpretation of Nietzsche, which manages to get a number of points simply wrong, and jumbles up the themes where you think "aha, he's on the right track here."  It's a hack-job history of ideas, and viewers deserve way better than that.

Personally, I enjoy and talk about both of these thinkers -- Nietzsche and Chesterton -- and on the whole, I think Chesterton tended to get more matters right than Nietzsche.  But, Chesterton would have himself been appalled at Alquist's misrepresentations of the thinker -- truth does matter to Catholic thinkers, even when you're writing about an atheist that claims truth is an "army of mobile metaphors" or the like.

In any case, setting the Alquist unpleasantness aside, it is extremely engaging -- at least in my eyes -- to actually have a "Nietzsche" one can see spouting his lapidary lines.  I need to think a bit about just why that is so. . .

It did spur me to wonder if I might find other similar Nietzsche portrayals readily available online, in which we might see the impassioned, bristly-moustached, brilliant late modern thinker come to life on the screen.  Here's what I found:

Jesus and Nietzsche: An Interview (in French, with subtitles) -- not bad at all.  Quite an interesting exchange between the two.

When Nietzsche Wept (part 1) -- this starts out with an exchange between Lou Salome and Joseph Breuer (Freud's early colleague), about Nietzsche's despair. . .  and then it goes on from there.  Part 2, part 3, part 4. . .  all the way to part 11 are available on YouTube.  Lots of Breuer, perhaps less Nietzsche than one would like -- but it's churlish to complain about someone actually willing to make a movie about Nietzsche.

I haven't found too much else as of yet, but now I have my ear to the ground, so we'll see what i comes across -- at any rate, it's now time for some reflection on just what is so interesting and enjoyable about seeing Nietzsche come back to life in an actor's craft.

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