March 28, 2004
Goodbye, Lenin! had a naked shot of a man, full-frontal, fixing window blinds. Not a mere shot though, he was just part of a scene. Others were fully clothed. Nothing sexy about it, though my American mind, trained to never see naked men in the movies, did giggle at seeing a penis wiggling around onscreen. This is the main difference between nudity in European and American films, I think–in European films the body is treated as a whole body, not always carved up and displayed for your pleasure as it nearly always is in an American film. In America we get a lingering shot of Scarlett Johansson’s ass in closeup, in Germany we get full shot of a skinny naked guy fixing his window blinds while his roommates are arguing. (Very reductive, I realize, but I’m making a point.)
The movie wasn’t bad. A little comedy, a little drama, a lot of history, a little preciousness. A few inside jokes that were beyond me, but having a German in tow helped clear much of that up.