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MAX (2002)

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George. So glad you like it.
Rothman? Who's this Rothman?
Max Rothman.
Isn't his father in shoes?
- Think so. - Shoes or frocks.
Shoes, frocks, or stocks.
The Duke of Westminster used to own a spaniel called "Jew"--
except when his Rothchild banker came over.
Then they called him "Joe."
Oo-ooh, champagne.
Why are you wasting this divine tipple on these swine?
lnsecurity, I suppose.
lnsecurity is the mother of an overdraft.
- Oo-ooh. - George Grosz.
l hear the sound of new money.
l'm for sale.
l might pay for this evening yet.
Take care of Grosz for me.
George! A moment.
- Mr. Epp. - Oh.
Mrs. Epp, I think Max would like a quick word with you.
George, do you want a drink?.
Hello, hello.
- So nice to see you. - Hello.
l have a Monet downstairs.
- Monet? Why? - Yes.
l thought this might be a tad too modern for you.
Are you questioning my modernity?
- God, no, no. - I hate those waterlilies,
it always reminds me of a gardening catalogue.
Maybe you'd like to see it? Are you sure?
- l'll go down and get it. - l'll take the Ernst.
And who is this funny fellow who looks like a butcher?.
- Grosz, George Grosz. - l'll take two of him.
Didn't know you had a Monet.
l don't.
How are you?
Don't spiel me. Where's your wife?
Waiting for her entrance, l suppose.
- And where's that leave me? - Talented, with options.
l'm tired of options.
You're too young to be tired of options.
l'd really love to see you again.
Tell me, Max,
where's the future in it?
The future?
No... l've seen the future.
Believe me, it came straight at us.
There's no future in the future.
So you might as well--
Nina, mon amour.
Nice to see you.
Hello, darling.
- How'd it go? - Hm-mm.
l fell out at every turn, but they seemed to like it.
- That's what matters. - lt's going well?
Who knows?
Do you know what you look like?
Like your wife, I hope.
No. Like a woman defying gravity.
That's what we do, us ladies.
l left my cigarettes at the theater.
The champagne.
There's one more case on the sidewalk.
- And these are on loan. - l'll pay you back with interest.
- The 16th? - Yeah, the list. And you?
Nah, cavalry.
- Where do you want it? - Thank you.
lnside the door.
Thank you, Corporal.
ls this your building? ls this some sort of club?
- I sell art. - ln here?
- Uh-huh. ls that a portfolio? - Yeah.
Fork it over, let's take a look.
What's your market then?
- Mostly modern stuff. - Oh, modern.
Like uh...
next time I have diarrhea l'll take a shit on a canvas
and bring it round to you, huh?
You could do worse.
l certainly wouldn't reject it out of hand,
l'm open to everything.
Would you like a cigarette?
They give you cancer of the lung.
Are you a doctor?.
Hello, darling.
Liselore von Peltz, this is Corporal--
Adolf Hitler.
Thank you for coming.
- ls she your wife? - My wife's inside.
- You're a funny one. - Come in.
- Have a glass of champagne. - I don't drink.
- That's original. - Yes, well--
- best be on my way. - Thanks again for the hand.
The 16th?
We were together at Ypres.
Yes, we were.
Perhaps only a few kilometers apart.
l did some modern stuff in the trenches.
That I would very much like to see.
You know where to find me. Max Rothman.
Das Eisern Werk.
How do you like your fish, Daddy?
Mm-mm, lovely.
Ja, that was delicious.
Are you finished? You hardly touched it.
l don't know how you stay so thin.
- She has a parasite. - I don't, thank God.
Yes, yes, but tell her about that girl in the company.
Oh, Esther swallowed a tapeworm.
On purpose.
- A Jewish girl did this? - Isn't that fabulous?
- Why? - To lose weight, Mammy.
l don't think this is dinnertable conversation.
Yes, but thank God it's lunch and we're all grown up.
As a medical man, don't you find that fascinating?
Here is a girl who has a certain--
a certain aesthetic standard which she... adheres herself to--
l don't think this is an appropriate conversation.
l know, I know, it certainly isn't.
But wouldn't the condition be chronic if it took, Nin?
Did it? All right.
Let's talk about...
the weather, literally.
Have you been outside today? Isn't it gorgeous?
l think it's what the English call an lndian summer.
But it's November.
l don't think Max is saying that it isn't, Dad.
Isn't that what they call the last days of October, November--
- lndian summer?. - No, no, that's autumn.
What they call fall.
l'm going for a stroll.
He hasn't been able to sit still since he came back.
He was already a neuropath before the war.
Do you know what Ferdi told me yesterday?
are mostly judged
by their hands.
Fucking bourgeois prick.
Our commander lost half the battalion because he had
- a "von" before his name. - You're saying the Russians are right?
l'm saying we shouldn't be so quick to judge them,
- maybe they're onto something. - They're onto something all right.
- They never should have killed the tsar. - Really?
Because the tsar was such a good guy?
What about those kids, did they deserve a bullet?
- And that little boy? - To make stew, you gotta chop meat.
And what kind of stew is that, soldier?.
Speak up.
Hello, hello. No, no, no, don't get up.
A little taste for everyone.
Nothing's wrong with that.
Nothing at all.
But let's take a closer look at these stew chefs.
mongrel Jew.
Jew from "A" to "z."
Yeah, so?
Did you ever know a Jew
to do anything for anybody else,
except raise your rent?
What do you think, Corporal?
l don't believe in anti-Semitism.
Not in emotive anti-Semitism anyway.
What the hell does that mean?
lt means I don't believe that anti-Semitism
should be based on emotions-- which just leads to pogrom
and anarchy-- but rather on the facts.
l'm not sure I quite understand your point, Corporal.
My point is, Captain, that the Semitic question
is far too important to be left to the individual.
lt ought to be in the domain of the government,
like public health or sewage.
l think you look handsome.
What's the price on this?
l'm not gonna bite.
Seven marks for the suit.
Two marks for the shirt.
And the tie--
we'll call it an even 10.
- Why put a gallery in an ironworks? - You know what they used to make here?
And now they're recovering the iron and steel and selling it as scrap.
Beating swords into ploughshares?
That wouldn't be a bad lead.
No, no, that's too soft, that's too pacifistic.
- Not subversive enough. - Subversive?
Yes, subversive. l mean, Jesus God,
what a giant piece of kitsch theater this last war was.
lt was all fought on rail and yet the Kaiser went on horse
surrounded by the princes with the regiments and the banners
snapping in the breeze like it was Agincourt.
But it wasn't Agincourt, was it?
But you're an ex-cavalry man.
So I know exactly of which I speak.
And from now on we must make art with the same unsentimentality,
the same principles that we would the manufacture of bayonets.
Yes, or maybe wash bins would work. - No, we'll stick with bayonets.
- Bayonets is a lot sharper. - Yes it is. Yes.
Mind if we take a look around?
Be my guest.
Ah, Corporal Hitler.
Not living in the barracks anymore?
lt's not like there's a lot of cheap housing
around for vets, is there?
No, I suppose there isn't.
- Can I offer you some coffee? - No, I never touch it.
No caffeine, no alcohol, no nicotine, no meat.
- You're an ascetic. - Not at all, l'm a man of the people.
l see you brought your goods.
Don't expect anything abstract.
l'm a great believer in Schopenhauer's dictum
that art should proclaim,
"Yes by God, this is how it really is."
But life can be quite abstract at times, wouldn't you agree?
How do you mean?
Sometimes "life," as you say, won't be captured
by the forms and lines of traditional representation,
- especially not these days. - I disagree completely.
Art should only ever reflect the eternal values
and the natural laws, especially these days.
But aren't these eternal values
and natural laws in flux these days?
Aren't they meant to be shrinking and expanding?
What are you, some kind of intellectual wet fart?
The eternal values are: harmonious proportions;
nobility and dignity;
and the continuation of the cultural evolution,
where each generation stands upon the shoulders of the next
and improves the work of the last.
But this is...
no, 100 steps backwards.
This is the undoing of the previous generations.
This is filth! This is blood poisoning.
Are you a friend of Marinetti's?
ls that what this is about?
Yes? Some sort of mad reverse futurist?
- Futurists? - Yes, ltalians.
They experienced the war "pictorially."
Like you, l'm hoping.
Some of the ltalians fought well.
He served, right?
Grosz? Yes he did, Grenadier Guards, I think.
- Bolshie, huh? - No, not really.
- Just pissed off. - Oh, yeah.
What's he pissed off about?
He thinks people should have the right to strike.
And you, Rothman?
- Are you pissed off?. - About the right to strike?
No, about your arm.
You were gonna be a painter, right?
You're a funny one.
- Well? - I think it's good,
but I think you could go even deeper.
- What do you mean, deeper?. - I mean it's good,
but I sense you're just scratching at the surface.
When I look at this work l see a pretty solid technique,
but what I am missing
is an authentic voice.
One gets the feeling that you're holding something back
and for the work to really leap forward, to take the next step.
l keep going back to this notion of an authentic voice.
What I mean to say is, l was there,
and you were there, and l know what it looked like,
but what did it feel like?
That's what we want to know, isn't it?
Does any of what l'm saying resonate?
l suppose what l'm trying to say is
you have to go as deep as you possibly can.
Then you have to gather yourself
and say, "Okay, I just broke the surface deeper still."
You know, Rothman...
when I came back from this war,
l came back to nothing.
Really nothing.
No homeland,
no home,
no parents, no family,
no fiancee,
no profession, no job,
no food,
no closet full of...
old hockey sticks and tennis rackets.
Not even an address.
All I have in this world
is the conviction
that I am a great artist
and a master builder.
And you just stole from that.
From the one thing
that's mine--
a rich boy like you.
So, if art as an object is dead,
why is everything so expensive?
Otherwise nobody would buy it.
Soldier #1: You Bolshie bastard.
Fucking communist.
Soldier #2: Fucking comrade communist.
Soldier #1: Bastard.
Soldier #2: Bolshie.
Soldier #1: Bolshevik.
Soldier #2: Get up.
Soldier #1: Come on, you stupid pig.
Looks like Corporal Hitler had a difficult time in the city.
Soldier #1: Communist bastard.
Keeping warm, Corporal?
Friend of yours?
lt's a study for a work called "The Cultural Consumptive."
l know the type. Just clever enough to be unhappy.
You're an interesting man. Artists aren't known for their nerve.
You were awarded the lron Cross, first class, weren't you?
Would you like to learn how to speak in public?
We're offering a course to certain people.
- What kind of course? - A course in a new kind of science.
lt is called propaganda.
- The course consists of-- - Yes, I know about propaganda.
Well it also consists of philosophy,
history, economics.
l'm going to be frank with you, Corporal,
we're in trouble.
Germany's balanced on a razor's edge.
Will she fall to the left or to the right?
l think that depends largely on the army, sir.
You strike me as an unusually perceptive man, Corporal.
May we count on you?
Of course, the army will pay for your expenses.
Lads, may I present for your edification
Herr von Lieberfelt
and his troupe?
Sorry, Major von Lieberfelt.
Men, good evening.
l'm here to present you with a challenge.
Have you ever noticed that the Jews only fuck each other?.
Because they guard the purity of their blood.
So, if we guard the purity of our blood
the way they guard the purity of their blood,
we see the world as it really is.
Our divine ancestors, the Aryans,
came to Earth from outer space.
Forged in a matrix of ice and war,
Ar became the first divine artist warrior.
But then...
the Aryan was lead into temptation
by soft swarthy people from bountiful lands.
Shh-hh. Shh-hh.
And Ar's blood is polluted.
And Ar grows weak.
And Ar becomes the slave of the Jews.
Grail Knights! Yes,
because you are Grail Knights.
lf we guard the purity of our blood,
we have it in our power to again
straddle the Earth like supermen.
Mr. Rothman: l eat a little grilled fish,
no meat-- no red meat-- lots of fruit,
lots of green vegetables, cheese.
Nina's father:. How are you sleeping?
- Six hours a night. - That's not enough.
That's too much. l sleep too much.
No stimulants.
l'm off coffee.
Everything has to be bio now.
Steamed vegetables.
- He has a new doctor. - Why doesn't he come see me?
You don't charge enough.
l've lost 15 lbs.
l'm in and out of the tailor all the time.
l don't charge enough?! What does she mean?!
Hullo, it's Hamlet.
Hello, all. Doctor, Anna.
Mother, may I say you look very well?
You owe me two cases-- no, three cases--
l'll put them in the car before you leave.
Do you know the difference between a Jewish mother and a Rottweiler?.
- Poppy, you've lost weight. - You noticed?
Eventually the Rottweiler lets go.
We have coffee, we have cake, we have sherry,
we have indigestion just looking at it.
He doesn't eat.
- He has my delicate system. - He should come and see me.
- Hello. - Hey, sis.
Excellent, you brought the brood.
- Hi, sweetie. - Hello.
- Hello. - Hey, Max.
- Hello there. - Hello. Poppa.
? Happy Birthday to you Happy Birthday to you ?
? Happy Birthday, dear Paulie ?
? Happy Birthday to you. ?
All: Yeah!
- Plates, please-- - Plates, please.
Would you like some cake?
Thank you for your plate.
Such a lovely boy.
As I was saying, Max, it's a bubble, a chimera.
Everybody and his mother wants to be a speculator these days,
and nobody knows what they're doing.
Never been in it in my life, you know that.
Not productive.
All anybody wants to talk about today is the market.
Such a bore.
How's your sentimental life?
Torrid. Yours?
Arid, but sunny.
And how is your sentimental life?
That's not a penis, is it?
l think she might be dreaming of one.
You have much more fun in your day than we had in mine.
l have terrible news.
Our government, if you can call this group of Jews,
homosexuals, and draft dodgers a government,
has accepted a peace in Versailles,
a piece so unjust, it will surely lead to another war,
thank God. Thank God,
because an army at peace is like a whore at mass--
no bloody good to anyone.
So men, I want you on the street today,
and here's the message: "Stabbed in the back."
By who, sir?.
- Who said that? - Me.
Doesn't matter. Doesn't matter.
What matters is that Germany is absolved from having
lost the war and prepared to wage the next one.
Fellow loses a game, he doesn't want to play anymore.
You tell him he lost because someone else cheated,
then you have to hold him back from picking up the cards again.
Just remember,
the army is the only vital element of our society.
War is vitality.
War is the hygiene of the world.
( singing in German )
( gunshot )
( gunshot )
( gunshot )
- Versailles, no, no, no. - The treaty is unfair.
Versailles, no, no, no.
Germany for the Germans.
- What are they saying? - Versailles.
Give us back our land!
They're saying Versailles.
"Here are the terms of the treaty of Versailles.
Germany is to cede Alsace-Lorraine to France--"
"--Upper Silesia and West Prussia to Poland."
- Poland? - "The army will be reduced to 100,000 men.
France will occupy the Rhineland
for the next 15 years
and Germany will assume a war debt of 20 million gold marks."
There aren't 20 million marks in this entire country.
Germany is to sign
a so-called war guilt clause
in which she assumes
sole responsibility for the war."
l'm ashamed to be German today.
- Hey. - Hey.
There's a meeting down the street.
l didn't serve,
l just played the market. l lost my arm in the crash.
Come on, brother.
...Alsace-Lorraine to France.
This is disgusting!
We are being stabbed in the back!
Just 'cause you take it in the ass.
- Stabbed in the back! - This guy is full of shit.
He works for the army.
He's a provocateur. And look at his muscle.
- Bastards, fucking bastards. - Let him be, boys, let him be.
A provoc--
A provac--?
That's a French word, isn't it?
No wonder I can't get my tongue around it.
You ever notice with chaps like this
that their French is really good?
So's their Russian--
better than their German, actually.
l'll tell you who I am,
because l've got nothing to hide.
l'm a little man, four years in the trenches.
Don't speak French.
Don't know the Latin.
Never made it past corporal.
Guess that's because I didn't have a "von" before my name.
You might say l'm the unknown soldier
just like you.
- What do you think?. - I think he's a nothing, sir.
He's got a big mouth.
- Gassed, almost went blind... - You're right, he's a nothing.
Perhaps that's his secret.
Perhaps it's the age of the nothing.
Lots of lads got it worse.
Now l'm back looking for a job.
Can't find one, though.
- Paid 10 marks for a suit. - You paid too much.
That's what I said to the Jew who sold it to me.
l can see where this is going.
- Make no mistake, - Nothing new, nothing new.
Germany's greatest enemy
lives within.
Herr Rothman.
Herr Rothman, l'm-- l'm honored.
l happened to be in the neighborhood, so--
l'm sorry I left so--
abruptly the other day.
You know what they say in Spain, don't you?
No, I don't.
lt's easy to fight the bull from the barrera.
Bullfighting is completely immoral.
- lt's vile and disgusting. - No, no.
lt means it's easier to be a critic than an artist.
What did you think of my speech?
Let's just say
if you were to put the same amount of energy
into your art as you do your speaking,
you may have something going.
l best be on my way.
Hitler, come on, l'll buy you a glass of lemonade.
Come on.
Where'd you get the sunglasses?
Progg and Fromm. Try 'em.
Very chic, Rothman.
- Can I get another coffee? Strong. - Waiter:. Yes, sir, l'll get it.
So you're an anti-Semite?
- - On the contrary, I admire the Jews. - Really?
Yes, they're very intelligent people.
There are intelligent ones and not so intelligent ones...
They're all intelligent because they guard the purity of their blood.
- What? - The purity of the blood.
Because the secret of the Jews lies in their pure Jewish blood.
That's why they're the mightiest counterpart to the Aryan race.
- What's the secret? - ls your father Jewish?
- Yes, he is. - Mother?.
Why not ask whether she's a German?
Mensch! Of course your mom's Jewish.
You're an awfully hard man to like, Hitler,
but l'm gonna try,
because if l've learned anything over the past four years,
it's that we all shit the same,
scream the same, and die the same.
There's no need for vulgarity, Rothman.
l know where you've been
and God knows we've all been turned into assholes there.
Listen to me well,
you may not think you're an anti-Semite,
- but in fact you are. - l'm not.
But in this, as in all things, there's a reason.
Your own hero Nietzsche
said anti-Semitism is the ideology of those who feel cheated.
How do you know Nietzsche's my hero?
- You've obviously skimmed his ideas. - I don't feel cheated.
Excellent. Then stop acting like it.
Are you gonna smoke another cigarette?
- You just put one out. - Exactly.
Now where is my instinct, my secret instinct
for self-preservation, l ask you?
l've heard these theories all my life.
Blood science, eugenics, it's rubbish.
lt's complete nonsense, it's kitsch.
Put it out of your mind.
lt's not modern, it's not scientific.
lt will hold you back as an artist.
Speaking of which, how's your work coming along?
And why are you making those appalling speeches for the army?
l'm just keeping my hand in it.
- Keeping your hand in what? - The army is paying my expenses.
So you don't actually believe that rubbish.
Don't tell me you're happy with the "peace."
- Hello, Max. - Hello, Esther.
How are you, sweetheart?
l think the "peace" is a travesty.
But I don't think I can be bothered to pick up
the German banner from the mud with my left arm.
l gave at the office, you know.
yes, yes, you did.
l'm thinking about writing a book on politics, you know?.
You're a man of many talents.
Where do you find time to paint?
Mensch, use your head. l'm still in the army.
l'm folding laundry. l'm cleaning out the shithouses.
Painting costs money. l don't have a pot to piss in.
Here's what l'd like to do.
l'd like to take some of your work off consignment.
Here's an advance against your future sales.
Spend it any way you like.
Find yourself a nice girl. Get drunk.
Get out of politics.
Rothman, you--
you've saved my life.
Maybe you're right.
Maybe l've yet to find my authentic voice.
Maybe I should get more modern.
lf l'm to be completely honest with myself,
l've always admired some of the ideas behind Cubism.
Seems to me you have a great affinity for ideas.
ls that some clever way of saying I have poor technique?
Try not to be one of those people who finds a slight
in any compliment.
l imagine it would just be altogether too bourgeois
to turn on the heat.
On top of me.
Below me.
lnside of me.
I am always by your side.
l have to go.
Half man, half doll.
Every woman's dream.
Bills, bills, bills, Fraulein.
- Bills are so violent. - Sorry, sorry--
l couldn't stop him.
There you are, Rothman. Slept in late, did you?
What are you doing?
What do you mean, what am I doing?
You told me I had a show.
A show?. A show?.!
l told you I would take some of your work on consignment.
They way I understand that term is
l keep some of your work informally,
"in trust" as it were
and if I can move it, l move it.
How are you going to "move it"
if it's not up?
Am I in your studio looking over your shoulder?.
So don't teach your grandmother how to suck eggs.
So you're not actually going to show the work.
No. And I will tell you why.
"New Works" by Arp,
Ernst, and Grosz at Das Eisern Werk,
November 15th to December 15th.
So after December 15th.
Can we take it one step at a time?
Listen, Rothman, l've lost four years.
Yes, we all lost four years,
some of us a little more. Do you want a show?.
l'd kill for you if you gave me a show.
Don't kill for me, please. Just do what you do.
Be anxious, be nervous.
Tell me you're the unknown soldier come back to haunt us,
with your brush, with your brush. Can you do that?
'Cause that's what you got to do.
You've gotta take this pent up stuff you're quivering with
and you've gotta hurl it onto the canvas.
lt doesn't have to be good and beautiful,
it just has to be true.
And even if it's a lie, make it an interesting lie
and l'll put it up, l swear.
You do think l'm talented, don't you?
l think there's something rustling behind your curtain.
Good bye.
There are times--
l have these terrible doubts.
Paint them.
Paint your doubts, really!
Well? Well?
One morning, I wish you'd just say, "Good morning. How did you pass the night?
The lovely Mrs. Rothman? Your children in good health, I trust?"
You're such a bourgeois. Any news?
Yes, l'm meeting an American dentist. A big collector.
Mensch! That's good, isn't it?
lf I see you anywhere near that building,
l will personally set fire to your entire life's work.
Speaking of which, when am l going to see something new?.
- Soon, soon. - I need new things.
l'm very motivated by newness. Newness really does it for me.
There's Dr. and Mrs. Levi. Hello!
Ah, Levi, huh? You'll make the sale for sure, huh?
What can one say about Paul Klee
that hasn't been said 100 times before?
And on the other end of the spectrum,
there's a young artist l've discovered recently
named Hitler. Less aggressively modern perhaps,
but a real example...
of what I call "Krieg Kunst."
- War art? - Precisely, Doctor, precisely.
Not as mannered or tutored as Max Ernst,
but a very authentic voice of the trenches.
The voice of the everyman.
The voice of the unknown soldier.
And as a gesture of solidarity with Soviet constructivism,
l would only ask five marks for these pieces.
Hard to go wrong for five marks.
What do you think, darling?
They bought the Ernst!
Oh my God.
l'm gonna die in some doorway
like a dog in the street. A complete unknown!
l'm-- l'm 30.
l'm 30!
Could you put that out, please?
No, fuck you! l'm in my own place.
You want the truth? l'll tell you the truth.
You're a bit lazy.
A chap like Ernst, up at the crack of dawn, working.
This Ernst, what's he look like?
- He's rather good looking. - Rather like me, huh?
- Light. - Hello.
Yes, but could you paint that?
Of course I could.
The man has no technique.
Technique is not what makes the painting interesting.
What makes it compelling is what Max Ernst reveals.
You could almost say he admits, confesses,
about himself.
Could you do that?
Could you be so voluptuous with yourself?.
l think so.
The train is leaving the station.
One question remains:
- Why aren't you on board? - I don't know.
l'm in your hands.
l've been going to seances.
Really? That sounds progressive.
Yes, it is. lt's most instructive to learn how the old German Gods
were usurped by the young God of lsrael,
the God of guilt, the projection of slaves.
- Sounds like lunch at my house. - Always the joker, huh?
Why are we here?
What has this got to do with modern art?
Nothing, I just like it here.
l thought you were gonna teach me about modern art.
lt's inhuman what they're doing to these birds.
- lt's inhuman. - Why don't you set them free?
That'd be a great art project.
We'd have Chinese nightingales in the park for years to come.
They'd sing in the snow.
And people would come for miles around
and they would be known as Hitler's Nightingales.
Are you on the spike?
ls that what's wrong with you?
Bloody hell! Damn it!
- Hullo, midgets. - What are you doing, Dad?
Dad said a bad word.
You are a very clever girl, Ada, love of my life.
You're right.
That's exactly what Dad has been thinking about, "words."
Good words...
and bad words.
Because words are magic.
Sometimes I think the world is strung together by words.
Yes, young man?
ln the world upside down,
what would we be doing now?.
ln the world upside down, we'd be having breakfast.
And what would we have for breakfast?
ln the world upside down? Let's see.
For breakfast we'd have grilled sole,
green beans, new potatoes,
plum pudding for dessert, yum!
And in the world upside down right now I would say,
l hate you, I hate you, l hate you, Paulie.
l'd loathe you beyond reason, wouldn't l?
Now go to sleep.
And tomorrow we'll fly around the sun together.
( Nina singing lullaby )
- He would be. - Hello, darling.
Hi, sweetheart.
George Grosz, Adolf Hitler.
My wife Nina.
- You-- - Hello.
- Grosz: Nice guy. - Oh, he's a futurist.
- Grosz: Really, what's his name? - Hitler.
- Never heard of him. - You will. Are you ready?
Nina: Oh, Hitler. Are you a painter?.
Yes, l'm an artist.
You are a friend of my husband's?
Of sorts.
ln August 1914, l volunteered for the army
and was accepted to my father's old regiment,
the Light Hussars.
l used to think we rode into the war on horseback,
but now I realize that in fact
we rode into the war on words.
Yes, my friend, words.
lf the high command had used nails
to hammer our feet to the mud,
l think we would've found a pair of pliers,
passed them down the line
and made a break for it,
but the words,
the words kept us rooted to the ground.
Now these are magical words,
used in mass hypnosis.
And if you would like millions of young men
to give up their lives for your cause,
you must first learn these words.
Repeat after me.
The enemy
is "the foe" or "the host."
"The enemy is the foe or the host."
is "peril."
"Danger is peril."
To be brave is to be "gallant."
"To be brave is to be gallant."
The dead--
oh, yes, the dead,
they're not "dead."
They are "the fallen."
One's chest is one's "breast."
To move quickly
is to be "swift."
A soldier is--
A warrior.
"A warrior."
War is "strife." Actions are "deeds."
To die is to "perish."
To sleep is to "slumber."
The sky are the "heavens."
Blood, "elan vital."
And arms and legs...
...are "noble limbs."
Hey, soldier.
Thank you.
lt's disgusting!
lt's revolting!
That was a miscalculation of rare magnitude, wouldn't you say?
You're the dealer. They want you to sell their paintings
and make 'em rich, not scare the fuckin' shit out of 'em.
Darling, that wasn't Paulie's cowboy hat, was it?
What a masquerade he puts on.
Hussar this, father's regiment that.
As German as you or l,
butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.
Finagling himself, throwing his money around.
Finding himself a German whore and of course all the while
staying married in the faith. Always working on the inside
from the outside.
Why, the patient looks perfectly healthy.
But then you look at the turd, but really look at it,
and then you see the worms crawling around.
There weren't any of the men there, were there?
No, no. Only artists and the usual degenerates.
- l'm sure they adored it. - They hated it.
They hated it! They stood there like stiffs.
lt went over their head.
This Rothman-- this--
this Rothman--
Rothman made the whole war look
small and pointless, ridiculous, absurd.
Don't despair, Junge.
You've got your own talent, you have to let it out.
Let it out. essentially feminine, it takes--
- Hello. - a strong masculine type.
What did you think?.
The other night? My disaster?.
Did it remind you of Ypres?
- Or was it just rubbish? - Yes, what did you think?.
lt didn't remind me of Ypres.
What did it remind you of, if anything?
lt reminded me perhaps--
of a particularly
and depraved dream of Ypres.
As opposed to the happy,
glorious one.
Which your piece implies is ipso facto impossible.
Listen to them, farting higher than their asshole.
What was that you said, Erich?
- I said-- - Yes, I know what you said.
My question
was rhe-tor-i-cal.
lt's a difficult word, isn't it, Erich?
Shall I ask you to spell it?
Well, this was fun
but duty calls and I must mind the store.
Can't give up the day job.
We forgive you for a lot, don't we?
Forgive and forget, turn the other way where others wouldn't.
Nicht, Erich? Nicht?
My God, what philistines you all are!
How's my career going?
Slow. The whole market's slow right now.
Who are those gentlemen?
- Guttersnipes. - Don't seem very good company.
l'm flirting with politics again.
lt's a party that promotes the interests of the veteran,
but sometimes you have to build a base from the base.
Do you?
l'll just have to take your word for that.
Listen, do you want to meet some girls?
- Girls? - Yes, Hitler, girls.
Those brilliant creatures who make you feel artistic
without doing a stitch of work.
Come on.
- Afternoon. - Afternoon.
So there were parts of it you liked?
l know you're more of a patriot than I am.
Where'd you come up with the idea of the toys?
My son.
You should have children. They give you good ideas.
Ever consider the future, Hitler?.
The future? I think all my work's based on the future.
Yes, and what do you see? Do you see fame,
money, beautiful lovers?
- I see myself teaching. - Hm-mm.
And you, Rothman? How do you see the future?
Look inside my pocket.
"Would you die for the mother-in-law land?"
You're a menace, Rothman.
l got another one for you.
"War is the instrument
with which the happy--" no, no, reverse that.
"War is the instrument by which the unhappy turn the happy
- into themselves." - Mensch.
Don't you know genius and happiness go together
about as well as cheese and chalk?.
Cheese and chalk. Paint that.
No, I disagree.
You know that all great cultures die from the same cause,
blood poisoning.
Don't you know that all great-- truly great art
comes from the struggle-- the titanic, the epic,
the eternal struggle.
Are you saying all art should be political?
No, no, no, dear girl,
l'm simply speaking of the pure blood mixture.
Everything depends on blood mixture
and the resultant drops in racial levels.
Hitler's very concerned with blood.
We think, we hope it's a metaphor.
He's a futurist. Doesn't he sort of remind you of Marinetti?
No, no.
- He does a bit. - What are you doing with this man?
- He's the most horrible creature. - He doesn't have any friends.
Of course he doesn't have any friends, he doesn't listen.
- And this thing about blood. - He had a bad war.
No, darling, you had a bad war. l'm sure he had a fine war.
What do you feel guilty about, Max?.
l don't feel guilty.
l think guilt is a second-rate emotion.
On the other hand, when I came back from the war,
l came back to my family, and my bank account,
my parents and the best care. And he came back to nothing,
but really nothing.
- Clearly you do feel guilty. - No, but I acknowledge the fact
that I don't know what it's like to come back to nothing.
Darling, you're wrong. You've come back to nothing
and every day I see you turn that into something so beautiful.
l told him the other day that his insane fucking ideas
were holding him back as an artist
and he tries, he really does,
Until tonight, of course, but that's because he feels
insecure being around you two lovely ladies.
Just remember,
Florence Nightingale died of syphilis.
And that means what?
Don't get too close to your charity cases.
You've got chocolate all over your mouth.
Thank you. That's very nice of you.
l just want to know what he has in that briefcase,
it's the second time he went to the loo.
He just left.
Fucking bitches.
( knock on door )
Forget about it, Rothman.
May l?
The artist at home.
What an artist you are.
What a vision, so clear-- such focus.
l almost feel guilty asking you this,
because I don't want to take you away from your work,
but for a while we've been taking an interest
in a small political party. lt has 500 or 600 members.
lt's called the National Socialist Workers Party.
Don't let the name fool you, they are as socialist as you and me.
We had a speaker scheduled for them,
but the fellow's come down with a cold.
So we were wondering if you'd be persuaded to say a few words.
But of course,
l understand if the muses are--
David, what do you think of the future?
l think it's expensive.
- How are you? - Fine. You look fine.
Thank you. ls that a fur bath?
Yes. Yes, it is. Yes it is.
Gert is in good health, l trust?
Yeah, she's fine, she's fine.
So am l-- in the soup, as they say?
No, no, no, the soup's good. You're in the shit.
Oh, that's nice.
Max, this is serious.
l know you're just careless, but the tax people
could easily take a different position.
What do you suggest?
l suggest we write them a check right away
and we plead forgetfulness and artistic license.
l can't, l'm skint. l just gave George an advance.
You promised you were gonna run this as a business.
Could you borrow from your father?.
No, I don't want to bother him.
Arrange for another loan against Das Eisen Werk.
lt's not so simple.
The boys at the bank are gonna want to know what it's for.
Ask your dad.
lt's so much simpler, it's just a loan.
- Hello, Fraulein. - Hello.
Good bye, Max.
Good bye, David.
What is it that your brother calls the art business?
Baked air.
Baked air. That is so...
- great. - Sorry l'm late, Herr Rothman.
You know that horrible little tramp who's always
making you feel guilty? Herr Hitler.
He's making a speech near us, where we live
and I really think you should hear what he has to say.
lt's disgusting!
We are being stabbed in the back!
We won this war!.
Our boys fought like lions!
Like lions!
So why in the name of Providence
are we giving away 70,000 square miles of land
and abandoning six million of our fellow Germans?!
Because we have been
stabbed in the back!
By the profiteers
and the maggots and the parasites.
And make no mistake,
Germany's greatest enemy lives within.
Deutschlanders...! Deutschlanders...!
Ah, Rothman.
There you are.
Well, what do you think?.
What can one say?
This is...
the new art.
l realized something that all you hoity-toity types missed
drinking your coffee,
smoking your cigarettes with your mistresses.
The way to reinvent art is not to make it political-- far too small a step.
No, Rothman,
you could say you and I were ploughing the same
furrows for a while,
but then I made the bigger leap.
Politics is the new art.
Yes, Rothman, my whole life
has been a detour to this moment.
Everything l've struggled to learn about art,
about design, color, composition,
theater, opera, architecture--
l'm gonna stuff it all into this and make it live again.
l've always thought you to be an intuitive futurist.
You're so disappointing.
Am I only acceptable to you if you can classify me?
Isn't that emblematic of the world we both despise?
What's happened to you? You're suddenly so conventional.
Go deeper, you said.
Well, I went deep.
l went deeper than any artist has ever gone before!
Where is the work, my dear?.
Where is the evidence of this journey into the abyss?
I am the new avant garde!
I am the new artist practicing the new art!
And politics is the new art!
You look pensive.
No, no, no... l was just thinking--
Where are you going?
l have to return some drawings.
And l'm being dragged to shul again tonight.
He just wants to get away from your mother.
Sometimes I think we're all marching backwards.
How do I rate? As a partner?.
Especially when you learn to apply yourself.
While on the subject, I hear it takes more than one girl
to tell you that you're still handsome.
But at a certain point...
it starts to get in the way...
You know, progress really does it for me.
l'll see you tonight.
Well, l'm...
sorry it didn't work out.
Yes. Well, look, Rothman,
you're a--
- a-- - A what, Hitler?.
You're a--
a well-born sort of person.
By Caesarean, actually.
A nice
sort of person.
There's a lot of people in this country who don't like--
well-born sorts.
We'll just have to live with that, won't we?
What's this?
- Some designs. - Hm-mm.
My God.
That's certainly an alternative to boring old modernism.
This is some old
new future world, isn't it?
This will be the symbol for the whole movement,
it's a Sanskrit symbol for energy,
for the sun, but l've reversed it.
Yeah this-- that l've seen before.
Yes, but against a white background?
My God, you really worked this out, didn't you?
Down to the uniforms
- and-- - Yes, I see.
- And what kind of roads. - Roads?
Even in the more thickly populated areas
these large super roads will create a sense
of open space and of flying.
Hitler, this is meant work.
You finally found your voice.
The future...
as a return to the past.
You wouldn't show it, would you?
l will.
Because this work--
this work
belongs in a gallery.
You're not pulling my leg, are you? Because--
l do have a career in politics, you know.
Well, Hitler, what would you rather do?
Change the way people see or how they pay their taxes?
Meet me at Metropole, 9:30.
Bring everything, the whole shmear.
He's created this whole new world
and he has all these flags and drawings
with these Teutonic references.
That doesn't sound very futuristic.
No, but you can't say it's not a coherent vision,
down to detailed notes on his foreign policy.
He's created these epic roadways where the traveler
will experience the feeling of flight.
He's resurrected all the German gods
and it's all complete kitsch from "A" to "z."
lt's very interesting, it's future kitsch.
- God, he sounds mad. - Oh, he's barking
and what he's pushing makes the Kaiser seem like a Sunday painter.
- I saw him speak. - That sounds a bit of a worry.
No, he's dreadful. He just stands there shouting slogans and posing
and the whole thing's like a giant art project.
Of course the minute I said l'd show him--
- Politics went out the window. - Exactly.
lt's gonna be a big show, a big, big, show.
- l'm gonna bring in some English artists-- - You can't afford it.
--French ones. There's this character called Duchamp,
he's very interesting. He does things with urinals
and wine racks-- says in the future, everything is art.
Ah, the meshugener show.
The future is subversive.
And I don't want to see any stiffs up front.
Yesterday there was nothing but stiffs. I never got going.
l don't have any control over who's in front.
Mensch, are you daft?
This is about control. That's the thing about art--
you don't just slap on the paint,
even if it looks that way.
l need more enthusiasm up front.
l need the energy, it's like a loop.
They give it to me, l give it to them,
they give it to me. Could you put that out, please?
lt bothers my voice.
And this is the last time.
- No more. - What are you talking about?
- l'm through. - You're through?
Find somebody else.
Rothman's gonna give me a show.
Rothman? Rothman?
Max Rothman?
Are you mad?
You think Herr Rothman will lift a finger for you?
You have one of the most authentic Germanic voices
l've ever heard. And you're 30 years old.
lt's now or never. What are you waiting for?.
They are your canvas.
That's your paint. What are you waiting for?.
Let it out.
Let it out!
( praying in Hebrew )
l will address something central to my thinking!
Today, I will address
the Jewish question!
Not long ago l was strolling
when I suddenly encountered an apparition
in a black caftan
and black hair locks!
My first question was,
"ls this a Jew?."
And then the more I stared,
the more my first question
assumed a new form,
"ls this a German?!"
ls there any form of filth,
particularly in cultural life without a Jew involved in it?!
Because when you cut into an abscess,
what do you find?!
Like maggots in a rotting body,
a kike!
With the appearance of the first settlement,
the Jew is suddenly at hand!
The stranger is given a friendly reception!
He soon becomes an active part
of the economic life of the settlement!
He begins to lend money!
Now the Jew is a steady resident!
Commerce and finance have become his complete monopoly!
He begins a second phase
where he begins to emphasize his Judaism less
and his Germanism more!
Yes, he becomes, if you can believe it,
Culturally he contaminates
art and literature! Theater!.
Religion ridiculed!
Ethics and morality
pissed on!
German girls
turned into whores!
The Jew casts off his final cloak
and becomes
the blood Jew!
The tyrant becomes the vampire of nations!
The vampire of the people of Deutschland!
Blood Jew! Blood Jew!
- Blood Jew! - Blood Jew!
- The blood Jew! - Blood Jew!
- Blood Jew! - Blood Jew!
Blood Jew! Blood Jew!
Blood Jew! Blood Jew!
Blood Jew! Blood Jew!
- You coming for supper?. - Mm-mm.
No. I have to meet someone at the Metropole at 9:30.
- Can I drop you? - No, l'd like to walk.
l should get more exercise.
- l'm seeing a hypnotist Monday. - That's good.
- Are you sure I can't drop you? - Kiss Mammy for me.
Oh God.
Leave him. He's finished.
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