Feldman, Stuart. "At the Movies: Business Gets a Bad Rap." Management Review. 81 (1992): 49-54.
This article discusses Hollywood's portrayal of big businesses over time. Generally Hollywood has portrayed big businesses in a negative light and Modern Times is no exception. Scholars suggest that this may be the case due to the nature of filmmakers and more liberal and critical of big businesses. This negative depiction portrays back to the 1930s with Chaplin's film. The article describes scenes in which company tycoon interact with the workers. He has a large screen that surveys them as they work and can easily make sure they stay in line. Even when Chaplin's character is take a break in the bathroom, he is ordered (via gian screen) to get back to work.
This relates to my thesis because it helps to highlight why Chaplin and others would have this critical opinion on big businesses born out of the industrialization period. The authority figure has complete control and domination over the workers every move. There is no employee-employer relationship (other than through a large screen) and employees are thought of as numbers. They are tolerated when they are working, but once they step out of line they are punished. This punisment forces workers to stay in line with everyone else further perpetuating homogeneity.
Large, David Clay. Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2007.
The chapter “Olympia” in David Clay Large’s book on the 1936 Olympics provides a succinct history of the film. It notably refutes some of the claims made by Riefenstahl regarding her independence from the Nazi party in the making of the film. While Riefenstahl claims the film was commissioned by the International Olympic Committee and funded by a firm called Tobis Films, the author contends it was commissioned by the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda and financed by the party. Furthermore, while Riefenstahl claims that Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda, was at odds with her, Large asserts that he tolerated her despite his preference for a different director to make the film, although he acknowledges that Goebbels did cause some problems for Riefenstahl such as when he audited her company. The chapter then discusses some of the technical innovations of the film and some of the difficulties the crew encountered during filming, and finally finishes by describing the mixed critical reception Riefenstahl received internationally.
The chapter also devotes some time to discussing the film’s propaganda value. Large argues the film, even the German version, was not explicitly partisan in any particular way. The film gives no sense that the Germany was the winning team, and it includes some of the nation’s defeats as well, although the Ministry of Propaganda did mandate fair reporting of the games. On the other hand, while the author notes that the black Jesse Owens was portrayed very favorably, other black athletes did not receive as much screen time as they probably deserved. Furthermore, many of the most dramatic moments are of German athletes, and some events featured disproportionately more footage of Germany and her allies Japan and Italy. Additionally, the German version contained more shots of Hitler and swastikas and placed a greater emphasis on the games as a national battle. And finally, the film’s glorification of physical perfection and the communitarian togetherness depicted in the Olympic Village are reminiscent of Nazi values. The author concludes by suggesting the film’s late release lessened its political potential as propaganda to foreigners, however, since by then Germany was well into its path of aggression, undermining any sense of international good will the film could evoke.