downfall

Pretty much every time something crazy or divisive happens in the world of entertainment or on the world news stage, you can be sure that someone, somewhere will write new subtitles to the scene from Oliver Hirschbiegel‘s film Downfall in which Hitler realizes that he’s lost the war.

Until now, we haven’t heard Hirschbeigel’s take on the meme. Vulture got him on the phone, prompted by the new version written around the Conan/Leno strife, and learned that he loves it. The director says he’s often emailed new versions, and that he’s seen almost 150 variations. “You couldn’t get a better compliment as a director,” he says. His favorites include the one where Hitler learns that Billy Elliot is sold out on Broadway.

More to the point, the meme actually works in concert with his intentions as a filmmaker. “The point of the film was to kick these terrible people off the throne that made them demons, making them real and their actions into reality,” he says. “I think it’s only fair if now it’s taken as part of our history, and used for whatever purposes people like.”

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