Australian filmmaker Philippe Mora is at the Berlin International Film Festival this week to talk about his planned 3D biopic about surrealist artist Salvador Dali. That film sounds quite interesting (Alan Cumming is set to star), but while discussing 3D in general, the director dropped a bigger bombshell: He has discovered two short, 3D propaganda films shot by the Nazis back in 1936 –- putting them way ahead of Hollywood in terms of developing the technology.
This isn't the first time Mora's discovered interesting Nazi film materials. His documentary 'Swastika' was released in 1973 and featured previously unseen color film footage from Hitler's home movies shot by Eva Braun at his Obersalzberg retreat (pictured above). Those scenes now turn up in nearly every documentary about the Third Reich...
The 3D footage was uncovered while Mora was preparing another documentary on the Nazis, this one detailing how the Third Reich used images to create their own reality and control the masses.
The two films, entitled 'So Real You Can Touch It' (which sounds like it might have also been the first 3D Nazi porn film with that title) and 'Six Girls Roll Into Weekend' (ditto) were both shot on 35mm film. Mora explains that the 3D effect was apparently achieved by placing a prism in front of two lenses.
"The quality of the films is fantastic," Mora says. "The Nazis were obsessed with recording everything and every single image was controlled. It was all part of how they gained control of the country and its people."
Mora adds, "They were made by an independent studio for Goebbels' propaganda ministry and referred to as 'raum film' -- or 'space film' -- which may be why no one ever realized since that they were 3D." The director plans to incorporate the footage into his new project, 'How the Third Reich Was Recorded,' and believes there's almost certainly more early 3D film footage out there waiting to be discovered.