Jay, Conan, and the Downfall Meme

I’ve been a fan of the “Downfall meme” for nearly two years now.  Because righteous indignation and mock outrage are such common idioms on the internet, the Downfall scenes depicting Hitler in a fit of rage–resubtitled to comment on anything from not getting Billy Elliott tickets to the Taylor Swift-Kanye West feud–is incredibly pliable. Now with the Downfall meme taking on the Jay-Conan late night war, New York Magazine’s Vulture blog got in touch with Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel and found out that he is a big fan of the meme, even though it seems like a fairly irreverent take on his movie.  Hirschbiegel commented that he had seen nearly 150 versions of the meme, named some of his favorites and added that, “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….I think it’s only fair if now it’s taken as part of our history, and used for whatever purposes people like….If only I got royalties for it, then I’d be even happier.”


  1. Laura Said,

    January 17, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

    I’ve seen that clip used in relation to online gaming, from guild masters getting upset to people in various groups getting upset with each other. They’re pretty funny. I want to see the movie in its entirety because of those snippets.

  2. Chuck Said,

    January 17, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    Yeah, I keep putting it off. It has made me more interested in the film, but I think I’d just be waiting for all of the parodied scenes.

  3. Jonathan Gray Said,

    January 19, 2010 @ 9:54 am

    Great to hear he’s on board. Otherwise it would be all too easy to make another one with him as Hitler yelling at Youtubers, I suppose 🙂

  4. Chuck Said,

    January 19, 2010 @ 10:22 am

    Yeah, some of them aren’t *that* original, but the Jay-Conan one is pretty funny. I think I’m more intrigued by the director’s openness about seeing this kind of paratextual response to his film.

    BTW, I really liked your syllabus. Looks like a terrific course!!

  5. Jonathan Gray Said,

    January 20, 2010 @ 11:42 pm

    Thanks Chuck. And yeah, it’s always interesting and refreshing to hear directors nt flip out and denounce anyone who dares to mess around with their work

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