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The Secret Glory (Rel. 2001)

The Secret Glory

The Secret Glory has been released as a part of Subversive Cinema's Dust Devil box-set.

The Secret Glory tells the story of Otto Rahn (1904-1939), who worked in Ahnenerbe (Ancestral Heritage Society), a Schutz-Staffel division in the Nazi Germany. Rahn was convinced he knew where to find the Holy Grail and after being nominated an SS officer, he finally had the resources to pursue it.

"What [Rahn] discovered remains as mysterious as the stories surrounding his untimely death in 1939, but with rare archival footage, old letters and photographs Stanley manages to conjure up the vision of a grand quest, which began in the 13th century and hasn't lost its alluring power until today." [Taken from the Oldenburg Film Festival website.]

Stanley had reportedly been working this subject for quite a while before starting to shoot it mainly in France and Germany around the year 1998. He talks about his research in the Sex & Guts interview.

The Secret Glory celebrated its unofficial world premiere when a work-in-progress cut (running at 90 minutes) was screened in Germany at the Oldenburg Filmfestival in September 2001. It was a part of their "Richard Stanley Tribute" section, along with the Afghan documentary Voice of the Moon and director's cuts of Hardware and Dust Devil. The film's editor James Whitehorn has later mentioned in his Curriculum Vitae [now offline, accessed through Wayback Machine] that the final cut runs at 120 minutes with the title changed to The Secret Glory of Otto Rahn. Then again, Stanley's even more up-to-date CV mentions the film as The Secret Glory of SS Obesturm Fuhrer Otto Rahn, so who knows what kind of a word monster the final, complete title will be.

The Secret Glory early title card Otto Rahn on the street

The Secret Glory (by Arthur Machen)

The Secret Glory is Arthur Machen's somewhat autobiographical novel, one of his few works outside horror fiction. It tells the story of Ambrose, a schoolboy who rebels his materialistic and sadistic public school system, setting off to a journey to find the Holy Grail and to become a Celtic mystic like his forefathers. Originally published in 1922, excluding the last two chapters (out of six) in which the Grail is retrieved.

Related reading:

The Great God Pan
The life and times of Otto Rahn

 
 
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