Downfall Director Thinks The Hitler Meme Is Hilarious

By now you've seen Hitler freaking out about something in pop culture-- the Conan/Leno debacle, Michael Jackson's death, or perhaps the disappointment of Avatar Day. And by now you've probably realized that the original clip comes from Oliver Hirschbiegel's 2005 film Downfall, about the final days of Hitler's life in the Berlin bunker.

You've probably assumed that the director is either unaware of the parodies or annoyed by them, given that they're seemingly making fun of a dramatic, effective film. But oh how wrong you would be! Vulture got on the phone with Hirschbiegel today, and in fact, the loves the entire Internet meme. "Someone sends me the links every time there's a new one," says the director, on the phone from Vienna. "I think I've seen about 145 of them! Of course, I have to put the sound down when I watch. Many times the lines are so funny, I laugh out loud, and I’m laughing about the scene that I staged myself! You couldn't get a better compliment as a director."

And as it turns out, Hirschbiegel actually thinks it fits in with what he was going for the film-- not that he intended Hitler to be ranting about not being able to get Billy Elliott tickets. "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."

To celebrate this wonderful coincidence of an Internet meme and a director with a sense of humor, let us watch Hitler complain about NBC's scheduling idiocy below.

Katey Rich

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend