20 February 2007

Which dress was this?

Of course, there was also glamour of the highest sort: Marlene Dietrich in black Christian Dior, Audrey Hepburn in white Givenchy. And during the early years of the awards, many actresses wore beautiful gowns designed by studio costume designers, such as Paramount's Trevor Banton and Edith Head.

I love the idea of identifying photos of dresses based on written descriptions. Thus, I'll make it a game to match the visual and the written. Let's see if anyone can find this gown by the end of the week! By the way, the writer of this article got Banton's first name wrong. It's Travis, not Trevor.

17 February 2007

Another Strange Photo

I can't quite put my finger on why, but something about seeing Dietrich in candid or strange photos makes me giggle! I suppose it's just fun to see the most glamorous woman in the world look a little more like a human being. And part of it may also be a fascination with the rare and unseen.... We've all seen the shots from Blonde Venus, but how many of you have seen this?

15 February 2007

YouTube Clip of the Week!

We all have seen this clip, but it's been particularly amusing to me today. Dietrich plays the cabaret tramp perfectly when she boorishly stomps on the piano keys. Truly, this isn't a mere screen test. It's an entrance exam to legendary status.

13 February 2007

Dietrich films online!

Someone has certainly been generous by putting Dietrich media online. Take a look at these:

The Scarlet Empress

Golden Earrings

07 February 2007

A Foreign Affair - Screening

UCLA's film archive is putting on the ritz! Billy Wilder's often ignored Foreign Affair
will be screened on Sunday the 18th of February at approximately 4P.M...

Where, you ask? Why at the new Billy Wilder Theatre of course! It's right inside the Hammer Museum, in case you are wondering.

(Please ignore the first movie, without Dietrich it's probably very blan... well, I shouldn't be too mean!)
Sunday February 18 2007, 2:00PM ( Buy Ticket )

(Germania anno zero)

(1947) Directed by Roberto Rossellini

The third installment in the postwar trilogy turns from Italy to its former occupier. Twelve-year-old Edmund (Edmund Moeschke) and his ailing father lead a desperate existence in the rubble of Berlin just after the war. A chance encounter with a former teacher sends Edmund on a path of self-destruction to rival even the nightmarish city around him. Shot on location, GERMANY YEAR ZERO uses Berlin's bombed-out ruins as a landscape of desperation and hopelessness.

Producer: Salvo D'Angelo, Roberto Rossellini. Screenwriter: Roberto Rossellini, Max Colpet. Cinematographer: Robert Julliard. Editor: Anne-Marie Findlesen. Cast: Edmund Meschke, Ernst Pittschau, Ingetraud Hintze, Franz Kruger. Presented in German dialogue with English subtitles. 16mm, 72 min.

Preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive
(1948, United States) Directed by Billy Wilder

Congresswoman Phoebe Frost (Jean Arthur) embarks on a fact-finding mission to American occupied Berlin (where director Billy Wilder himself lived prior to World War II). There the straight-laced politico finds more than she bargained for in a tangled web of romance and mystery involving a handsome GI (John Lund) and an ex-Nazi cabaret performer (Marlene Dietrich). Wilder's satire of American naivete v. European cynicism was shot on location in Berlin around the same time as GERMANY YEAR ZERO and even includes a brief, humorous homage to Rossellini's film.

February 2007 Film Screenings!

Shanghai Express, 02.10-02.11, Stanford Theatre (Palo Alto)

06 February 2007

Stupid American women!

The Allure blog has posted a lovely little artifact revealing women's views of the Dietrich look in the '30s. The following letter comes from Movie Classic magazine, way back in June, 1933:

The $20.00 letter - Marlene's Pants
All this hullabaloo about Marlene Dietrich's pants gives me a pain in the neck. Nothing, say I, but a cheap bid for publicity, and believe me, she got her share. Her assertion that American women should not imitate her because they do not look good in trousers, is an insult to the symmetry of our American stars, and if they are foolish enough to follow her idiotic fashion, they will soon find they have lost plenty of their popularity. But there's no need to worry as this foolish fad won't last any longer than Eve's fig leaf. The lure of feminine finery is too strong for women, and what would the stars spend their money on, if they eliminated beautiful clothes? The more feminine women are, the more attraction they have for men. And we, the long suffering General Public, want our stars feminine. There is nothing in the world more charming than a beautiful girl in a shimmering dress, be it silk or organdie. Our poor men are having enough trouble these days, what with women having taken their jobs; their barber chairs; their cigarettes and choice swear words. The least they can do is leave the poor creatures their trousers. MRS. HANNAH FELDMAN, Atlanta, Ga.

05 February 2007

Paltrow still attached to Dietrich biopic?

According to the article below, yes. I can't say I'm terribly pleased. Gwyneth Paltrow always looks like she just drank sour milk with the faces she makes. She has a jaw worthy of a horse bit, too. Too bad Louis Malle died. Uma Thurman would have been so perfect. The taste of Helen Jones she gave us as Poison Ivy in that otherwise forgettable Batman film left me wanting more.

02 February 2007

Milton H Greene and Dietrich, A Fruitful Pair

We might all know him for his work with Monroe, but Milton Greene also took hundreds of photos with Dietrich.

His most famous shots of Marlene may be this 1952 shot used on the cover of Life Magazine:

And these 1972 shots, with the still-sexy Dietrich wearing nothing but her swan feather souffle (and her 'foundation' of course):

But the Milton Greene archive, found here, includes a LOT more pictures of Dietrich. If you don't mind looking through 16 pages of contact sheets (not all well scanned), it's worth a look, or two!

My favorite shot is the following: