31 January 2007
30 January 2007
Lets hope this works! It's not all Dietrich but it's all in good fun!
28 January 2007
27 January 2007
Marlene Dietrich, wearing a Charles James satin gown, c.1934. I had never seen this picture before, and although the photo isn't too clear, it's a nice find. Not as glamorous as the stage Dietrich, so I don't wanna call her Marlene; this is more like Mass.
In short, Jolly requests some monetary compensation from Dietrich, which Vigny never paid her. Based on follow-up reports from Dietrich's friend, this Amy Jolly does not come off as the type to hike through desert sands in heels for her man. Rather, Jolly proves to be quite the hustler--as well as a North African Heidi Fleiss. Jolly does, however, express a genuine desire to possess a candid Dietrich photo, like other movie-goers who were struck immediately by the Dietrich mystique and wanted to penetrate its Hollywood trappings.
As an aside, I never knew Morocco was called Coeurs brulés in Francophone countries.
But don't take my word for it:
25 January 2007
Another tale to add to the Dietrich tome! This one comes from the famous British music producer, Jonathan King. To evoke Dietrich's smoky tone, King drolly speaks an octave lower than his own voice as he recalls a phone conversation between them. Their fortuitous chat consequently led to Dietrich performing one of King's biggest hits, "Everyone's Gone to the Moon," during her stage shows. Incidentally, King's Dietrich commentary follows a Jimi Hendrix anecdote, a reminder that Dietrich maintained her visibility and prestige during a era of contrasts. Even King lauds Dietrich as "probably the greatest star of the 20th century" in the video and here, perhaps because she lauded his song as the greatest ever written? In case you were wondering, that file of "Everyone's Gone to the Moon" no longer appears available! Let me know if any of you manage to procure it.
22 January 2007
The Blue Angel, Wesleyan (8:00pm)
Disappointed by this paltry update, I did a Dietrich search on Craigslist. If you have one grand lying around, this item may interest you:
A letter from Dietrich to fashion designer Jean Louis
Jean Louis' nimble fingers, of course, crafted the bugle-beaded gowns that caressed Dietrich's seemingly nude silhouette during her stage shows.
21 January 2007
Last November, Kino re-released The Blue Angel as part of a collection they call Glamour Girls. Flophouse cabaret tramps such as Lola-Lola aren't quite my idea of glamor, but alliteration does sell! Take note of the Amazon.com editorial review as well as the customer review that this edition of The Blue Angel is the English version. If you enjoy phonetic readings from actors who do not understand their own script, I recommend this edition! All sarcasm aside, I would consider this collection for the other films it contains. Myrna Loy, Ava Gardner, Lucille Ball, and Margaret Sullavan are worthy companions to naughty Lola in my book.
Otherwise, try the older 2-disc Kino release of The Blue Angel, which features the German AND English version with optional subtitles and an array of extras, including the famous screen test that Maximillian Schell discussed with Dietrich in Marlene and that later appeared in David Riva's Her Own Song.
20 January 2007
19 January 2007
On the American Film Institute website, it seems plans to reconstruct its 1998 list of the greatest 100 films of all time are underway. You can be download a copy of the ballot here. Among the 400 film titles are The Scarlett Empress and Touch of Evil!
Since the 1960s, the film industry and media have been reevaluating von Sternberg's works with Dietrich, but with the gradual re-releases on DVD (such as the great Criterion Collection edition of The Scarlet Empress), frequent film screenings (including the American Cinematheque's 2005 series, which I was fortunate to attend), David Riva's Her Own Song documentary, Maria Riva's public appearance on Larry King Live, and--of course--Dietrich's own posthumous centennial, the 21st century has seen critics extol the former "Box Office Poison." AFI even listed Dietrich at a high #9 on their list of the 50 Greatest Screen Legends. Now it's time AFI recognize the most incandescent films of its Top 10 screen legend.
Believe me, these aren't merely the views of a Dietrich disciple. A blogger named Jeffrey Anderson also suggests the von Sternberg/Dietrich silver screen collaborations as serious contenders. I hope AFI voters share his views the way I do.
18 January 2007
Last week, a friend of mine directed me to a page featuring Marlene Dietrich interview extracts (in French), in which she expresses her views and advice regarding love, relationships, and the value of beauty. Those of my generation will undoubtedly react to how Dietrich deduces the differences between men and women. I will allow you to judge these clips yourself, which you will find here.
NOTE: I have plans to see Soderbergh's The Good German, which critics have relentlessly compared to A Foreign Affair. As one would expect, the critics connect few specific links between the two films. Critics are also comparing Cate Blanchett's character to Dietrich, although they are also name-dropping Greta Garbo and any other old actress with a European accent. When I see the film myself, I will certainly report my own perspective. At the moment, I have reservations. Cate Blanchett herself cautiously notes in interviews that "Marlene Dietrich channels Marlene Dietrich" (how astute!) and lists other actresses who have inspired her. Additionally, her dowdy brunette look doesn't quite channel Dietrich, unless you're watching Golden Earrings on stolen cable.
17 January 2007
14 January 2007
The only unfortunate aspect of this deal is WireImage's stinginess. Unlike MPTV.net, which distributes free photos at IMDB, WireImage requires paid subscription to view photos larger than a thumbnail. Nonetheless, the rabid find detours around such deterrents. Fans of Nicole Richie, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, and Paris Hilton manage to access photo agencies' guarded goods all the time. Surely, the old boys who dumpster-dived for Mae West negligees behind Paramount can also find a way.
The latest legend involves a recently discovered pearl earring that Marlene Dietrich supposedly lost while riding The Big Dipper roller coaster at the British amusement park, Blackpool Pleasure Beach. You can see the original article here. Regarding the Dietrich photo at that site, no way did she look that old in 1934! I suspect foul Photoshop play. Either that or the midday sun wasn't a high enough key light for her.