27 January 2009

Posters and Dresses

I must say that I've always appreciated this Blonde Venus movie poster, the black-gloved arms obscured against the black background as well as the drapery clinging to the hips cleverly referencing the famous Venus de Milo statue. Certainly, others share my appreciation. Last year, Peter Sachs sued the German Historical Museum of Berlin for his belated father's Blonde Venus poster. After the museum claimed that the poster wasn't in its possession, Sachs sued the museum for a collection of over 4,000 posters that belonged to his father. The most recent news indicates that the court recognizes Sachs as the legal owner, but I haven't seen any updates since last week. If you're interested in the history behind the poster collection, click here. One article was terribly biased toward Sachs, resorting to a kitschy headline seemingly meant to trigger old World War II sentiments--"U.S. Ex-Pilot Named Owner of Gestapo-Looted Poster Collection" (later edited to the less vulgar "Ex-Pilot is Owner of Nazi-Looted Posters, Judge Says").

Although both sides may feel sore about the issue, I do hope that some arrangement is made to keep the exhibited posters in their current displays and also to keep these posters preserved for future displays and research. At the German museum, professionals are handling them. Sachs doesn't even know what he'd do with them.

Interestingly, the British government has also made the news by banning the export of 11 Vionnet dresses, whose bias-cut design won Dietrich's favor according to reports and--if memory serves me correctly--Maria Riva's biography. British cultural bigwigs now vie for time, hoping some wealthy benefactor will purchase the dresses from their anonymous private owner. Could Britain's actions set a precedent for the state-owned German museum to follow?

Dietrich dogged by Drew Barrymore

In a recent interview, Drew Barrymore compared her dog Flossie to "Greta Garbo in Grande Hotel or Marlene Dietrich in Sunset Boulevard." I guess it is easy to get one's Hollywood--um, female dogs, if I may--mixed up. Notwithstanding, Dietrich's face is one that could launch a thousand ships. Swanson's teeth, however, could clear the Redwood Forest.