30 April 2011
If you compare the image to the right with the images at johannakatt's blog, note that illustrators rarely did the stars justice. Dietrich would have never allowed her face to be lit looking greasy and sweaty, as this poster depicts. Perspiration requires pores, and Dietrich obviously lacked such unphotogenic human organs.
|Marlene Dietrich as Charlotte Inwood in Stage Fright|
On June 7 2011, Bonhams in London will put up for auction Hitchcock's self-drawn Stage Fright storyboards, which exemplify his meticulous directions for actors and cameramen. Bonhams estimates the storyboards' worth between £20,000-30,000 (€23,000-34,000), but I guess if you had to ask, you probably couldn't afford it.
28 April 2011
|Lucien Clergue, 1975|
(Courtesy Wolfgang H. Wögerer, Wien)
Unfortunately, I couldn't inform readers in a timely fashion that from March 5-April 24 the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow displayed photos from the Lucien Clergue collection, reportedly given to Clergue in 1981 by one of Dietrich's grandsons.
You can at least see the photos here:
The 2nd photo is particularly stunning. Does anyone know who took it and when?
27 April 2011
In a strange twist, I also came across an interview that the Brothers Judd conducted with Burt Boyar, whom they stated had co-authored Sammy Davis Jr.'s autobiography, Yes I Can, with wife Jane Boyar (R.I.P.). During the Brothers Judd interview, Boyar revealed that he had worked with Maria Riva on her Marlene Dietrich biography. Coincidentally, an untitled Marlene Dietrich biography was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office under Boyar Investment, Ltd. in 1980 (see record below). That's not all. The untitled biography was also registered under Simon & Schuster, the publisher for whom Maria Riva was writing her biography, according to the aforementioned May 25 1992 New York Magazine gossip. To complicate this mystery even further, let me observe that Simon & Schuster published the recent Dietrich biography by Charlotte Chandler.
This string of information leads me to ask a string of questions:
Did Maria Riva really work with ghostwriters while she was writing her famous Dietrich bio? If so, were the Boyars her ghostwriters? Did Maria Riva leave Simon & Schuster because she did not want to use the Boyars' biographical material? Did Maria Riva use any of the Boyars' biographical material after she joined Alfred A. Knopf? Did Charlotte Chandler use any of the Boyars' material for her Simon & Schuster biography? If either Riva or Chandler accessed the Boyars' work, to what extent did they use it? I know none of these answers, but I do know that Maria Riva, Charlotte Chandler, and Burt Boyar could offer insight on the matter.
26 April 2011
|Trailer screenshot via Wikimedia Commons|
Dietrich, John Lund, and Billy Wilder later reteamed for the radio series, "Screen Director's Playhouse," which you can explore and download at Internet Archive. I will, however, embed Dietrich's reprisals below. Note that the first recording aired on March 6 1949, and the second broadcast on March 1 1951. Should I spoil the surprise for those who've never heard these shows? Yes! Rosalind Russell and Lucille Ball took on the role of Congresswoman Phoebe Frost in the 1949 and 1951 programs respectively! If either Lucy or Auntie Mame had shared motion picture credits with Dietrich, the boys surely would have burst in their theater seats like Fourth of July fireworks!
25 April 2011
|Supplied by Cambridge Autumn Festival|
Anyway, Ward-Lealand has portrayed and paid homage to Marlene Dietrich since 2003, when she starred in Pam Gems' play, Marlene, which premiered at Auckland, New Zealand's Herald Theater. If you can make it to her performance or are interested in more information, visit this site and look below:
Another tip for the limeys! Pam Gems' play will run at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre from May 26 through September 3. Who will play Marlene Dietrich? I do not know, but Siân Phillips should take over the reins once again because she was the spitting image of Dietrich back in 1996.
Finally, here's Granny Panty's unique tribute to Lola-Lola and Amy Jolly:
24 April 2011
The Museum of Modern Art's new restoration of the 1935 Dietrich-von Sternberg collaboration, The Devil Is A Woman, will be premiere at the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival.
From their website:
Industry censor Joe Breen wanted her killed for her sins. The Spanish government wanted her taken out of circulation altogether. But for film lovers, Marlene Dietrich's Concha Perez has become one of the great icons of forbidden love. For his last film with protégée Dietrich, Josef von Sternberg created a fantasy version of Spain during Carnival time as the setting for a delirious study of male masochism. The star was at her most sensual as the factory girl who rises in the world through the love of a police captain but can't stay true to him or any man. Fans now adore the film for its dazzling style and exotic perversity, but audiences at the time didn't quite get it. When Spain threatened to ban all Paramount pictures over the film's depiction of their police guard, the studio pulled it from worldwide distribution and destroyed the master. They also released von Sternberg from his contract prematurely ending a level of artistic freedom that the director would never enjoy again. THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN remained largely unseen until 1959, when the studio screened it at the Venice Film Festival and included it in a package of classic pictures sold to television. Dietrich, who has called the film her favorite, saved her own print in a bank vault. That print was the source of an '80s art-house re-issue and subsequent DVD versions. A new restoration from the Museum of Modern Art makes its world premiere at this festival screening.
The Devil Is A Woman will be screened at 22:15 this coming thursday (28 April) at the Chinese Multiplex, adjacent to Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
Further information at the TCM Classic Film Festival website.
One scene that won't be projected at the festival is Marlene's sensational performance of "If It Isn't Pain (Then It Isn't Love)", a number censored from the film in 1935. Only Marlene's prerecording survives:
This version of the commercial clocks in at just over a minute:
This version is the standard 30 seconds and apparently appears at the beginning of The Lost World: Jurassic Park VHS tapes:
23 April 2011
Cabaret Berlin wrote more extensively on the single; therefore, you should refer to them for more information. Someone who speaks and understands German, however, could help me by telling me whether the translated lyrics on that site are accurate because I can't vouch for them. All I can add is that Dietrich's tone is at its clearest and that Margo Lion's (it is her, no?) counter-melodic scatting underpins the song's coquettish content. Katy Perry, take some pointers if you ever toy with liquor lesbianism again.
From the archives of L'Officiel De La Mode come photographs of two creations designed specifically for Marlene (not modelled by her, unfortunately):
The archives of L'Officiel from 1921 - 2010 are available online.
22 April 2011
An online tour could have helped me in 2004, when I attempted to locate Dietrich's Parisian apartment. I wandered in the 16th arrondissement instead of the 8th, but I blame my confusion on my failed efforts to also find a plaza reportedly dedicated to Dietrich. Of course, my teenage absent-mindedness and marginal French skills (I didn't even know liquide could mean cash!) were no help either.
21 April 2011
20 April 2011
I haven't yet sunken my teeth into MagazineArt.org's contents, but I would like to serve you two covers I found that feature Dietrich's creamy visage, including a high-quality scan of the one on the left:
Note that the site owners crave more or better cover scans, so consider sharing your vittles!
PARIS - In three weeks time Berlin-born Marlene Dietrich faces the toughest audience she has ever appeared in front of in her life - the German people. Miss Dietrich, who is in Paris now being fitted for clothes by Christian Dior and Balenciaga for her show, has been the subject of controversy ever since she announced that, as part of a concert tour in May, she was going to play six cities in Western Germany - Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Cologne. The West German press has been full of stories and letters to the editor, complaining about the visit. Miss Dietrich told us yesterday at lunch she couldn't understand it.
"When I appeared in Paris four months ago the German concert managers came begging me to play in Germany. They offered me a guarantee of $ 4 000 a performance, more money than I've been paid anywhere, including Las Vegas. I assumed that if hey were willing to pay that kind of money, the Germans wanted to see me. Now the German papers are bringing up all the old things. They say I wore an American uniform during the war, which I did. They say I wore a French uniform when I marched up to the Arc de Triomphe in a parade in 1955 which I didn't. I did march and I did rekindle the flame over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but I was wearing an American Legion hat and a blue raincoat.
"I don't understand it. Before the war I was attacked by Goering for becoming an American citizen. After the war I was attacked by the German press because I wouldn't come to Germany, and now they're attacking me because I am going. The logic escapes me."
"If you had known there was going to be this uproar would you have agreed to play in Germany?"
"No. I wouldn't have agreed. I'm not a masochist. I only agreed because I thought they wanted me. I decided as long as I was going to tour Europe I would include Germany in the tour.
"I'm not afraid of my reception as a performer. My act has gone over wherever it has played. But I hate to bee involved in politics. They're acting as if I was the only German who ever migrated to America. When the war was over they wanted me to go back to Germany and live there. Why should I have? I didn't become an American citizen just to stay out of Germany when there was trouble there. I became an American citizen for life. I would hate myself if I thought I became an American citizen just for convenience.
"The Germans now say I wore the uniform of the enemy. To them I may have, but I thought we were trying to forget all that.
"One German headline said, 'Marlene Dietrich says she can't forget Hitler.' Well, who can? They've even called me a traitor. I left Germany in 1930. After I made The Blue Angel the German producers had an option to pick up my contract. They didn't and that's why I came to the United States.
Miss Dietrich is feuding with her manager, Norman Granz, who set up the concert tour in Germany. Granz said in New York Miss Dietrich was considering cancelling her German tour because her astrologer told her if she went to Berlin she was going to die. Granz said if she did cancel, he was going to sue her.
Miss Dietrich said she had no intention of cancelling Germany, that an astrologer had told her no such thing, and if he had she wouldn't have paid any attention anyway.
"I'm going no matter what happens," she said.
"Suppose they give you a rough time?" we asked her.
"I always have the microphone," she said. "And I'll be ready for any situation. The only thing I fear is eggs."
"Yes, I have a coat made of swan's down and if an egg ever hits it I don't know what I'll do. You couldn't clean it in a million years."
Miss Dietrich hasn't been in Germany since she was there during the war.
"Do you have a lot of friends there?" we asked her.
"No," she said. "The German reporters have asked me whom I expect to see when I get to Germany and all I can say is that all my friends have either left or were killed in concentration camps."
Miss Dietrich added, "I'm going to Germany to entertain. I'm not going there to be put on trial, or become part of a de-Americanization proceedings. All I can add is peace to the world and I think everyone should visit everybody else."
18 April 2011
|Courtesy Juliens Auctions Beverly Hills|
For those interested in getting a peek at the auction's offerings, see the following information on the Free Public Exhibition:
9665 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90210
Monday, April 18th through Saturday, May 7th
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Daily
|Roddy McDowell signed photo|
Courtesy Juliens Auctions Beverly Hills
For those interested in the Live Auction itself, that info is:
9665 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90210
Saturday, May 7th, 2011
Again, read the press release or see the Hollywood Legends 2011 Auction page for more details.
17 April 2011
16 April 2011
IMDB, get your act together!
In other news, check out some Dietrich-inspired photos by Mexican photographer Ivan Aguirre of model Sofia Monaco here. Nice work, but why the ghastly Desire-era eyebrows? Her chola name must be La German.
Don't forget to pick up Shirley MacLaine's latest memoirs, I'm Over All That: And Other Confessions, too. You can read an excerpt here, in which MacLaine credits Dietrich for teaching her the art of lighting and costume fittings during the production of Around the World in 80 Days. Want your audience to think there's a draft onstage? Strategically affix two pearls on your bra. MacLaine also praises the Dietrich facelift and divulges that Mike Todd left Dietrich for Elizabeth Taylor (R.I.P.). Scroll through this page to see a photo of Dietrich with Mike Todd at the Los Angeles premiere of Oklahoma!
15 April 2011
11 April 2011
10 April 2011
09 April 2011
08 April 2011
07 April 2011
I have never seen the film Jigsaw, which features a Marlene Dietrich cameo in a supper club called The Blue Angel. Now apparently in the public domain, Jigsaw has been uploaded to YouTube and sites such as Internet Archive. I am thankful I waited to watch. As you will see in the above video, Dietrich doesn't appear in this flick until about 28:05, leaving a starlet's show with a disapproving nod and with utter disregard for gawking onlookers who recognize her. Would this be an example of art imitating life?
Over at Kirkus Reviews, Gerald Bartell talks with Charlotte Chandler about her new Marlene Dietrich biography, while the San Francisco Chronicle reviewed her book here. Michael Musto says he has the dirty details of Marlene's encounter with JFK over at his blog. Stay tuned for Joseph's review of Marlene: A Personal Biograhy, coming soon!
02 April 2011
- The search engine ("Search The Dietrich Universe")
- The RSS feed ("Subscribe To This Blog")
- The email subscription box ("Follow Us By Email")
I hope you find these updates helpful!
In the next few weeks, you should expect a review of the latest Dietrich bio, Marlene, by Charlotte Chandler.