May-December Series: Blue Angel
I pretty much agree with Ebert when he talks about the expressionist mise-en-scene of this 1930 Josef von Sternberg film, that Prof. Immanuel Rath (Emil Jannings) can do downward spiral in his sleep and that the movie is an interesting depiction of the vaudeville. I’d add this movie might as well be a handbook on cruelty, from the pre-Kubrickian beatings that the students gave to the nerd who ratted them out to Lola Lola’s (Marlene Dietrich) seemingly bipolar mistreatment of Rath. That I found it unbelievable that Rath couldn’t ee that this relationship is creepy. That Lola hasn’t earned it enough to ensnare Rath by a flash of underwear here and there. That Lola’s emotions are inconsistent throughout the film. As much as von Sternberg will always be the go to director for pre-code exoticism and amorality, I still find this with merit but dated.
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