The director-star tandem of Josef von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich created a cinematic magic that other teams could only hope to achieve. When her extravagant cheekbones, polymorphous perversity, and deadpan delivery met his gauzy, feathered, and frankly kitschy mise-en-scene, the viewer sees into a kind of dream world of the cinema. Here, Dietrich plays a famous Courtesan, traveling on a cross-continental Chinese railroad line, who becomes involved in an intrigue with a British doctor.
About this series
Scholar Dr. Caroline Frick joins us for a celebration of Hollywood films from the period of Hollywood history now known as the pre-code era. During this time, the studios had not yet made arrangements to self-censor their films for moral purity. As you might imagine, these movies are much wilder and more fun than the ones that followed a few years later, after the censorship code had been enacted. The first screening of each film will be followed by an audience discussion.