Friday, November 24, 2017

HITCHCOCK & HERRMANN: "NORTH BY NORTHWEST" COMES TO THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY


On Friday, December 1 and Saturday, December 2, The San Francisco Symphony will present the Alfred Hitchcock blockbuster, North by Northwest (1959), featuring Bernard Herrmann's iconic score, in evening performances at Davies Symphony Hall. As with all SFS film series presentations, North by Northwest will be screened with its score scrubbed from the soundtrack and instead performed live by the symphony orchestra.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

FASCISM, NATIONALISM and the BANNED FILMS of MARLENE DIETRICH


This is my entry for the Classic Movie Blog Association's Fall 2017 blogathon, Banned and Blacklisted, for links to all contributions, click here.

Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel
In 1930, 29-year-old Marlene Dietrich created a sensation with her breakout performance as cabaret temptress Lola-Lola in Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel (Der Blaue Engel), the tale of a straitlaced professor bewitched by a low-rent vamp.  It was Germany’s first sound picture, produced in both German and English versions, and made for Ufa, the country’s then-eminent film production company. Brand spanking new toast-of-Berlin Dietrich departed that city for Hollywood the morning after The Blue Angel's premiere. She was signed by Paramount with the hope she would be its answer to MGM’s Garbo, and she quickly rocketed to worldwide fame, earning a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her next performance, in Morocco (1930). Dietrich would stay in Hollywood, go on to apply for U.S. citizenship, and eventually achieve international stardom that would last until the end of her long life.