Capital Celluloid 2024 — Day 140: Mon May 20

The Scarlet Empress (Von Sternberg, 1934): Regent Street Cinema, 1pm

Chicago Reader review:
Josef von Sternberg's 1934 film turns the legend of Catherine the Great into a study of sexuality sadistically repressed and reborn as politics, thus anticipating Bernardo Bertolucci by three decades. Marlene Dietrich's transformation from spoiled princess to castrating matriarch is played for both terror and sympathy, surface coolness and buried passion, with weird injections of black humor from Sam Jaffe's degenerate grand duke. Sternberg's mise-en-scene is, for once, oppressively materialistic, emphasizing closeness, heaviness, temperature, and smell.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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