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THE BLUE ANGEL [DER BLAUE ENGEL] (Masters of Cinema) (DUAL FORMAT) [Blu-ray] 
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For director Josef von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich it all began with The Blue Angel, one of the masterpieces of Germany's Weimar cinema. This landmark film thrust the sultry and unrestrained Dietrich on an unsuspecting international film audience. She plays the prototypical role of Lola, the singer who tempts repressed professor Emil Jannings (the king of expressionist actors) into complete submission night after night at the Blue Angel night-club. The film perfectly captures the masochism and degradation of the Weimar Republic, just before the rise of Adolf Hitler. And yet the moral confusion exhibited by Jannings is really due to his own torment. Dietrich is merely an instrument of his innermost desires, standing on stage in top hat, stockings and bare thighs singing "Falling in Love Again". --Bill Desowitz, Amazon.com -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
SYNOPSIS: The Blue Angel is one of the first German language sound films (filmed simultaneously in an English - language version), and the picture that represents the initial collaboration between Josef von Sternberg and his immortal muse, Marlene Dietrich.
Following up his role in Sternberg's great silent The Last Command, Emil Jannings portrays a schoolteacher named Immanuel Rath, whose fateful expedition to catch his students frequenting the cabaret known as "The Blue Angel" leads to his own rapture with the establishment's main attraction Lola (Dietrich) - and, as a result, triggers the downward spiral of his life and fortune.
Directed by Sternberg while on loan from America to the pioneering German producer Erich Pommer, The Blue Angel is at once captivating, devastating, and powerfully erotic, laced - through with Sternberg's masterful cinematography. From here, the director and Dietrich would go on to make six more films together in the span of five years, and leave a legacy of some of the most indelible iconography in the cinema of glamour and obsession. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present The Blue Angel in a new Dual Format presentation that incorporates both versions of the film in 1080p HD for the first time in the UK.
SPECIAL DUAL FORMAT (BLU-RAY + DVD) EDITION:
- New 1080p HD presentation of both the German - language and English - language versions of the film, with progressive encodes on the DVD.
- Newly translated optional subtitles on the German - language version, and SDH on the English - language version.
- New and exclusive video essay on the films by critic and scholar Tag Gallagher.
- New and exclusive feature - length audio commentary by critic and scholar Tony Rayns on the German - language version.
- Original screen test with Marlene Dietrich.
- Archival interview clips with Dietrich.
- More features to be announced closer to release date!
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A real added plus is the commentary by German Film Historian Werner Sedendorf. He brought up information directly relating to the film at the time it was relevant. Then he left some berating room so you could absorb and experience the information. To many commentaries turn into soap-box discussions or rill in slow times with useful information that however is irrelevant to the film at the time. The film has so much hidden death and lost culture that after the commentary you will have to watch it again.
The English version is not really entirely English. Enough English is presented that the German in-between is clear enough to follow the story. However the German version is spoken clear without mumbling and lacks any slang that would force the casual follower to rush for a dictionary.
The basic story is as Federico Garcia Lorca describes in his play, "The butterfly's Evil Spell", death in disguise of love. Prof. Immanuel Rath (Emil Jannings), a person afraid of life, starts out to save his students, who want to embrace life, from a fate worse than death. In the process he meats an entertainer, Lola Lola (Marlene Dietrich). She inadvertently is the instrument of the Professors downfall from grace.
The magic of the film is more in the telling of the story through acting, sound, and symbolism than the story its self.
The Ufa Story: A History of Germany's Greatest Film Company 1918-1945
Blue Angel, The (Class. Film Scripts S)
Dietrich used to tell reporters that she had made no films before this one but this is far from true and I have some of them.
There is said to be a French version made at the same time but I can find no trace of it. Dietrich was fluent in French & English by the time she made this film, her last in Germany and on he day the film was released on April 1 1930 she was on the way to New York and Paramount to join Angel's director, Josef von Sternberg who had been on loan to Ufa for the film.
The Blue Angel showcases the glory of Germany's pre-Nazi, wonderful, Expressionist cinema, laying bare the reality of decadence with glimpses of the lingering poverty, dirt, social inertia, shabbiness, a post World War One legacy. The film strips the life of cabaret performers bare: it was often little more than giving a cursary veneer of acceptable artistry for the all-present seedy, sexual side, which Germany's rich had a voracious appetite for.
The film is a powerful reminder of how the high can fall and ruination can have a beautiful, sweet but deadly allure. The film truly shocked and provoked, was way ahead of its time, and songs like 'Ich bin die fesche Lola' and 'Nimm dich in acht vor blonden Frauen', encapsulate a breathy and naughty sensuality, which is far more shattering than anything we could ever dream of attempting now.
A seminal work and proof that Germany was THE powerhouse of Expressionist masterpieces before the tragic arrival of Nazism. If anything, Dietrich was one of the few who went on to vindicate the reality of the 'good' German.
The film is about Prof. Emmanuel Rath, the high school teacher who falls in love with Lola Lola, the local night club singer. (I understand that someone thought the name Lola was sexy, so the name Lola Lola had to be twice as sexy.) He loses his job, and his self-esteem. Emil Jannings portrayal of Dr. Rath is superb. I suppose I should despise Lola Lola, but in Marlene Dietrich's portrayal, she is not only beautiful, but also rather sympathetic. In fact you can't help but fall in love with Marlene Dietrich in the course of the film. When she sits there on stage and sings for Emil Jannings up in the balcony, it's clear that neither he nor we have a chance against this enchanting woman. The song is the famous "Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe eingestellt". The film is of course more than just this scene, but I'm afraid I'm going to wear out the tape at this spot, and my wife has started to complain as well, wondering if I'm not going to get tired of the film. My reply is "Never!"
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