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Marlene, the accidental star,
This review is from: The Blue Angel - Two Disc Special Edition [DVD]  (DVD)
What is amazing about this film is that it made an accidental star of Marlene Dietrich and resulted in a later, complete reversal of fortunes for the film's originally-intentioned 'real' star, Emile Jannings. Dietrich was 29 when she made this, and it rocketed her to global mega-stardom, making her the first-ever, truely, German Hollywood star.
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.