White House in Orbit


Shop Entrance Burroughs Rohmer Dietrich & Brooks

Josef von Sternberg

-Hey! Who are these ugly blokes? I want Marlene Dietrich in stockings and tophat!
Uh, yes, professor Buttumsup. So do we, of course. But you'll have to buy the video for that. The leading ladies of the twenties and thirties became such icons that already by the end of the twentieth century their likeness were copyrighted. So in order to avoid getting sued, we thought to fill in with a little stuff about the gents who made the movies instead.
Quite. But since we had to come up with something to fill the empty space...

Josef von Sternberg   (1894-1969)

Sternberg immigrated to the the USA as a child, and was active as a scriptwriter and cameraman in Hollywood already in 1923. The photographic craftmanship and visual impact of his films from the twenties and thirties are such that the images have become icons of Western culture. He was the one who brought Marlene Dietrich to Hollywood. When the co-operation with Dietrich ended, Sternberg's popularity dived. Whether deserved or not remains to be seen, when cinematic enthuisasts sometime get around to re-publishing also these films on DVD...


Georg Wilhelm Pabst   (1885-1965)

One of the first of the great German film-makers to embrace realism, the "Neuen Sachlichkeit", Pabst is perhaps best known for "Die freudlose Gasse" (The Joyless Street) - the fim that introduced Greta Garbo to Hollywood - "Pandora's Box"/"Diary of a Lost Girl" with Loise Brooks, and a trilogy of WWI films beginning with "Westfront 1918". He worked in Hollywood in the thirties, but was surprised by the outbreak of war during a visit to his mother and spent the war years in Germany.   Check the little print carefully when acquiring one of his films on video: Pabst was very controversial in his time, and there's a lot of sensured material still circulating although film enthusiasts have made a great job of restoring many of his works to  their original state.

George Wilhelm Pabst


The Blue Angel

The Blue Angel (1931)  (Josef von Sternberg. VHS)

It's a sad, sad story about degradation and submission, not only on a personal level but also mirroring the state of the Weimar republic. But of course, we just want it for Marlene Dietrich's famous appearance as sultry nightclub singer Lola-Lola in stockings and top hat.

Shanghai Express

Shanghai Express (1932)  (Josef von Sternberg. VHS)

Awesome photography, lecherous Chinese war-lords, adventure and Marlene Dietrich as Shanghai  "it took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily" Lily. What more could you want? (No, there's no top hat in this movie.)

Pandora's Box

Pandora's Box  (1928) (G. W. Pabst. VHS)

A silent movie that's been described as "hypnotic". Louise Brooks - the girl with history's most expressive face - as cabaret star Lulu made her name with this film. Although rightfully famous (at times infamous) for it's sexually-charged content it contains no imagery that would cause anybody to bat an eyelid today. It's still extremely highly charged for anybody with an iota of imagination. (Nothing for us, then.)

Looking for Lulu

Louise Brooks: Looking For Lulu (VHS)

This is not a drama, but a filmed Louise Brooks' biography. With all the film clips from the twenties and, above all, the enigmatic Louise, we knew it would be of interest to WHIO reades. For cinematic enthusiasts, it's a must.

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