Von Sternberg's movies had to have plots even tho they already had them inherent in the images. What he did was make movies naturally—he lived in a visual world. The explanations plots he made up out of some logic having nothing to do with the visuals of his films. The explanations were his bragging, his genius pose,—the bad stories of his movies. Having nothing to do with what he did, (& did well) the visuals of his films….
I don't think V. S. knew that words were in his way, but he felt it—neglected them, let them be corny & ridiculous, let them run to travesty—and he invested his images with all the care he rightfully denied the words. And he achieved the richest, most...
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