Josef Von Sternberg Siegfried Kracauer - Essay

Siegfried Kracauer

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[The Blue Angel's international success] can be traced to two major reasons, the first of which was decidedly Marlene Dietrich. Her Lola Lola was a new incarnation of sex. This petty bourgeois Berlin tart, with her provocative legs and easy manners, showed an impassivity which incited one to grope for the secret behind her callous egoism and cool insolence…. The other reason for the film's success was its outright sadism. The masses are irresistibly attracted by the spectacle of torture and humiliation, and Sternberg deepened this sadistic tendency by making Lola Lola destroy not only [the professor] himself but his entire environment. A running motif in the film is the old church-clock which chimes a popular...

(The entire section is 506 words.)