Ernst Lubitsch

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Ernst Lubitsch

#101 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed May 06, 2020 1:36 pm

Rayon Vert wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:36 pm
Maybe it's because I'm not the biggest silent film buff, but Sumurun and The Wildcat I really found hard to get through. (Like others here, I thought The Doll and especially The Oyster Princess were great.) I'm curious about what your opinions will be.
Like you, Sumurun didn’t do much for me. While I love silent films, I have a difficult time enjoying the period dramas and opera epics (outside of Abel Gance films, and not including long films that are epic in scope - Les Vampires, Mabuse, etc.), which may be why a bunch of the other silent Lubitschs that fit this framework didn’t spark for me. Anne Boleyn fared about the same, though I appreciated the performances and found it to be more aesthetically appealing, it was overlong and simmered out in the second half.

The Wild Cat, however, was an absolute delight. I can’t say I enjoyed it the most in the set, but the relentless lampooning across a cast of characters, groups, and setpieces never failed to make me smile. Similar to other films in this set that featured characters chaotically running around (the best being the extended one-shot at the beginning of The Doll), this animated running gag didn’t get old. The musings of puzzled bodies even from afar in their idiosyncratic expressions was constantly exciting and funny. The score was also easily the best in the whole set, imbuing extravagance and grand tones to elevate the comic pandemonium into something greater.

Ich möchte kein Mann sein was similar to The Merry Jail, in how Lubitsch takes gender roles and perversely manipulates them to both show the ridiculousness of their rigid associations as well as the ridiculousness of the behaviors themselves (watching the father drink away his troubles following Ossi’s play-acting of this is a wallop of a dis on the coping skill itself). Ossi is phenomenal here and the physical comedy from her sells this one hard. Even though the film loses some steam as she integrates herself into the main plot as a cross-dressing trick, her performance still held my attention while the comedic beats hit less frequently.

The Doll was a cute and light romp, as promised, but it was The Oyster Princess that rose far above all the others as the ultimate farce. The film manifests as both a misunderstanding-inspired partner swap a la So This Is Paris and an absurdist comedy that wallows in a range of dry to manic reactions, an interplay between father and daughter that feels right out of a Looney Tunes cartoon. There are some very clever bits, my favorite being
SpoilerShow
the group of women cheersing, “Down with dipsomania!” with wine glasses in hand, which is perhaps my new favorite silent gag.
All around a madcap comic masterpiece, though in many ways The Wild Cat has this one beat in that department. This winds up getting the edge as a consistent, lean piece of perfection without any fat, like a less-great Sherlock Jr.. Also, I take back my previous comments about Lubitsch hitting the ceiling on his sensual perversions - this film's ending is maybe the most twisted implication I've seen in a pre-Code film. "NOW I'm impressed" - What a sick way to end a movie!


And because now I can do this,

Top 5 silents

1. The Oyster Princess
2. The Wild Cat
3. So This Is Paris
4. The Doll
5. Romeo and Juliet in the Snow

Top 5 sound

1. To Be or Not To Be
2. Heaven Can Wait
3. Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife
4. Trouble in Paradise
5. Cluny Brown

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Ernst Lubitsch

#102 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:16 pm

Finally saw the BluRay of Madame Dubarry. What great cinema -- what an insane mangling of history! I never before realized that the French monarchy was overthrown within days of Louis XV's death. ;-)

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Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: Ernst Lubitsch

#103 Post by Matt » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:17 am

TCM is showing So This is Paris late night Sunday the 22nd. It’s not listed as a premiere, but I don’t remember it ever airing before.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Ernst Lubitsch

#104 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:41 am

If only this would get a nice Blu-Ray release.

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Red Screamer
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:34 pm
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Re: Ernst Lubitsch

#105 Post by Red Screamer » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:49 pm

Dave Kehr wrote:We have two more major Lubitsch restorations in the works @MoMAFilm, which should be ready by the Time Things Get Back to Normal.

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senseabove
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:07 am

Re: Ernst Lubitsch

#106 Post by senseabove » Tue Feb 02, 2021 3:01 pm

Matt wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:17 am
TCM is showing So This is Paris late night Sunday the 22nd. It’s not listed as a premiere, but I don’t remember it ever airing before.
Where do you see that listed? I don't see it on the Monthly Schedule. (Also the 22nd is a Monday...)

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Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: Ernst Lubitsch

#107 Post by Matt » Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:59 am

Well, I’m not sure what’s going on. It’s on the “Weekly Showcases” list under Silent Sunday Nights on the February highlights calendar. I think it would actually be scheduled for 12:45 AM on Monday, Feb. 15, but they’ve got City Lights scheduled in that slot. I originally assumed it would be 12 AM on Feb. 22 because they’re showing Design for Living at 10 PM just before. Very disappointed if it turns out it’s not airing at all.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: Ernst Lubitsch

#108 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:45 pm

Does anyone know or remember seeing a 2k or 4k restoration of Trouble in Paradise?

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Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: Ernst Lubitsch

#109 Post by Matt » Thu Apr 15, 2021 6:04 pm

Matt wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:17 am
TCM is showing So This is Paris late night Sunday the 22nd. It’s not listed as a premiere, but I don’t remember it ever airing before.
This will now be showing up May 9 as part of the TCM Film Festival. A new restoration premiere with a new organ score by Ben Model. It will also apparently be available on HBO Max (as will much of the other TCMFF programming).

Calvin
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Re: Ernst Lubitsch

#110 Post by Calvin » Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:53 am

So This is Paris may well be my favourite Lubitsch so I hope that if they've went to the effort of a new restoration that Warner will also see fit to put it out on disc

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Ernst Lubitsch

#111 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:19 am

Alas, no DVR ability anymore (change of cable provider, meant this is a too-expensive extra cost).

One of my very favorites also. Calvin.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: Ernst Lubitsch

#112 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:42 am

This is incredible news. I had the pleasure of seeing this at UCLA back in 2018 on a gorgeous print for their small Lubitsch retrospective that coincided with the release of Joseph McBride’s book on Lubitsch. Back then, I thought it was the best of all his silent period films I’ve seen. I was struck about how even a silent film can sort of exude the feeling of musicality and rhythm just through its images in thst major party sequence. It’s pure Lubitsch and just an absolute delight!

Even without a DVR, I’m sure it’ll end up somewhere! :wink: If it doesn’t, I hope being on HBO Max means that Warner Archive will release it. I’ve been wanting to see this again, and the one copy floating around channels online is an abysmal VHS rip.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Ernst Lubitsch

#113 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:06 pm

STIP is the noisiest silent film I've seen (along with Ozu's I Was Born But). ;-)

I've long treasured that VHS rip...

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