Josef von Sternberg: Eros and Abstraction

1/15/09 to 2/22/09

“Hollywood's master craftsman, Sternberg . . . could out-light, out-design, and out-fetishize any director on the lot” (Village Voice). Our series celebrates Sternberg before, during, and after his famed collaboration with Marlene Dietrich.

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  • Underworld, January 15

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Past Films

  • The Saga of Anatahan

    • Sunday, February 22 6:30 pm

    This late work made in Japan is “a masterpiece, to rank with the Dietrich films.”-David Thomson

  • The Devil Is a Woman

    • Friday, February 20 6:30 pm

    Set in Spain, Sternberg's last film with Dietrich is a moody and outlandish meditation on the femme fatale. With short The Fashion Side of Hollywood.

  • Crime and Punishment

    • Friday, February 20 8:30 pm

    Peter Lorre as the sulking, skulking protagonist of Dostoyevsky's stark tale. With short The Town.

  • The Scarlet Empress

    • Saturday, February 14 6:30 pm

    Dietrich as Catherine the Great in Sternberg's extravagant fantasy of Russia.

  • Shanghai Express

    • Thursday, February 12 6:30 pm

    Dietrich as the notorious Shanghai Lily in “a triumphant fusion of sin, glamour, shamelessness, art, and, perhaps, a furtive sense of humor.”-Pauline Kael

  • Blonde Venus

    • Thursday, February 12 8:15 pm

    Dietrich singing “Hot Voodoo” in a gorilla suit is just one of the strange pleasures of Sternberg's trip across Depression America.

  • The Salvation Hunters

    • Sunday, February 8 2:00 pm

    Illustrated Lecture by Janet Bergstrom. Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Sternberg's starkly poetic first feature.

  • Dishonored

    • Saturday, February 7 8:30 pm

    Dietrich is a prostitute turned Austrian spy in “Sternberg's most outrageous examination of the feminine mystique.”-Village Voice

  • An American Tragedy

    • Saturday, February 7 6:30 pm

    Sternberg's adaptation of Dreiser's novel is “a vastly underrated, rarely screened film . . . the understated opposite of A Place in the Sun.”-Janet Bergstrom

  • Morocco

    • Friday, February 6 6:30 pm

    Dietrich wears the pants in her first American film, costarring Gary Cooper and Adolphe Menjou.

  • The Blue Angel

    • Sunday, February 1 2:00 pm

    Prim professor Emil Jannings is destroyed by his obsession with cabaret singer Marlene Dietrich in the film that launched Dietrich's screen career. With Dietrich's screen test and The World of Josef von Sternberg.

  • Thunderbolt

    • Saturday, January 31 4:00 pm

    Sternberg's first talkie is “less a gangster film than a gangster fantasy.”-Andrew Sarris

  • The Docks of New York

    • Saturday, January 24 6:30 pm

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. “A complex waterfront melodrama of moral rebirth and one of the photographic glories of American silent cinema.”-Village Voice

  • Children of Divorce

    • Tuesday, January 20 7:30 pm

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Clara Bow and Gary Cooper in a rarely screened melodrama. With documentary D'un silence à l'autre: Josef von Sternberg.

  • The Last Command

    • Sunday, January 18 5:30 pm

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Emil Jannings stars in “one of the strangest, greatest, and cruelest films about Hollywood during the silent era.”-Janet Bergstrom

  • Underworld

    • Thursday, January 15 7:30 pm

    Judith Rosenberg on Piano. Sternberg's silent gangster epic, based on a treatment by Ben Hecht. “The fusion of Hecht's hardboiled guys and molls and Sternberg's otherworldly atmospherics makes this gangland tale of competing loyalties wonderfully entertaining.”-New Yorker