Saturday, March 17, 2007

Louise Brooks and the New Woman in Weimar Cinema


I have blogged recently about the exhibit "Louise Brooks and the New Woman in Weimar Cinema," which is currently on display at the International Center for Photography in New York City (through April 29th). In today's Boston Globe, there is a small write-upabout the exhibit by Mark Feeney.
A few years before Cartier-Bresson picked up a camera, and while Munkacsi was still in Berlin, German film witnessed a collision (or should that be interlocking?) of female sexuality and assertion such as the screen has not seen since. Louise Brooks , with that crown of black hair befitting a monarch of the Eternal Feminine , exploded forth in "Pandora's Box" and "Diary of a Lost Girl ." Marlene Dietrich became a star in "The Blue Angel. " "Madchen in Uniform " portrayed lesbianism with an unprecedented sympathy. "Metropolis " took the virgin-whore dialectic far into the future and well over the top with the saintly Maria and her lewd robot impersonator.
"Louise Brooks and the the 'New Woman' in Weimar Cinema" (it, too, runs through April 29) includes stills from each of those films, two dozen in all. A small show, it seems all the smaller after the expansiveness of the Munkacsi and Cartier-Bresson exhibitions. But one look into the eyes of Louise Brooks is reminder enough that small need not mean insubstantial.
Apparently, there is also a nice looking brochure which goes along with the show. One of them recently has shown up on eBay.

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