Blonde Venus Screen 5 articles

Blonde Venus

1932

Blonde Venus Poster
  • Little Dickie Moore is essentially a MacGuffin to motivate the plot’s toing and froing, as featherweight a device as Marshall’s non-fatal fatal illness. The film succeeds as Sternberg intended it to, as a record of the mediated play of light on various textures including a certain woman’s face moving in rhythm with an atmospheric soundtrack.

  • Blonde Venus may seem a minor work by comparison with Morocco. It is not as sublime or as beautiful, its parts not as seamlessly matched, and its ending is even more open to question. However, it has moments of piercing transcendence of the multilayered emotional racketeering which our culture enshrines in its institutions.

  • [Dietrich's] path here from sylvan beauty to impoverished squalor is masterfully lensed and adoringly framed, but the effect is to only further underscore how trapped she is by the confines of this world.

  • In the Blonde Venus, not only does Helen end up making the choice to give up her son to ensure his happiness, she raises herself from pathetic drunk to headlining act in Paris. Even at her lowest moment — throwing away money and slurring her way through a cheap woman’s club — she retains the threads of humanity which help her rise again. In Sternberg’s world, nobody can even fall so low than someone who had so much to lose in the first place.

  • To me, the picture works poetically, an allegory, an exquisite, concentrated reverie of suffering womanhood – what one must endure to remain free and sexual, artistic and loving, _and_ a loving mother.