Here is the news.

My new (!) weekly (!) column (!), THE FORGOTTEN, is up and running at AUTEURS NOTEBOOK, where you can read all about the insane ALRAUNE, starring Erich Von Stroheim, Karl Boehm and Hildegard Kneff.


The shapely and the apely.

13 Responses to “Here is the news.”

  1. Congratulations on annexing yet another node on the internet! How long before the whole damn thing falls to the Cairns empire?

    It’s an interesting piece, too — looking forward to more to come.

  2. This is the plan, to spread across the whole web like some kind of vast Victor Buono.

    What would you say to being “tagged in a meme” — I’m thinking of doing it but I won’t if you don’t want me to.

  3. Well, I’m keeping the Unsung Joe entirely pure and free of random stuff, as I don’t post frequently enough for it to bear off-topic things without confusing people, so I don’t really have anywhere for a meme to be tagged. I’ve got a Flickr stream ( ) that I use as a regular blog-type thing, and could fit a meme in there — but that’s not really the point of these things, is it?

  4. Susan Sontag mentioned liking ALRAUNE in passing — in that maddening way of hers. For she never wrote about it at length.

  5. As you can see there are many different versions of this story Comparasions to Metropolis, Tales of Hoffman and Blade Runner would appear obvious.

  6. ETA Hoffman’s version of the story is my favourite, and Ira Levin’s The Stepford Wives does a great job of exposing the kind of mentality that would prefer an artificial woman to a real one. Not really surprising that the notion might appeal to those with Nazi sympathies.

  7. Diarmid, I’ll keep you out of it — the Unsung Joe is too Great A Thing to mess up with stuff that doesn’t belong.

  8. I’d imagine the story would appeal to the lady who gave camp it’s name and tried to raise Reifenstahl to a pedestal before mercifully changing her mnd.

    Brigitte Helm who starred in the first silent film(which I found watchable) was quite a gal. Totally at the heart of ”Metropolis” alongside Klein-Rogge and Alfred Abel. She totally holds her own and convincing as both the saint-like preacher lady(with a totally cornball philosophy granted) and the Whore of Berlin. The less said about that miserable dope who got cast as the “hero”(I was rooting for Rotwang over him in their final fight scene). She was Jeanne Ney for Pabst and quite good.

    She was actually Sternberg’s first choice for Lola Lola for ”Der Blaue Engel”. Marlene Dietrich who was a small-time actress at that time lost out to Louise Brooks for Pabst’s ”Pandora’s Box” and nearly lucked out twice. She later gave up acting and being anti-Nazi spent the remainder of the 30’s and 40’s in neutral Switzerland.

  9. One thing that struck me when I saw the 2004 “Stepford Wives” — which I like more for Paul Rudnick’s script than for Frank Oz’s direction — was how, what with Bette Midler and all, it brought out the theme of a non-WASP at odds with a closed WASP community. (What was that sarcastic line of Midler’s about erecting a sign on her front lawn reading “I’m a big fat Jew”?) This could be seen as the subtext of the ’70s, Bryan Forbes version. Perhaps, by extension, also applicable to Mia Farrow’s troubles with the building’s inhabitants in the Ira Levin-based “Rosemary’s Baby”?

    Or am I placing too much credence in a single frail idea?

  10. Not really.

    Brigitte Helm is also beyond fabulous in L’Herbier’s silent masterpiece L’Argent.

  11. As a long time lurker on this site and as someone who just joined the Auteurs site a few days ago i must say that this is a wonderful development! keep up the good work!

    Now i must retreat into the shadows………..

  12. There he goes, like Paul Muni at the end of I Am A Fugitive From a Chain Gang…

    William Goldman thought Forbes wrecked Stepford by casting his wife, Nanette Newman, since her English rose vibe messed up the generic look of the wives. The varied cast of the remake made me feel that it could never work, although I still haven’t seen it so I don’t know. Certainly the idea of the single outsider amid conformity has resonance and fits with Levin’s concerns in his other work, and The Boys from Brazil shows his Jewishness mattered to him.

    Hope to see L’Argent soon…

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