The Sunday Intertitle: Epidemic!
Finally watched THE OYSTER PRINCESS, directed by Ernst Lubitsch and part of the splendid Lubitsch in Berlin box set which I contributed some writing to. Fantastically odd and very funny, with some textbook drunken staggering, and an all girl boxing tournament and a lot of other good grotesque stuff (the gymnasium floor is littered with hanks of hair after the girls have gotten finished battering each other. Ossi Oswalda plays the titular heiress, a boisterous wild child not that far removed in her obnoxiousness and ebullience from Lubitsch’s own comic persona in his Solly Pinkus films. I’d like to be able to say she’s better-looking than Uncle Lube, but the main impression she gives is off a mad keyboard of teeth embedded in a troll. She’s pretty interesting though, in her violence — I’ll watch out for her in other stuff. She made several films for Lubitsch, always playing characters called Ossi.
The musical epidemic itself is a fabulous conceit, and it’s a set-piece that comes from nowhere and goes nowhere, substituting for about an act’s worth of plot. The David Lynch type musical saw man is a particularly interesting touch.
More Lubitsch tomorrow, as part of the For the Love of Film Blogathon in aid of film preservation.