Without the Aid of a Safety Net


Lya de Putti takes to the air in VARIETE, perhaps the greatest film of E.A. Dupont and one that’s shockingly hard to see. Over at The Forgotten.

Meanwhile, Scout Tafoya continues our Strange Journey through the films of the 1968 Cannes Film Festival — the Cannes That Never Was. Over at Apocalypse Now — GRAZIE, ZIA.

9 Responses to “Without the Aid of a Safety Net”

  1. david wingrove Says:

    Alas, I’ve never seen the film VARIETE – but have seen a dance version by Lindsay Kemp. Can it be better than PICCADILLY? A film that has Anna May Wong and doesn’t have Emil Jannings.

    Never seen GRAZIE, ZIA either – but have always heard it was rather good!

  2. I was saddened greatly by Grazie, Zia. I wanted so to like it, but goodness was it shrill and shameless. It gives me no pleasure to say so.

  3. I wanted Anna May to be the heroine of Piccadilly and was disappointed she turned into another dragon lady. But in every other respect it’s aces. Variete is more visually experimental, though.

    Salvatore Samperi’s entire CV looks seedy! I watched trailers for a couple more and he’s forever zooming at the gusset. What a horrible man.

  4. “…forever zooming at the gusset.” Like some unbearable, highfalutin Jess Franco for the pleased-with-themselves set.

  5. Even Franco, who cheerfully put lounge music over footage of real fetuses in jars, had more taste and judgement than I’m sensing in Samperi’s oeuvre. And Franco seems, at times anyway, to have something going on. And he can certainly astonish with his brazen indifference to taste and decency.

  6. And he was, at least when he comes into his own, totally unpretentious. Samperi’s family crest shows a Knight telling you he liked some band before they were cool while reading Penthouse Forum hidden in the pages of Infinite Jest.

  7. Let’s see that creep’s reputation recover from that onslaught!

  8. […] The program for the 2016 Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema has been announced. Happy to say I’m writing notes for two of the films showing, Dovzhenko’s EARTH (pictured) and Dupont’ VARIETE. […]

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