Archive for The Blue Angel

Mr. Puffy

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on May 8, 2020 by dcairns

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Charles Puffy… wait, that can’t be his real name? Nope, he was born Károly Hochstadt but changed it to Károly Huszár, then had it changed to the unflattering Puffy for his brief four-year stint in Hollywood.

“America is the true country of exaggerations. For me, who wasn’t just there as a visitor, but who worked and lived there the country always seemed like the huge pumpkins and pickles shown in the shop windows which are ten times bigger than real pumpkins and pickles. Everything there is overgrown and huge. Everything is exaggerated to the limits. Everything. Nature, the lives of people, the needs of people, everything, everything. Children are like adults, but when they grow up they remain the same they were in childhood and then they look like children. Please don’t misunderstand me: I don’t want to say that every American is naive and childish. That’s not true. There are a lot of great, educated, very intelligent and wise people there. Just like everywhere else. But the average American, most of them is a big, naive child. Naive in cruelty and naive in goodness.”

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He’s in DR. MABUSE, THE GAMBLER and in THE BLUE ANGEL on either side of his Hollywood career.

For some reason the IMDb lists his place of death as Tokyo, but it seems likelier he perished in the Holocaust.

The Sunday Intertitle (for some reason on Saturday): Under the Sea

Posted in FILM, Politics with tags , , , on February 3, 2018 by dcairns

AEGIR, billed as “A Festive Film,” is in fact a German propaganda effort from 1918, though it tries to be festive by taking a fantastical, mythological view of the war. Aegir, our protagonist, is sort of the Norse Neptune, though of lower rank. And the guy playing him here, one Wilhelm Diegelmann, looks a lot like the heavy-set, slo-mo beard guy who’s the most disappointing element of JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS. Curiously, his face is made up a nice dusky shade, but his torso is a gleaming white: nobody thought to powder his moobs.

(Diegelmann would go on to work for Lubitsch several times and appears in THE BLUE ANGEL.)

Aegir is having a great time because the U-boats are sinking lots of ships and sending their supplies to the bottom of the sea where he can enjoy them at his lavish aquatic banquets, served up by mermaids on wires.

Eventually he visits his benefactors, leading to the odd sight of a topless man with a trident standing on the deck of an actual for-realz Unterseeboot. He even sits down to a glass of “fine English whisky” (there’s no such thing) he’s had retrieved from  torpedoed wreck.

The movie resolves into a tour of inspection of the mighty German navy, month or maybe days before its total surrender. Aegir dons a flying jacket and boards a sea plane, his pallid, sinewy legs a pitiful spectacle as he tries to manoeuvre his unwieldy trident into the cockpit. There’s a sentence you don’t see every day.

There’s a visit to Berlin, then to a German destroyer. Everyone is pleased to see the mythical jötunn or demi-god. I expect he makes a nice break in the routine.

Aegir urges Germany, in the form of the movie camera observing him, to buy war bonds, “~ and let a happy peace be the reward for your steadfastness!”

Germany immediately surrenders.

Deluxe Angel

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on October 29, 2009 by dcairns

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Head over to The Auteurs’ Notebook, damen und herren, where Miss Lola Lola has a little concertina she’d like you to cast an appraising eye over.

But for this, the latest edition of The Forgotten, you might want to wear your shades…