We don’t often report on movie re-releases, but it would be remiss of us not to mention the forthcoming theatrical screenings of Josef Von Sterberg’s Weimar masterpiece The Blue Angel. The film returns to UK cinemas from May 31st, as part of the celebrations marking the centenary of the founding of the Weimar Republic.
Starring Marlene Dietrich, The Blue Angel is perhaps the definitive film of the era, made in 1930 even as the Republic was breathing its last. A tale of sexual obsession and moral decay – made with a nod and a wink to the audience – The Blue Angel is where every Weimar-based movie and TV show – from Cabaret to Babylon Berlin – takes its inspiration. Of course, the film is somewhat dated in production style and technical proficiency, and it will be interesting to see how modern audiences react – we’ve seen enough great old films laughed ofscreen by smug millennials to believe that they would all sit respectfully (assuming any even show up), but we can live in hope.
The release coincides with the BFI’s Beyond Your Wildest Dreams: Weimar Cinema 1919 – 1933 season, which will see several films from the era shown at BFI Southbank.