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Article

Marlene

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Marlene

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
Unrated
runtime:
94 minutes
performer:
Marlene Dietrich
director:
Maximilian Schell
distributor:
Embassy Home Video
genre:
Documentary

We gave it an A-

Rushed back into video release after Marlene Dietrich’s recent death, Marlene is a fittingly bizarre eulogy to that most baroque of stars. Faced with an impasse that would stymie anyone — the 84-year-old actress allowed herself to be interviewed on audiotape but flatly refused to be filmed — director Maximilian Schell comes through with a penetrating meditation on the masks of glamour. Schell brings on the standard film clips, to be sure, but only as counterpoint to Dietrich’s quavery, brutally unsentimental musings on the soundtrack (on The Blue Angel: ”Everyone’s sick of it”). If only because her screen persona was so opaque, this is the rare star bio that is crucial to an understanding of its star. A-

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