Von Sternberg

Von Sternberg

John Baxter


Belligerent and evasive, Josef von Sternberg selected to disregard his illegitimate delivery in Austria, disadvantaged big apple formative years, abusive father, and shortage of schooling. The director who strutted onto the set in a turban, driving breeches, or a silk gown embraced his new character as an international tourist, accumulated glossy artwork, drove a Rolls Royce, and earned thrice up to the president. "Von Sternberg "traces the alternatives that carried the original director from poverty in Vienna to strength in Hollywood, together with his eventual ostracism in Japan. Historian John Baxter finds an artist few humans knew: the aesthete who remodeled Marlene Dietrich into a global big name whose ambivalent sexuality and contradictory attract on-screen mirrored an off-screen romance with the director.

In his vintage motion pictures "The Blue Angel" (1930), "Morocco" (1930), and "Blonde Venus" (1932), von Sternberg showcased his trademark visible variety and innovative representations of sexuality. Drawing on firsthand conversations with von Sternberg and his son, "Von Sternberg "breaks earlier the vintage Hollywood sketch " "to demystify and humanize this mythical director.

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