CINEMA _ The first scene with Marlene Dietrich on stage and Gary Cooper falling for her is an instant classic. Their both sooo charismatic. Splendid scene as well when Dietrich breaks her neckless hearing the trumpet from the légion coming back. The way the film turns suddenly from laughs into real tragedy in one instant reminded me of this beautiful text from Bazin about "Une partie de campagne".
On the 3D spectrum of cinema, the Sternberg-Dietrich films occupy a bizarre midpoint between a Lubitsch musical and Fellini Satyricon. This is one of their warmest: a war movie interested in the "girl" of "a girl in every port", a sexual allegory with Marlene drawn to her fantasy of a man in uniform and a characteristically boring Gary Cooper refusing to admit he wants monogamy. All this, plus a daring lesbian kiss.
Kind of taken aback with how heartbreakingly beautiful Morocco is. Sternberg really loves to hit us with these imposing and stifling sets and scenery and give us seemingly irreconcilable situations among people who are searching for or have found love. The ways he works with light (the town people praying under shafts of light in a suffocating alleyway) and works with extras as integral to the set are phenomenal.
Cinematography by Lee Garmes and Lucien Ballard. "Desire" list. There was no less ambiguous actor in his sexuality than Gary Cooper and in this extraordinary film both, Marlene and he, are at the height of their incomparable beauty. A man to follow through the desert sands.
Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper torment each other. This is the one where Marlene dons top hat and tails and kisses a woman on the mouth. She did this to female fans in real life, when she performed her cabaret act, and sometimes even whispered to them her hotel and room number. She was the real thing....