Its subject really is dancing. Arzner films it with fascination and enthusiasm, and the choreography is marked by the point of view of the spectators and the dancers’ awareness that they’re being watched. Arzner—one of the few women directors in Hollywood—shows women dancers enduring men’s slobbering stares. The very raison d’être of these women’s performances is to titillate men, and that’s where the story’s two vectors intersect—art versus commerce and love versus lust.
May 27, 2016