A 21-year old movie fan in Estonia writes about Ernst Lubitsch

…I was shocked to learn yesterday,that in association with the German embassy in Estonia, there is a huge tribute to Ernst Lubitsch’s films in the middle of the Pöff film festival in Tallinn…

I don’t know whether I was more shocked about the fact that I was missing it,because it was into  it’s third day, so it was too,too late for me to even comprehend the event-after all,I’m a devotee of the master with ‘the touch’ and would kill to see his works on the big screen-,or because of the fact somebody actually had the guts to come out with classic films in the middle of that god-forsaken hipster event!

And not only that,but Estonia is probably the last place on earth they show classic films anyway. Anything produced before the late 60’s is a taboo around here. I say,thank god for cable TV with it’s shabby European TCM schedule and the Internet,because these are the only sources for classic movies around here.

Even getting DVDs  is a pain-unless you’re willing to pay about 769860886780 crowns to buy off Amazon or Ebay and don’t forget to add the shipping prices!

Not to mention-people couldn’t care less.There isn’t even a small fan-base for those movies.Whereas in Russia or Latvia,or probably every other ex-soviet country, there are large vintage communities of all sorts,delighting in the movies and music of the past.

Anyway,the Lubitsch retrospective is a big break.I’m sad I will miss it,and wish I would have found out earlier,because I haven’t seen more than a few of the movies that are scheduled, but I’ll live through it.

….I love Lubitsch,really I do.There was this man who had the divine ability to mix rather low-brow humor with sparkling sophistication,and he did it ever so effortlessly.His ‘Trouble In Paradise’ and ‘Design for  Living’  are amongst my ALL TIME favourite comedies and I quite enjoy the insane opperettas and Weimar silents he directed.In fact,I love every single movie of his, I’ve seen so far. And he was also a fascinating man in other ways-one of the few ‘darling ‘ directors in Hollywood and genuinely good-natured and witty.

In conclusion: it’s good that his work gets attention around here, but  I doubt many people will care and…ah…who are we kidding…I’m actually damn mad at myself, I didn’t hear about the event about two weeks ago or so.

…Lubitsch seized upon the advent of talkies to direct musicals. With his first sound film, The Love Parade (1929), starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, Lubitsch hit his stride as a maker of worldly musical comedies (and earned himself another Oscar nomination). The Love Parade (1929), Monte Carlo (1930), and The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) were hailed by critics as masterpieces of the newly emerging musical genre…. Whether with music, as in MGM’s opulent The Merry Widow (1934) and Paramount’s One Hour with You (1932), or without, as in Design for Living (1933) Lubitsch continued to specialize in comedy. He made only one other dramatic film, the antiwar Broken Lullaby (also known as The Man I Killed, 1932)….