Lubitsch made a smoother transition from silents to sound than perhaps any other director. Did I say smooth? THE LOVE PARADE, the first properly narrative musical, is abrupt, insouciant, terrifically striking, kinda grabs the viewer by the lapels, gives he or she a good rattling shake. Doesn't hurt that much of the humour is utterly licentious. What to make of the prematurely postmodern mystique of Maurice Chevalier?
Lubitsch is so incredibly perceptive about people, & he is constant in his ability to represent such insights cinematically, as when Macdonald uses soap & sponge 2 wipe away her country's incessant concern for her marital status. But Lubitsch does not neglect other cultural politics 4 sexual politics. MacDonald is a bad queen, & those w/o rank or title remain vivacious once marriage has disfigured our leads' hearts.
Cómo es que la comedia "anticuada" de Lubitsch funciona hasta hoy en día. El inicio es lo mejor del filme. El director, fiel a sus personajes y tramas, retrata un romance sofisticado en dónde se manifiesta una guerra de los sexos. Los principales personajes de Lubitsch son femeninos. Estas son dominantes. El hombre sin darse cuenta pasa a ser un mero utensilio. El resultado pueda que sea un machismo a lo inverso.
Never before did I realize how easily silent cinema could leap into a musical! The sound-recording technology is primitive here, but the way Lubitsch livens it up with highly visual gags is deft. The chief issue is the ending, where marital strife comes to an end when the woman agrees to accept her place—a disappointing turn from a director whose take on gender relations could often be years ahead of its time.
I love the opening of this film when Chevalier is caught by the jealous husband. The reveal of the drawer full of little pistols is one of my favourite examples of that much celebrated touch of Lubitsch's. Also the scene where Queen Louisa shows off her legs to her ministers is another favourite. Plus the beautiful example of indirection when . . . Oh hell I could go on and on.
It doesn't hold up as well as I remembered upon seeing it for the first time many years ago. Still, it's light years ahead of almost every film made in 1929. Integrated musicals were so rare at the time, and Lubitsch's impeccable direction was clearly evident even in this, his first sound film. The editing in the marriage night scene is perfect, cutting back and forth between the newlyweds and the onlookers.
Ah marriage. That endles power struggle between two individuals who "love one another". As usual, Lubitsch's Mise en Scene is majestic, his actors charming to the point of awkwardness, and his jokes are timeless. Really, Chevalier is whimsical. Truly, one of the first great musicals, or one of the few worth watching anyway.