With her smoldering seductiveness and provocative, often gender-bending style, Marlene Dietrich stands as one of the most dangerously desired femme fatales to emerge from Hollywood's Golden Age. Of course, the crafting of Dietrich's iconic image must be credited in part to the era's filmmakers, particularly director Josef von Sternberg. It was von Sternberg who, having taken an assignment in Germany to revive his own stalled career, first recognized Dietrich's spellbinding potential, casting the largely unknown actress as Lola Lola, The Blue Angel's irresistible temptress. The film proved to be an international smash, and established Dietrich as cinema's reigning siren overnight. Welcomed back to Hollywood, von Sternberg proceeded to feature Dietrich in six more torrid tales involving the perils of compulsive passion, each designed with suggestively layered shots and an achingly enticing soft lighting that never failed to amplify Dietrich's stunning allure. Take-Up Production's latest retrospective series, A Match Made in Hell, offers the rare opportunity to view all seven von Sternberg-Dietrich collaborations, screening one film every weekend through February at Trylon microcinema. They include The Blue Angel (1930), Morocco (1930), Dishonored (1931), Blonde Venus (1932), Shanghai Express (1932), The Scarlet Express (1934), and The Devil Is a Woman (1935) . Don't let the series title fool you; the films of A Match Made in Hell endure as an utterly bewitching tribute to one of cinema's greatest pairings. All films run Friday though Sunday, visit take-up.org for showtimes.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: Feb. 3. Continues through Feb. 26, 2012