Author Topic: Ernst Lubitsch  (Read 2471 times)

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(kelvin)

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Ernst Lubitsch
« on: December 18, 2003, 02:02:07 PM »
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Is there really no Lubitsch category here? Well, I conducted a search and looked through the whole forum.

So here it is. The reason why I thought of Lubitsch (apart from him being aside with Wilder the only director ever who could make a really brillant comedy) is the following:
In To Be Or Not to Be, I always laugh out loud during the "Do they really call me concentration camp Erhardt?"-dialogue. I think it's really awfully funny. Yet, the context is not.
Is that the genius of Lubitsch? To make us laugh at something we don't want/should/like to laugh at?

SHAFTR

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Ernst Lubitsch
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2003, 05:20:37 PM »
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I saw Trouble in Paradise and really liked it.
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godardian

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Ernst Lubitsch
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2003, 06:12:21 PM »
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I've only seen Trouble in Paradise, too, but I was very charmed and would love to see more (thanks again, Criterion!).

Looks like Eternal Love, The Marriage Circle, Ninotchka, and The Shop Around the Corner are all available on DVD... will have to investigate further.
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(kelvin)

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Ernst Lubitsch
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2003, 03:56:15 AM »
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Wait...you haven't seen To Be Or Not to Be?  :shock:

MacGuffin

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Ernst Lubitsch
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2003, 10:30:21 AM »
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Quote from: chriskelvin
Wait...you haven't seen To Be Or Not to Be?  :shock:


One of the funniest movies EVER.
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(kelvin)

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Ernst Lubitsch
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2003, 03:53:59 PM »
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Quote from: MacGuffin

One of the funniest movies EVER.


Couldn't agree more.

Only Lubitsch could construct a comedy that makes us laugh at lines like (a nazi official about the ensemble that plays Hamlet) "they are doing to Shakespeare what we're doing to Poland". Much more subtle in comparison with Chaplin's clownesque The Great Dictator.
But it's very borderline indeed. Lubitsch earned a lot of critiques, yet he was convinced he had made a masterpiece and wouldn't change a word.

modage

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Ernst Lubitsch
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2005, 10:27:02 PM »
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i saw my first two Lubitsch movies recently, The Shop Around The Corner and Ninotchka.  i had read a little about him previously, mostly Billy Wilder describing him as an main influence and someone he aspired to be like, so that alone had gotten my interest in checking out some of his stuff, which i finally got around to doing.  

i thought Shop was really enjoyable, especially because of the Jimmy Stewart and the sharp dialogue between him and Sullivan.  Ninotchka was good, but it took so long for Greta Garbo to warm up in the film that my interest had been lost somewhat.  but the movie picked up when Garbo began to get romantically involved and got pretty good.  the thing about that film is that because it was probably SO sharp and topical when it was released that it has inevitably dated itself with those issues.  whereas a movie like Shop is a timeless romantic comedy, (even having been remade as You've Got Mail.)  another movie that seemed to have this problem was Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three which was funny, but has not aged as well as most of his films.  

i really want to see To Be or Not To Be next and it looks like its coming out March 1st on DVD.  sweeet.
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modage

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Ernst Lubitsch
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2005, 07:24:30 PM »
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so i FINALLY saw To Be Or Not To Be last night and it was quite good.  pretty insane to me that it came out in 1942 with some humor you probably couldn't even get away with today...

Siletsky: May I say, dear Colonel, that it's good to breathe the air of the Gestapo again... You know, you're quite famous in London, Colonel. They call you Concentration Camp Ehrhardt.
Josef Tura: Ha ha. Yes, yes... we do the concentrating and the Poles do the camping!


one of the best things about the film was in addition to being really funny, there was sort of a real fear that the characters would be killed by nazis and that danger really made you care about them.  it was my first Jack Benny or Carol Lombard movie i believe and they were both hilarious.  RECOMMENDED.  :yabbse-thumbup:  does anybody around here even watch old movies anymore?
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

w/o horse

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Re: Ernst Lubitsch
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2006, 06:03:43 PM »
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I watched Ninotchka recently, having only seen To Be or Not to Be from the Lubitsch catalogue, and it didn't pop out at me at all (which To Be or Not to Be did very much).  I thought the 'get the girl to laugh' aspect was sincere and sweet, the same with the three Russians who fell for France. . .well it was all sincere and sweet.  But it wasn't funny and it wasn't romantic and it wasn't a good story.  It was just sweetness and sincerity.  Basically I don't think it's aged well.
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modage

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Re: Ernst Lubitsch
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2006, 06:34:44 PM »
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i thought so too.  see Shop Around The Corner.  its quite sweet and funny without anything major to date the film.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

Bethie

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Re: Ernst Lubitsch
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2006, 12:28:08 AM »
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Ninotchka is going to be my daughter's second middle name. 
who likes movies anyway

Ravi

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Re: Ernst Lubitsch
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2006, 05:48:09 PM »
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Just finished Ninotchka.  It has genuine humor in it.  Its not a laugh riot by any means, but there were laugh-out-loud moments and some cleverly written dialogue.  The last shot is particularly great.

The communism vs. capitalism thing is a bit overblown here.  While communist Russia isn't exactly fun, the film pits it against an upper-crust depiction of France, as if this is what capitalism is.  There's a scene in a working-class restaurant, but for the most part it takes place in French high society.

To Be or Not To Be was pretty good.  I liked it more than Ninotchka, but I liked Trouble in Paradise more than either of them.

w/o horse

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Re: Ernst Lubitsch
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2006, 02:01:58 AM »
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Wowowowow I just watched Trouble in Paradise.  Cinematic ecstasy.  It reached a feverish pitch in the middle, sustained the crescendo, and exploded in the end.

What to say?  The writing, the acting, the premise, the actors, the characters, the supporting characters tiny touches editing pace delivery director.

I'm going to watch it again tomorrow night.  I was overcome with pure joy.
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samsong

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Re: Ernst Lubitsch
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2006, 05:39:12 PM »
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"dead.  absolutely dead."

To Be or Not to Be is where it's at.

Ravi

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Re: Ernst Lubitsch
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2006, 04:26:49 PM »
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Heaven Can Wait was different than what I expected.  I expected it to be more screwballish, but its introspective and strangely moving.  The hero was born into wealth, but he's not a debonair Cary-Grant-type.  He's rather undistinguished, and doesn't have any noble aims in life.  And yet his journey through life, his aging, his "maturing," if we can call it that, is moving.  We form relationships, grow old, have children, etc. and finally we die.

The film progresses through the turn of the 20th century, but the characters are insulated from the World Wars, the Depression, etc.  That subtext of insularity is there throughout the film, most of which takes place in the Van Cleve house.

 

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