Dir. Erich von Stroheim (1921). Remarkably sophisticated for its period, this is arguably von Stroheim's greatest film. Set in Monte Carlo, it's a melodrama alive with sardonic wit, the story of an unscrupulous phony aristocrat adventurer (beautifully played by the director himself) who sets out to seduce the wife of an American diplomat. This exploration of high-society decadence is often visually dazzling; the expensive production involved the construction of enormous and magnificent sets.
Wednesdays-Fridays, 1:30 p.m. Starts: Jan. 13. Continues through Jan. 15, 2010
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