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September 2001 - Nr. 9


The Editor
Antje berichtet
German Day
Klaus Hofer reports
Views & Reviews
Down On The Town
Brief aus Kanada
Steuben Parade
Sascha Lutz reports
Film Fest Preview
Crown's Party
Crown's Anniversary
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Dietrich's 100th
Restore Rhine

German Capital Celebrates Marlene Dietrich’s 100th Anniversary


New Film Museum Dedicates Three Rooms to Diva from Berlin

Toronto - Canadian movie buffs have one more reason to visit Berlin this year. Occupying three rooms in the recently opened Film Museum Berlin, The Marlene Dietrich Collection exhibits some of the German film diva’s most intriguing possessions, including many of the glamorous gowns from her wardrobe, created by, among others, couturiers Balanciaga, Balmain, Dior and Schiaparelli. Stylish accessories on display include jewellery, hats, purses, gloves, shoes, even the travelling trunks that carried them around the globe for her international film and stage engagements.

Stills and off-screen shots from famous Dietrich movies recall historic film moments. Family and private portraits include studies by such illustrious photographers as Edward Steichen, Cecil Beaton and Lord Snowdon. Paintings, sketches, posters and costumed mannequins (modelling her white swan coat and silver tassel dress as well as her trademark tuxedo) add their touches to the exhibit. So do letters from friends and admirers like playwright Noel Coward, actor Jean Gabin, novelist Ernest Hemingway, singer/actress Hildegard Knef and film director Orson Welles.

Born in Berlin in December 1901 in Berlin, Dietrich made her stage debut in 1922, soon performing at legendary director Max Reinhardt’s Großes Schauspielhaus. At that time, she also began playing small film roles. Her breakthrough came with the role as Lola Lola in Josef von Sternberg’s film "The Blue Angel", produced in Berlin’s Babelsberg Studios in 1930. Later that year, Dietrich left Berlin for Hollywood, where she became one of international show business’s most glamorous divas. Supported by an iron will and an innate sense of style, her face, her voice and her wardrobe emerged as her trademarks, which she guarded carefully until her death in Paris in May 1992.

Marlene Dietrich’s love for Berlin endured a lifetime, throughout her years in Hollywood and Paris. Although she became a U.S. citizen in 1939, she never lost her German identity. In the Billy Wilder films A Foreign Affair (1948) and Witness for the Prosecution (1957) her characters were German women; in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) she played the widow of a German general. The title of her autobiography Ich bin, Gott sei Dank, Berlinerin (I am, Thank God, a Berliner) speaks for itself.

While the exhibition captures the essence of Dietrich’s flamboyance and the lifestyle of the 1930s, it only shows a small part of the collection. Including some 350,000 objects, the complete Marlene Dietrich Collection is housed separately and can be viewed by prior appointment. However, in the course of the year, different items from it will be rotated through the exhibition in the Film Museum Berlin, designed by Chicago architect Helmut Jahn and located in the Sony Centre on the newly redesigned and developed Potsdamer Platz. Opening hours are Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with extended hours each Thursdays to 8 p.m. For more information, please visit the museum’s Web site at www.filmmuseum-berlin.de.

The Babelsberg Studios have planned three Marlene Dietrich events in 2001. For information on these, please visit the Filmpark Babelsberg’s Web site at www.filmpark.de .

For more information on Berlin and Germany, please contact the German National Tourist Office’s toll-free number, 1-877-315-6237, send an e-mail to gntony@aol.com, or visit GNTO’s Web site at www.germany-tourism.de

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