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Surrealist Love Goddesses: GRETA GARBO: MATA HARI
June 23, 2016 @ 7:30 pm
PLEASE NOTE: MATA HARI screens as part of our Surrealist Love Goddesses series running from June 9th through June 30th. To find out more about the series, including how to purchase series passes, visit: https://austinfilm.org/retrospectives-and-themed-series/series-surrealist-love-goddesses
Directed by George Fitzmaurice
USA, 1931, 35mm, 89 min
In Roland Barthes’ words, “Garbo still belongs to that moment in cinema when capturing the human face still plunged audiences into the deepest ecstasy, when one literally lost oneself in a human image as one would in a philtre, when the face represented a kind of absolute state of the flesh, which could be neither reached nor renounced.” Today, audiences may not quite understand the enormous appeal of Garbo. Her style and attitude had such a colossal impact that we see it everywhere and we may not understand where it originated. The acting style, which relies so much on tiny changes of facial expression, cannot be appreciated on smaller screens. MATA HARI is one of the best all-around Garbo showcases. A slick, conventional romantic story, it is the Garbo star vehicle that most ably displays her most special facets – her dynamism, her facial expressions, her way with clothing and her spooky personification of deeper, subconscious longings in both men and women
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