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The Heavy Hand of the Lubitsch Touch


Artistry aside, contemporary audiences often have a difficult time relating to the great German expressionist films of yesteryear. In movies such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Metropolis, the acting is as hyper-stylized as the mise en scène -- over the top, unrealistic and broad. In Ernst Lubitsch's 1921 masterpiece, Die Bergkatze (a.k.a. The Wildcat), he and actress Pola Negri parodied German expressionism in much the same way as the Zucker brothers' 1980 comedy Airplane! riffed on the disaster film. The Wildcat screens this Thursday at 8 p.m. in the courtyard of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; 314-535-4660) with an all-new score performed by the Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra. The screening is free and open to the public. For all the details, visit
Thu., May 24, 2012