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Zaza DVD

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Zaza DVD

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Gloria Swanson is all flounce and swagger as Zaza, a street gamine turned music hall star, strutting her stuff, tossing off quips and taunts with her irrepressible backside, which is sometimes adorned with a pert bow for emphasis. Over the course of the film, directed by Allan Dwan (Robin Hood), she engages in two knock-down drag-out cat fights, frisks through playful love scenes, writhes in a hospital bed, nurses a broken heart, and evolves into a soberly dignified woman. Her physicality dominates the film, which does not suffer from being essentially a well-crafted frame for her performance. Swanson’s ebullience in Zaza was unfeigned; she called it “the fastest, easiest, most enjoyable picture I ever made.”     

Luther compresses nearly two decades into a provocative character study that parallels Martin Luther’s deepening religious dilemmas with the irresolvable earthly anxieties that shaped his beliefs and his rebellious search for truth. We’re introduced to Luther as a young monk in 1506, as he defends his vows to his jealous and disapproving father (Patrick McGee). But as Luther’s religious commitment deepens, his faith in an increasingly commercialized, politicized, and spiritually empty Papacy atrophies until, having preached against the medieval Catholic Church’s hypocrisy, he is called to account by the very bishops he must denounce.

Keach’s Luther is backed by a powerful supporting cast, including Kubrick stalwart Leonard Rossiter, and Dame Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love, Chocolat) as the nun Luther takes for his wife. In Luther, Martin Luther’s condemnation of the Catholic Church and incitement fo the Protestant reformation become the last desperate acts of a brilliant but deeply troubled man of conscience who has run out of options.

 

Description

 

  • Piano score composed and performed by Jeff Rapsis, adapted from the original 1923 cue sheet
  • Audio commentary by Frederic Lombardi, author of Allan Dwan and the Rise and Decline of the Hollywood Studios
  • Booklet essay by film historian Imogen Sara Smith
  • Year: 1923
  • Running Time: 84
  • Color Type: B&W
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Country: U.S.
  • Language: Silent
Actors:
Gloria Swanson
H. B. Warner
Ferdinand Gottschalk

Directed by Allan Dwan

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