The Love Parade

"Anything to Please the Queen" is love. "Anything to Please the Queen" is life. I can't wait to start (re)watching the sound Lubitschs where (a) Ernst Lubitsch is quicker, more inventively rhythmic, and more efficient with the camera, and (b) the sex play is much freer and less hierarchical in favor of the guy. Surprisingly (maybe not so with Ernst Lubitsch), this may be 1929's most sophisticated American film. It may just be the primitive aesthetics of 1928-29 silent movies—but Lubitsch always frames Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald in tight medium-close-ups, so that they sing on the same axis. Thus, Lubitsch equalizes the genders—removes hierarchy—delights in the hedonism of this vaguely Viennese fantasy world (Rick Altman calls it "operetta-land")—dreams of a more perfect society where romance dominates all the time, the gal leads the army, the guy mopes around the house, their servants steal the show by tapdancing the night away, and everyone sings. O Ernst!

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