Variety ★★★½

E.A. Dupont's Varieté is a fascinating, impressively bleak, silent German film starring Emil Jannings. The film is set around a seedy carnival, which allows some absolutely stunning and exquisite trapeze sequences to be filtered into the film. The plot revolves around a love affair, an abandoned wife and children, another love affair and eventually murder. This is not a spoiler, Jannings begins in jail and tells us the tale of how he got there.

The Masters of Cinema tinted print is quite beautiful, though be careful which soundtrack you choose to watch the film with, because the one by The Tiger Lillies is properly dreadful.

Varieté is an impressive film, with Emil Jannings giving a typically fine performance, a couple of years before his Oscar winning turns. He really inhabits the role, his grim countenance giving the film a real power in the final set of scenes.

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