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The story of Marlene Dietrich is the story of Berlin, her hometown.  Marlene, has always had a place in a our family, as well. My grandfather and personal first pen pal (rest in peace, i miss you beyond words) wanted to name my adorable mother Marlene, due to his devotion for the actress, as an actress, as a woman as an antifascist symbol and also because his favourite song was “Lili Marlene”. It became spontaneous tradition to name all females in my family after songs, but that is yet another story. Unfortunately for both my momma and my grandpa,in early 1954  Marlene (short for Maria Magdalene, an actual Catholic whorish name) was a foreign name not accepted by the Catholic Spanish regime (back in the days all children born had to be baptized). So my grandpa chose Belen (name of the city where according to the Bible, Jesus Christ was born)that happens to sound similar…but still it is not Marlene. Needless to say my mother, would have chosen Marlene for herself.

The Blue Angel is the film that took her to AMERICA, first European sound film and one of the most important films in German film industry.  The story of that film is also the story of Marlene and the story of amazing Berlin. As for now I happen to live in Dietrich´s neighborhood, Schöneberg.

If you happen to be free on Thursday 29th at 19:00 hours our yet again favourite institut für film und videokunst, Arsenal is playing The Blue Angel in English as part of the Magical History Tour dedicated to the figure of Josef von Sternberg. Or if you are  a grand connoisseur of the beautiful German language, Arsenal would play Der blaue Engel original version on Friday 30th at 19:00 uhr.

Loads of love and good films.




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