The World and Its Image

In another fine and elegant production, prolific video essay duo Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin turn their attention to Josef von Sternberg’s Der Blaue Engel (1930). This particular piece was commissioned by MUBI, who for some reason don’t like their video essays being embedded on other sites. You’ll have to watch it on their website or on Vimeo.


The video offers a fresh take on the Marlene Dietrich vehicle, focussing on the inanimate, the non-human and the unreal in this well-known staple of film studies. The video essay format lends itself perfectly to this more motif-based approach: the audiovisual patterns and resonances that the two film scholars focus on, are made immediately clear by the associative editing, with the voice over graciously giving way to the images when those are more telling.