Alas, I watched Joyless Street during my French lesson. We were permitted to have a “study hour” and that to me meant free time. The poor lad who was sitting next to me appeared tired and irritably bored from peeking at the cryptic apparition in my screen. Oh well. It was time to watch more Garbo silents.
I loved Garbo’s closeups. There were so many and I don’t complain. She was unquestionably beautiful and I still cannot fathom my mother’s belief that she is ugly. I’ll never know what is wrong with that woman. Greta here is in one of her early works; meaning that she was not that transformed into one of the leading ladies of the 30s yet. Her eyebrows weren’t shockingly plucked and her hair was still as fuzzy as it used to be. She was growing from her duckling stage into the gorgeous Swedish sphinx that everyone knew. She was beautiful at any age, you know. I still saw some timidity in her eyes. I am glad that Pola Negri helped her dominate it.
The thing about the younger, twenty-year-old Garbo was the luster in her eyes. They symbolize the ardent development that she was still experiencing in her youth. Her becoming into a great actress and her superiority against her insecurity and shyness. She could look so innocent in some shots but in others she could possess some sex appeal.
I’m not in the mood to review the film so I’ll just write about her fervent exoticism. I was happy for Greta’s (her character) bravery because she had to lower herself to shameful depths. The setting was in a poor, postwar Vienna and there were two different kinds of people. Those who struggled in poverty and those who indulged themselves in riches and partying. Greta almost had to dance in a cabaret when she was devoted to helping her family. She was daring to work in anything that might have aided her family. I despised her boss when he attempted to sully her womanhood with sexual advances. By damn, she just got a new coat. Why did he have to make preconceived notions that she was a prostitute? She didn’t even want to sleep with him anyway.
Her character could have admirable valor at times. She overcame harassment, freezing on the street and humiliation. At least she got an American boy.
I liked the film but it wasn’t the best silent that I’ve seen of hers. I felt the plot was a little slow and that not much was going on. They didn’t show the American boy as much. I thought that they were going to have love scenes and all of that. It was a nice pastime in school. Worth watching, of course. Since I met some acquaintances today, I told them about the enjoyable silent film that I watched. One human made a comment saying something that watching silents was painful. I don’t remember. At least I had a nice day. I was fascinated in my English lesson with all the literary terms that I already knew in my heart. There was even a Gone With the Wind reference. The instructor instilled my enthusiasm at once. I was so glad for this.
I am looking forward to watching more Garbo silents in school soon. Her beauty back then was so very original….that at times I wish that she should have not conformed to the 30s trendy fashions. Oh yes, I have to finish the other film that I bought of her the other day. Ah, Garbo. Once you see her face or hear her name, you can never forget her.