29 years without Pola Negri

Pola Negri: idol, icon, and friend. I do believe all my dear idols are my friends.

29 years ago on this day, she passed away.

It’s been one hell of a ride with Pola in my life so far. I never thought I would watch the movies I watch today, or research, or even spend money on extremely rare foreign movies.

Pola is one of my special interests. I discovered her and I thought her picture was beautiful, a rare exotic form of beauty. I thought there was no one like me and it felt special. Yet, I became to grow fond of Pola and became very immersed in reading about her life. I no longer cared that much if she was a special interest.

She speaks to me like a woman confidante in her memoirs. She tells me the tragic story of her father and how that affected her for the rest of her life. The pain from that event probably triggered the lachrymose state she was in after Rudolph Valentino’s death.

Sometimes I worry Pola wouldn’t approve of some of the things I think or do. But I think she would be proud of me. She is someone I strongly look up to. I share many of her values. I believe in the sanctity of love, hard work, and passion.

Most of my time I am dedicated to Pola. Probably more than any actress. I once spent two hours saving pictures of her, even when my eyes were in pain.

Whenever I see her in a film, she is so real. To me, she is a saint on the screen. Her eye movement, her arm movement, her leg movement, her head movement…To me she is real for at least an hour. She is captured in time. In the time that passes by so quickly. I am glad for every surviving film she has. In Bestia, one can see her youthful and innocent look. In Madame Dubarry, one can see she is growing as an actress and person. In Barbed Wire, we can see how her acting has evolved, to the point of investing her real emotions in her work. I believe the tear she has on that scene where she is looking out the window was a real one. In Mazurka, one can see her confidence as a singer and actress. Lastly, in The Moon-Spinners, we can see her experienced; a legend of experience. If only many knew how much she had gone through. Pola saw so much history with her eyes.

One day I will go to Pola’s grave and talk to her for at least half an hour. I will leave roses.

My first thought this morning was of writing this. Pola Negri: a deathversary tribute.

I imagine at times Pola visiting me in the afterlife. I always dream my afterlife will be set in a countryside and I’ll be having tea with all of my idols and the sky will be pink. Pola is one of the people invited and she has her pretty 1920’s look. There is she having tea and watching Marc Bolan and Mickey Finn dancing to “Rabbit Fighter” and discussing Art with Touko Laaksonen.

I wish I could’ve met her in the eighties, so I could ask her endless questions about her life.

There are moments where I want to join her in the afterlife much earlier. However, I think she would want me to all the years I have, just as she did. She could’ve given up when she was not getting film roles and was broke! But, no, she turned to her faith and prayed. She prayed. And then she met a person who would help her for the rest of her life, Margaret West.

Pola, even though I never did meet you and you didn’t live when I was born, I miss you. You are missed by many people.

Even my family knows your name! Even my five-year-old brother knows your name.

I hope that with my future career as a filmmaker, I can help you make the screen great again. No one can match your almighty appearance anymore.

You are one, Pola. No one will be like you again. Rest in Peace.



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