East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Waiting for 2016 in the 1930s

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Last day of 2015.
I’ve been planning the family dinner and some entertainment.
The local offering, both in terms of live entertainment, cinema or TV programming is bleak bordering on ghastly.
I could go for some music – my old tradition of listening a musical or operetta of some kind on new year’s eve.
51vp643XS-LAnd indeed, I had planned to listen to South Pacific this year – but apparently my copy (the José CarrerasKiri Te Kanawa version) was misplaced or, more likely, never returned after borrowing.
And the neighbors get nervous if I listen music at a high volume anyway – their dog starts barking.
Do I really want to spend my New Year’s Eve wearing headphones?

So I decided for a Marlene Dietrich double bill – first Morocco, from 1930, and then The Scarlet Empress, from 1934 (the Criterion edition, with a lots of extra features).
Both directed by Joseph von Sternberg.
So yes, while 2016 arrives, I’ll be in the 1930s, in the company of Marlene Dietrich.


Better than the ghastly New Year’s Eve the state television has to offer – ghastly, and paid with my tax money.

See you on the other side, ladies and gentlemen.
And have a happy new year – no matter in what decade you decide to start it.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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