Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Foolish Wives (1922)

Foolish Wives is less a comedy than a mockery, taking as its targets the moral underpinnings of society; the sanctity of marriage; love’s purity; masculinity; femininity; and, of course, the aristocratic elite. A cursory glance at von Stroheim’s filmography reveals these as reoccurring preoccupations: compulsive concerns that the director never tired of holding a mirror up to and revealing the hypocrisy that lay beneath a virtuous façade. Von Stroheim’s laughter is sadistic. He derives pleasure from exposing the fraudulent virtues of others, even though he, more than anyone, is complicit in the widespread corruption.

Read my full review of Foolish Wives here at Not Coming to a Theater Near You.

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