The Crank is a graduate student organization that runs weekly screenings of the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s extensive holdings. The Crank shows films that either are not widely available on video or are such spectacular specimens of nitrate and celluloid that merely to see them on a television set would be a crime both to the student of film and to the canon of film history.
German American actor-screenwriter-producer-director Ernst Lubitsch gained notoriety in Hollywood for his string of sophisticated silent comedies during the mid-1920s with the moderate commercial successes The Marriage Circle (1924), Lady Windermere’s Fan (1925), and So This is Paris (1926). However, the emergence of Lubitsch’s signature visual and thematic design, along with his ability to convey great significance through witty metaphors or tactfully constructed moments, would not solidify until his first foray into sound film with the critically acclaimed box office behemoth The Love Parade (1929). His next two films—Monte Carlo (1930) and The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)—cemented Lubitsch’s lifelong association with the romantic comedy and musical genres and a definitive style that would eventually be dubbed “The Lubitsch Touch.” Continue reading “The Crank: ‘Broken Lullaby’ (aka ‘The Man I Killed’) Program Notes (2/7/13 Screening)” »