The Scarlet Empress

  • Dir: Josef von Sternberg

  • USA, 1934, English, 104 min, DCP

  • Cast: Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge, Sam Jaffe

A palace of gigantic grotesque gargoyles; skeleton presiding over the banquet table; ominous shadows under the flickerings of candles… in a hyperrealist atmosphere of nightmare, an ostensibly naïve German princess who fails to find love in her halfwit husband turns herself into the all-powerful Empress of Russia, Catherine the Great. Painted as an adventuress coated in luxurious furs, Dietrich transforms her sexuality into a political weapon, toning her enigma of innocence and brutality in Sternberg’s visual extravaganza mixing legend, romance and fairytale.

USA National Board of Review’s Top Ten

Screening:

Note

1. Unless otherwise stated, all films (except English-speaking films) are subtitled in English.

2. For screenings at ALL commercial cinemas, tickets are available at URBTIX till 5:00pm one day before respective screenings. After that, tickets will be available only at the box office of the screening venue on the day of screening, subject to availability.

3. Screenings at HK Arts Centre, HK Film Archive and Tai Kwun: For screenings that are about to start in 1 hour, all remaining tickets can only be bought at the box offices of the respective screening venues.

4. For the sold-out screenings at HK Arts Centre and HK Film Archive, a limited number of standing tickets are available at the URBTIX Outlets of the respective venues 30 minutes prior to the screening time. Seating is not guaranteed and subject to availability 30 minutes after the screening time. Each person can purchase 1 standing ticket. The availability of standing tickets is subject to change without prior notice.

5. Screenings at HK Science Museum: There is no URBTIX Outlet at the venue. Tickets are available at URBTIX till 1 hour prior to the respective screenings. Door ticket counter opens 30 minutes before the screening. Limited tickets to non-sold out screenings will be available at the door, subject to availability (Cash Only).

6. While it is the HKIFFS’s policy to secure the best possible print of the original version for all its screenings, the HKIFFS will appreciate its patrons’ understanding on occasions when less than perfect screening copies are screened.