Josef von Sternberg

1894 (Vienna) – 1969 (Los Angeles)

Von Sternberg’s notable contribution to cinema was through his non-naturalistic use of camera and lighting. He also discovered Dietrich, making six films with her and becoming one of her lovers. Chaplin took him under his wing, but was displeased with the resultant film. Eisenstein said he was dogged by his own sense of inadequacy, Grierson agreeing that he didn’t match his own high standards. He called on Schnitzler but nervously talked too much, and hoped Reinhardt would give him some work. He commissioned a Neutra house and a Siqueiros portrait. Grosz was almost alone in understanding his cane’s symbolic importance.

Josef von Sternberg knew…