The Shanghai Gesture (von Sternberg, 1941)

In the end there was a jolting flash, and you saw lovers. Your head filled with the musty cold of rainy days in the north, and you felt his weather-beaten hands clutch you. For a moment the blinding white of love veiled your painted smile, and fogged your diamonds and gold, and before anyone could notice you shivered, feeling the damp cold of home, and the frail life left behind. She is left clutching the ghostly impression of her lover, her face full of mud, and now, her cheeks puckered with the sour taste of vengeance. With a deep sigh, you end her life, fix your smile, straighten yourself, and buzz like the queen bee. The past is dead, her life a violent flash, now charm the fools.

Advertisements