Marlene Dietrich & Anna May Wong in “Shanghai Express”

August 30, 2009

in a picture is worth a thousand words

So now I am completely obsessed with Anna May Wong. I wanted to find and read everything about her… then I found this:

Shanghai Express

This is fucking Marlene Dietrich we are talking about here…  Marlene Dietrich looks like this:

(Ignore the cigarettes. They didn’t know better back then…)

Annex - Dietrich, Marlene (Angel)_01

Annex - Dietrich, Marlene (Shanghai Express)_03

Annex - Dietrich, Marlene_17

Yeah.  I get the irony about me posting photographic evidence of objectification of these two gorgeous women after I posted We will not become what we mean to you.   I have the luxury of a revisionist perspective, looking back at these women and what they have done in portraying strong, powerful women, albeit always thwarted by the end of the film.

On the other hand, now this conviction, and personal, secret mantra, “We will not become what we mean to you”, just became even more powerful for me.  The paradox of the subjectification of the unavoidable objectification perchance will remove us from this endless loop, a discourse that goes nowhere.

I am spewing nonsense now.  This shit is complicated.  No wonder people avoid the discussion of gender and racial politics like the plague.

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