'The Loves of Pharaoh': Kenneth Turan's film pick of the week
The much-loved Egyptian Theatre, currently the home of the American Cinematheque, celebrates its 89th birthday on Tuesday. To honor the event in style, the Cinematheque (which is celebrating a 30th anniversary of its own) is going to host the Los Angeles premiere of an epic 1922 German silent, "The Loves of Pharaoh."
The film stars the redoubtable Emil Jannings as a pharaoh who finds, not for the first time, that the demands of the state and the demands of the heart do not easily coexist. 'Twas ever thus.
More of a surprise is the name of the director: Ernst Lubitsch, who left these kinds of epics to Cecil B. DeMille once he got to Hollywood and became known for glistening romantic comedies like "Ninotchka" and "To Be or Not to Be."
"The Loves of Pharaoh" screens at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18 and is free to Cinematheque members and a single guest. A 16-piece orchestra conducted by Robert Israel is providing the musical accompaniment. Come at 6:30 p.m. and you get to share in the celebratory cake.
— Kenneth Turan
Photo: Movie still from the epic 1922 German silent “The Loves of Pharaoh.” Credit: American Cinematheque.