The first person ever presented with an Academy Award was Emil Jannings, a silent-film actor who took the Best Actor award for two films.
The first, 1928’s “The Last Command,” told the tale of a brave Russian Czarist commander reduced to squeaking by as a Hollywood extra.
The second, 1927’s “The Way of All Flesh,” starred Jannings as a happy bank clerk who gets bamboozled by a femme fatale and ends up a tramp. (Sensing a theme?)
Jannings’ Oscar win is chock-full of weirdness.
He won in the only year that awards were given for multiple performances; there are no surviving copies of “The Way of All Flesh,” so the film is entirely lost; and according to legend, the famous German Shepherd Rin Tin Tin actually got more votes for the prize than Jannings.
(The rumor is hard to substantiate outside of modern news reports poking fun at the Academy.)
Perhaps most surprising to modern eyes, though, is what Jannings did after he won his Award.
A native German, Jannings returned to his home country and starred in several Nazi propaganda films.
A great majority of movie posters are uninspiring. You know it’s true. They are, by and large, utterly routine and photoshopped affairs with little more to say than “Come and see this new film!”
They all look the same too.
However, a few lucky ones break away from the unadventurous monotony and stand in their own right as pieces of graphic art worthy of a place on any cinephiles’ bedroom or office wall.
Some of them are actually released and others exist as “alternatives” that, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, we can still get to view and admire.
The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears
The clear inspiration is the Art Nouveau movement and its crazed and dreamy association with Absinthe, probably the most famous drink associated with La Belle Époque.
However, “The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears” (2013) is a neo-giallo and the art noveau grandeur also cleverly references the famed work of Dario Argento, the Italian maestro behind “Suspiria” (1977) and “Inferno” (1980) as well as classic giallo tropes.
This is a very beautiful piece of artwork that captures the allure and shattering surrealism of the movie.