Eli_Berger’s review published on Letterboxd:
one of the rare films that seems to operate on a self-contained, almost oneiric plane (e.g. melo, la captive)
most relevant new detail in my second viewing:
the nude scenes, absent from the censored version i had seen previously, are noticeably restrained. von sternberg depicts his lead actresss, akemi negishi, almost like a renaissance nude. the narration stands in for the male gaze, a collective of anonymous horny sailors with an old new york accent, but the camera's neo-classical poise situates this woman as an individual whereas the goal of the men seems exclusively to be to transforms her into The Woman.
such a dense film that a dozen viewings would seemingly be inadequate to comprehend von sternberg's final masterpiece. contender for the greatest use of dissolves in all of cinema.