While the presence of the audience is the essence of performance, articulating its impact is an elusive endeavor. Diegetic performances within film, such as those within The Blue Angel, pose further complications, as the performer is the object of both diegetic and nondiegetic gazes. Exploring the impact of a single subjectivity ignores the multiplicity of perspectives inherent in audience engagement; indeed, it is spectatorship’s multiplicity that empowers performance to respond to its cultural context. The Blue Angel not only offers a lens through which the contradictions of Weimar culture can be examined but also a new hermeneutic understanding of the capacity of the performer and of representation. As a filmic representation of the Weimar female cabarettist, Lola Lola suggests that the represented performing body is a heteroglossic one: it is the nexus of conflicting perspectives that offers a medium through which the contradictions of Weimar historical reality can be confronted.


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pp. 54-72
Launched on MUSE
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