n°220/ Devils

April 2016

by Nathalie Azoulai

By the end of the 50s,  renowned director Joseph Von Sternberg was no longer making movies. But between 1959 and 1963, he taught film classes at UCLA and impressed two of his students who became friends at this very time. And guess what ? They went by the name of Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison, the future leaders of the rock band, The Doors, whose lyrics would lastingly remember the director’s moral ambiguity and dark eroticism. Manzarek put it this way : « Our song structure was based on cinema. Loud. Soft. Gentle. Violent. A Doors’ song is aural cinema. We always tried to make pictures in your mind. Your mind ear. You hear pictures with the music itself. » Whereas Sternberg stated that the devil is a woman, the Doors put it the other way around singing, the woman is a devil. And Jim kept on studying Dietrich's unsmiling and smoldering body language.

 Jim Morrison