Flesh and the Devil is an exercise in framing Garbo. An effort to make you feel the closeness of her body, in a way that could make a man tremble.
The movie is about a woman, created so beautifully and with such passion, that you would give up friendship, happiness, you life, your soul, just to be with her. She is the personification of sin. Or maybe just a sort of desperateness you get when you know that God is not real, and every moment not spent with her is lost forever. A celebration of paganism, and of women with curly hair and smoldering eyes.
Louise Brooks said this about Greta Garbo:
“no contemporary actress was ever again to be quite happy with herself…. [Garbo’s] was such a gigantic shadow that people did not speak of it. If anyone at a Hollywood party was inconsiderate enough to talk about Garbo, [actresses] would say, ‘Yes, isn’t she divine?’ and quickly change the subject.”
I saw this film on DVD