Birthday letter from Tippi Hedren

We were delighted to receive this gorgeous photo of the glamorous actress/activist Tippi Hedren who takes the occasion of her birthday to send an “ask.”
Today is my birthday! I am 88 years old! Woo hoo!

Some have asked, “What do you want for your Birthday, Tippi?….Anything special?” I  said, “Yes, it would be special, but it’s not for me. I’ve got too much stuff! 
I’ve been rescuing the Big Cat in captivity since 1973. I have been Founder and President of the ROAR Foundation since 1983 to support The Wild Ones of Shambala. I’ve been in charge of raising the funds to support these magnificent Big Cats, all born in the U.S. to be sold as a pet or for financial exploitation. This has been an amazing life, one I would not change a single day for any pipe dream life of riches and elegance for anything.

I’m asking you to help me raise $88,000 for The Roar Foundation to support the magnificent Wild Ones at the Shambala Preserve, in my name!  You may donate any amount. You could donate, eight dollars & eighty-eight cents, eight hundred eighty dollars, eighty-eight eighty-eight thousand dollars….In my name!!

I’m very excited about my birthday this year….because it will be benefiting the most important animals in my life!

Tippi Hedren birthday donation to Shambala here.

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Anna Pavlova, Hollywood movie star

Dance · Film

Smart stuff! The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916) was Universal’s most expensive film to date and featured an enormous cast, large-scale sets, and an ambitious story.

The film had a female director, Lois Weber.

But it also had what way more movies need — Wendy Whelan, Misty Copeland, Darcey Bussell, listen up! — a prima ballerina in the leading role!

Anna Pavlova plays Fenella, a wordless fisher-girl living during the Spanish occupation of Naples in the mid-17th century, who is seduced and abandoned by a Spanish nobleman. In Weber’s stirring drama, based on an opera by D. F. E. Auber, the betrayal of Fenella and the oppression of her people inspire her brother to foment a revolution. Now that’s a brotherly thing to do!

Your faithful dance-on-film fans at arts·meme have reported in the past about Pavlova’s visit to Los Angeles to make this movie. We also teased director Lois Weber about her teeming crowd scene in the movie.

Writes film critic Richard Brody in the New Yorker, concerning “Dumb Girl”:

Pavlova’s performance in the movie is no fluke or stunt—it’s a fully realized, deeply committed performance that reveals Pavlova to be, from the very start, one of the greatest movie actors, a charismatic and expressive actor who’s as forceful in repose as in action, as vital in quiet scenes as she is screen-bursting in melodramatic ones.

The Dumb Girl of Portici has been restored and is available on DVD and Blu-Ray, with a new score by composer John Sweeney.

More on Pavlova in this movie from Brody:

As Fenella, Pavlova brings dance to even the slightest and humblest gesture; she acts with her whole body, with gestures even in repose before she breaks into angular dramatic agonies; even alone, in contemplative reminiscence and solitary yearning, she choreographs Fenella’s inner world.

The DVD has bonus features, as follows:

  • The Immortal Swan, 1935 feature documentary by Pavlova’s partner Victor D’Andre with amazing footage of the great ballerina
  • Anna Pavlova in Newsreels
  • Anna Pavlova’s own 9.5mm home movies!
  • Films of Anna Pavlova dancing her most famous roles

arts·meme just got its copy and will report soon. Get ready for your close-up, Anna Pavlova.

The Dumb Girl of Portici, Blu-Ray, DVD | available from Milestone Film & Video

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Pilobolus at Pepperdine — to the max

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Architecture & Design · Film
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Featured · Visual arts
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Featured · Music
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My father John Garfield: a portrait by Julie Garfield

Film · Visual arts
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The wow factor: Paul Steffen Dancers in Italy, 1964 3

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Death of a dancer: Karin von Aroldingen (1941-2018) 2

If you love ballet … as I do … then it is with choking sadness (it is unbearably sad) to learn that we have lost the magisterial Balanchine ballerina Karin von Aroldingen who passed away at age 77 on January 5, 2018. She should not die. She was so utterly in control, at the same ...

Curtain-up on Curtiz retrospective @ UCLA Film & Television Archive

Featured · Film
Academy Award-winning director Michael Curtiz (1886-1962) whose best-known films include Casablanca (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and Mildred Pierce (1945) directed over 180 films — 94 of them during more than a quarter-century at Warner Bros. He helmed tearjerkers, swashbuckling adventures, westerns, musicals, war epics, historical dramas, horror films, melodramas and film noir. Curtiz’s protean ...