Rita Hayworth’s stardom on staircases

Film
ed. note: Nothing here will tax your brain too much, but ... do you know what "press books" were in the movie industry of high Hollywood? We didn't either, until a nice librarian at USC named Ned Comstock introduced the press book from the 1946 film noir, Gilda. Seems that Columbia Pictures, where the movie was produced, employed public relations people to create little compendia of story ideas to promote their movies. Two such story pitches for Gilda here:

Rita Finds Drama One Big Stairway

Charles Vidor, who directed “Gilda,” has a penchant for stairways. He has them in all his pictures, because he feels that they afford effective entrances and exits for his players, and tend to point scenes.

In “Gilda,” Vidor had a whopper of a flight of stairs, with 76 steps. It was really a grand stairway. That is, “grand” to watch but not to work on, according to Rita. She spent days ascending and descending that stairway, and she wasn’t happy about it.

“I used to think that rehearsing routines for “Cover Girl” and other musicals was hard work. But it was nothing compared to this,” is what Rita said. “Frankly I imagine that it will cause me to lose more weight than any of the most difficult dances I’ve done on screen.”

source: ‘GILDA’ Press Notes, USC Library for Cinematic Arts

Rudy Mate Finds Lensing Hayworth Easy But Tank in ‘Sahara’ worried him for Weeks

It is easier to photo graph a glamour girl that it is an army tank. Mate was busy at Columbia Pictures arranging the lights and angles on a shot showing Rita Hayworth descending a stairway which led to the main floor of a gambling casino in Buenos Aires.

You see, said Mate, speaking English with an accent that at times sounded French and at others Hungarian …

He admits to have lost several weeks of repose, plus some twenty pounds while working on the famous “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” which Carl Dreyer directed in Paris in 1927.

source: ‘GILDA’ Press Notes, USC Library for Cinematic Arts

hayworth on staircase, in affair in trinidad (1952)
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Letter from Uvalde

Film · Ideas & Opinion
matthew mcconaughey

“The true call to action now is for every American to take a longer and deeper look in the mirror, and ask ourselves: ‘What is it that we truly value? How do we repair the problem? What small sacrifices can we individually take today, to preserve a healthier and safer nation, state and neighborhood tomorrow?”

full statement here
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Bijayini Satpathy animates Met Museum galleries with her dance

Dance · Visual arts
by 
photo credit: stephanie berger When Odissi dancer Bijayini Satpathy was selected as the MetLiveArts Artist in Residence for 2021-22, she contemplated how to use the much-coveted opportunity─a year-long association with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and its superlative architecture and collections. Satpathy was still in the nascent stages of exploring her own choreographic voice when ...

Peace for Ukraine: the paintings of Leonid Steele 3

Visual arts
Daisies (1971), Leonid Steele ed. note: We are pleased to share images of the work of Leonid Steele shared by his son Alexey Steele, who himself is a painter of great force, a host of Classical Underground, and a friend of artsmeme (FOAM). Alexey and his wife Olya have organized a group in Los Angeles, ...

‘Comb-out’ cat fight in MGM hair salon

Fashion · Film
Memories of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio’s early-morning hair-and-makeup ritual as described by one of the era’s leading girls-with-curls, Leslie Caron.EXCERPTED FROM: Donald Knox, “The Magic Factory: How MGM Made An American in Paris” (New York: Praeger Publishers) 1973 One of the biggest fights between the ladies was in hairdressing. Sydney Guilaroff was the king of that ...

Writer revered! Leonard Maltin at roundtable prior to Robert Osborne Award

Film · Ideas & Opinion
It was a special occasion, April 23, 2022, and an honor, to be among the writers, all drawn to TCM Classic Film Festival 2022 by a shared interest in Hollywood history, and all in admiration of the modest gentleman at the end of a long table — he who wrote the film bible, Leonard Maltin’s ...

A festive fourteenth for arts•meme! Happy birthday, blog

Ideas & Opinion
Look at Judy Garland. She was different. Not one of the glamour girls. But, oh, that voice. And at fourteen years-old, she was already belting like a torch singer, crooning like a warbler, and cooing like a nightingale. She was even Stompin’ at the Savoy! The happiest of 14th birthdays to you, dear blog. Your ...

Smart women talkin’ dance-books

Dance · Ideas & Opinion
la nijinska cover and author lynn garafola A study of sibling rivalry? Or shared dance DNA? Lynn Garafola uncovers the astonishing life of the choreographer Bronislava Nijinska, long overshadowed by her brother, Vaslav Nijinsky, and yet long deserving of attention as one of the most notable choreographers of ballet modernism. Garafola constructs Nijinska’s world across ...

Cementing mitts and memories: Lily Tomlin honored at TCM Fest 2022

Film
The range is surprising once you see it in print. It spans from television to film to theater to streaming content to a much acclaimed one-woman show. Noted TCM primetime anchor and official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival, Ben Mankiewicz, of the woman this year’s festival honored with the Grauman’s footprint ceremony (she ...

Talent in the room! Limón Company commissions new works for 75th anniversary season

Dance
by 
Some may have missed the moment when Dante Puleio assumed the helm of Limón Dance Company as Artistic Director. It happened during the summer of 2020. The world was in pandemic lockdown, and the dance universe faced one of the most difficult periods in its history. Yet somehow, Puleio, a former Limón company member, has ...