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 ...

Wyler’s ‘House Divided’ rises from the vaults @ MoMA

Film · Reviews
A House Divided — it’s one of those handy generic titles that has lent itself to half a dozen movies and a whole lotta TV episodes over the years. Back in 1931, it was an especially apt name for an early talkie starring Walter Huston, neatly encapsulating the drama’s dark oedipal stew. It’s a work ...

We love Hollywood ballet

Dance · Film
‘Normal’ ballet is so boring: Petipa, Balanchine, Tudor, Robbins, Ratmansky.  Those guys never put girls in pointe shoes on pianos. We prefer fancy, Hollywood-style ballet, like this photo from KING OF JAZZ (1930) made at Universal Pictures and featuring dancing by Russell Markert dancers (Markert, who, not surprisingly, founded the Rockettes, is listed as the ...

The son rises again: Universal Pictures producer Carl Laemmle, Jr. canon @ MoMA

Film · Music
Our friends in the film department at The Museum of Modern Art are launching a truly groundbreaking and fascinating retrospective that highlights a decade of distinguished moviemaking at Universal Pictures, the Hollywood film factory often wrongly valued primarily as a purveyor of horror fodder. Writes Universal Pictures: Restorations and Rediscoveries, 1928–1937 film curator Dave Kehr: ...

Critic Stephen Farber’s TCM Fest 2016 movie round-up 1

The fun of the TCM Classic Film Festival [arts•meme has covered since 2010] is the sheer range of offerings, from obscure rarities to Oscar-anointed hits. Three of my favorite events from this year’s festival featured memorable guest appearances. The Yearling was shown in a magnificent 35mm print from The George Eastman House. Not all studio ...