We felt that this was very exciting. That this film could be something very new. But we couldn’t judge. Because the script didn’t say so much. —Agneta Ekmanner, actor in Duet forCannibals*
On Friday, two UCLA institutions—the Film and Television Archive and the Library SpecialCollections—will screen the 2K restoration of Susan Sontag’s directorial debut DUET FORCANNIBALS and present a selection of the Susan Sontag Papers.
I know a lot about alienation… I think all women filmmakers are aware of it. It was the subject of a lot of the conversations I had with Maya Deren. We agreed that we were always going to present a united front to the world…
I would not have been able to make THE COOL WORLD had I not been living with Carl Lee at that time. It took Carl three months of going up to Harlem all the time, gathering kids, and bringing them down for us to interview… The “good” kids in school weren’t giving us believable readings… I finally persuaded Carl to try to get to the gangs, [and] it was very exciting because the “real” kids started improvising the script we had written right back to us. — Shirley Clarke
As part of the UCLA Film and Television Archive series American Neorealism, Part One—1948–1984, Clarke’s THE COOL WORLD will screen at the Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum this weekend on a double bill with Michael Roemer’s Nothing But a Man.
Frederick Wiseman produced THE COOL WORLD, and the jazz score is by Mal Waldron, with Dizzy Gillespie on the soundtrack.
Shirley Clarke, The Cool World (1964). Film stills and (above) photographs of Clarke on set and with composer Mal Waldron. Images courtesy the filmmaker’s estate, the actors, the producers, and the distributors.
London, 1977. A year of nascent punk rock explosion and the rebirth of soul. Pirate DJs and the Queen’s Jubilee. Love on the run and racist skinheads on the prowl. YOUNG SOUL REBELS—an early feature by Isaac Julien—is part-thriller, part-musical, and a groundbreaking exemplar of the New Queer Cinema movement of the 1990s.
Starring Mo Sesay, Valentine Nonyela, Jason Durr, and Sophie Okonedo, the film screens this week in Westwood as part of the Outfest UCLALegacy Project Screening Series.
Long before her international fame as editor-in-chief of Vogue in the sixties and the “Empress of Fashion” at the Met’s Costume Institute in the seventies and eighties, Diana Vreeland was a legend in Manhattan creative circles. As Harper’s Bazaar‘s fashion editor, she was the inspiration for Allison Du Bois in the KurtWeill-Ira Gershwin-Moss Hart musical Lady in the Dark (1941). And Kay Thompson played Maggie Prescott, a version of Vreeland, in the dazzling Paramount musical FUNNY FACE (1957, directed by Stanley Donen).
Upon discovering Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn), a lovely, philosophical clerk in a Greenwich Village bookstore, Prescott and photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire, in a role based on Richard Avedon) sweep Jo uptown for a test shoot. Maggie orders her office minions to chop off Jo’s hair and paint her with a “marvelous mouth.” Jo resists, but gives in once she realizes her new modeling gig comes with a paid trip to Paris, home of Jean-Paul Sartre.
This weekend, as part of its series Runaway Hollywood—Global Production in a PostwarWorld, the UCLA Film and Television Archive will screen FUNNY FACE, followed by the black-and-white Paul Newman-Sidney Poitier vehicle PARIS BLUES (1961, directed by Martin Ritt). The story of two American jazz musicians in Paris, the tourists they fall for (Joanne Woodward and Diahann Carroll), and the Latin Quarter dives at the center of their expat scene, PARIS BLUES features a score composed by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.
From top: Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face; Kay Thompson performing the “Think Pink” number; Thompson, Fred Astaire, and Hepburn after wrapping up “Bonjour, Paris!”; Verve album cover; Diahann Carroll and Sidney Poitier in Paris Blues; Joanne Woodward and PaulNewman; Louis Armstrong (left), Poitier, and Newman on set.
On a weekend of UCLA Film and Television Archive screenings curated by Sandi Tan—publisher, film critic, and director of the acclaimed doc Shirkers (2018)—a standout is Tim Hunter’s cult eighties noir RIVER’S EDGE.
Favorably compared to In Cold Blood by Roger Ebert, the film centers on the non-reaction by a group of teens to a dead body in their midst, and stars Keanu Reeves, Ione Skye, Crispin Glover, and DennisHopper. (Skye will join Tan for an onstage discussion.)
RIVER’S EDGE will be preceded by Leos Carax’s 1999 shocker POLA X.