de Havilland: Olivia for all time, Melanie forever

This year Hollywood legend Dame Olivia de Havilland turns 104 – a tribute

Olivia de Havilland first appeared on movie screens 85 years ago. 

If you’ve watched her in David O. Selznick’s “Gone with the Wind” (1939) you can’t be faulted if that’s how you remember her – as Melanie. If you haven’t watched her as Melanie, perhaps you should be faulted, after all. She was vital to GWTW’s success. 

Remember Mammy pouring out her grief to Melanie as she walks up that staircase in the mournful Rhett-Scarlett household? 

Seconds of grumbling. That’s all it took. Unlike the rest of us, Melanie didn’t find it just mildly annoying. She found it unbearable. She saw the world through a clean, clear lens. She wouldn’t let her own dark thoughts – she did have those – or the dark words and actions of others, cloud that lens beyond a point.  Continue reading de Havilland: Olivia for all time, Melanie forever

Spotlight: Alexis Rose

There are few characters on television that over the course of a series go through a major transformation and character development.  “Schitt’s Creek” character Alexis Rose is one of those.

When introduced in Season One, Alexis is a vapid rich young woman who has never had to struggle or work for anything.  That is until her family loses their entire fortune and are forced to move to the only asset they have: a tiny town called Schitt’s Creek. Continue reading Spotlight: Alexis Rose

Women’s History Month: Dolores Del Rio

The first Mexican actress to work in Hollywood during the silent era was Dolores Del Rio. Born on August 3, 1904, in Durango, Durango, Mexico, Dolores was born into an elite family raised surrounded by expensive gifts, grand haciendas, where she was treated like a princess. At a very young age, she would be nicknamed “Lolita” by close family and friends. Continue reading Women’s History Month: Dolores Del Rio

Women’s History Month: Clara Bow

Many women have been called “The It Girl” throughout the past century, but it’s Clara Bow that the term was created for. The actress who helped define what it meant to be a flapper in the 1920s played a shop-girl who wins the heart of her employer in the 1927 box office hit “It” and soon was being called “The It Girl.” Bow had “It” in spades: that sex appeal and vivacious charm that defined the modern woman. And yet, for all her success, Bow had a challenging life and struggled with mental health problems. She once said: “All the time the flapper is laughing and dancing, there’s a feeling of tragedy underneath. She’s unhappy and disillusioned and that’s what people sense.”  Continue reading Women’s History Month: Clara Bow

Women’s History Month: Mary Pickford

Earlier this year, “Miss Americana” (2020) was released on Netflix. The documentary delves into Taylor Swift’s status as “America’s sweetheart” and the pressures it puts on her. What it also shows is how this perception of her sometimes masks what a brilliant businesswoman she is and how she’s built her own empire from the ground up. But Swift isn’t the first curly-haired blonde to be called “America’s sweetheart” and whose impressive business acumen is often overlooked. 

Mary Pickford might be best known as the original ingénue and the “girl with the curls,” but she was also a founder of the United Artists film studio and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She was one of the most powerful figures in the early days of Hollywood and achieved so much in her eighty-seven years. Not only beautiful and talented, she learned to negotiate pay raises for herself to reflect her wild popularity and became a producer of both her own and other films.  Continue reading Women’s History Month: Mary Pickford

Women’s History Month: Gloria Swanson

Gloria Swanson literally created the concept of a “movie star.” She lived as large and dramatically as the heroines she portrayed. In her career, she saw the birth of film, the introduction of sound and the invention of television. She fearlessly embraced them all, and inspired women around the world with her style and ambition.

Gloria grew up as an Army brat traveling the country with her parents but fell into acting as a teenager when she tried out for work as an extra. She moved to California after her parents divorced and found herself working for Mack Sennett along with the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Mabel Normand. Gloria didn’t care for comedy and moved on to work for Cecil B. DeMille at Paramount Pictures. This was the beginning of her transformation into a fashionable trendsetter that captured the imagination of silent film audiences. Continue reading Women’s History Month: Gloria Swanson

Women’s History Month: Theda Bara

What is the first image that comes to your mind upon hearing the term “sex symbol”? Could it perhaps be the famous image of Marilyn Monroe and her billowing white skirt? Could it perhaps be a provocative album cover of Madonna–or even a sensual smirk and devilish eyes on the face of Elizabeth Taylor? What if I told you that sex symbols existed even before some of your grandparents were born; would you have any trouble buying that?

Well, get this, in 1885 an infant, with the name Theodosia Burr Goodman was born. An infant who would grow to be so hauntingly beautiful  that a simple glance at a vintage photograph of her could stare at and bury itself into the deepest recesses of your very soul. This woman is none other than Theda Bara: one of America’s most prolific silent film actresses–one of cinema’s first sex symbols. Continue reading Women’s History Month: Theda Bara

Women’s History Month: Audrey Hepburn- Still the Classiest

Coffee and croissant in hand at sunrise, pearls, a beehive up-do topped-off with a sparkling tiara, over-sized sunglasses—the reflection of a woman in the glass of a jewelry store. A young girl sprawled out on a tree branch over-looking a party she’s not privy to, an off-duty princess taking a rogue scooter disruptively through a town. All of these simple moments are from films that star the iconic Audrey Hepburn.  The percentage and likelihood that you have seen her image next to a cheesy inspirational quote or her face on a poster of a college age woman’s dorm room wall is absolutely certain, whether you have seen any film she is in or not. Maybe the quote was an actual quote she coined, maybe not. It is undebatable that Hepburn’s image, stardom, and influence has far outlived her life.  Continue reading Women’s History Month: Audrey Hepburn- Still the Classiest

Exclusive Interview with Addison Riecke, Actress of Banana Split

Banana Split” is the directorial debut film from director Benjamin Kasulke, with a screenplay written by the film’s main star Hannah Marks and Joey Power. The film follows April (Marks) who has spent the last two years of high school in a relationship with Nick (Dylan Sprouse), from the first frantic make-out session to final tear-stained breakup. In the aimless summer between graduation and college, the newly single April mends her heartbreak by striking up an unexpected friendship with an unlikely candidate: Nick’s new girlfriend, Clara (Liana Liberato).

Our writer Mique Watson jumped at the chance to speak to actress Addison Riecke regarding the film after reviewing the film for ITOL.  Below, we hear from Addison about how she became involved in the project, what drew her to this story and the character of Agnes. You can read Mique’s interview with director, Benjamin Kasulke here. Continue reading Exclusive Interview with Addison Riecke, Actress of Banana Split

Review: System Crasher (Systemsprenger)

What do you do with a child so out of control that they are a danger to themselves and others? What if they are too young to be housed in a secure facility and no group homes will take them?

In Nora Fingscheidt’s first scripted feature “System Crasher” (2019) we see innocence meet with blind violent rage in a story that is both infuriating and incredibly sad. This film was Germany’s official submission to the International Feature Film category at the 2020 Oscars. Continue reading Review: System Crasher (Systemsprenger)