Hollywood loves then it’s celebrity gossip. One of the greatest scandal’s that ever took place, actually ended with the fairy tale ending. The year was 1943, and Tinsel Town was a completely different place than it is today. Hollywood may have been different but its scandals were the same as the ones we have today. The scandal involved a well-established star falling in love with his co-star, who happened to be 25 years his junior. The Bogart/Bacall affair was a scandal that had everything that a Hollywood screenwriter would love but unlike most celebrity marriages, the marriage between Bogart and Bacall actually ended happily until Bogart’s death in 1957. Continue reading Here’s Looking At You: Bogart and Bacall, A True Hollywood Romance
Wolfgang Puck is unquestionable a great innovator and exquisitely trained in the classic French tradition but he also represents the excessive marketing of “celebrity chefs” that have become a plague on cable television. Decades ago, he came to America looking for work as a somewhat insecure young man with something to prove. Director David Gelb, who is best known for “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” (2011), seems to want to make the case that all Puck ever wanted was the love he never got from his abusive stepfather. An empire of restaurants, packaged prepared foods with his name on them, TV appearances and at least half a dozen cookbooks all point to a fiercely focused perfectionist driven to make up for childhood trauma. Continue reading Tribeca Film Festival 2021: Wolfgang
For August, In Their Own League decided to focus on women in action. I decided to twist it by emphasizing the “action” uniquely, directing. After watching “Half the Picture” (2018) by Amy Adrion, I was inspired to give a deserving spotlight to women who are taking action to increase the representation of women behind the camera; those same women who call “action!” for their films. Continue reading #WOMENINACTION: HALF THE PICTURE – FEMALE DIRECTORS
“Inland Empire” is Lynch’s commentary on how Hollywood treats women. It also says a great deal about how this takes a toll on a woman’s mental health and motivates her to do things that would get in the way of her own personal happiness. According to Hollywood, women have short shelf lives because their looks and youth play a huge role in the jobs they get. It’s also sort of an acknowledgement of us, the audience members–the people who consume films and the sum total of our life experiences with us when we see a movie. Continue reading Mental Health Awareness Month: Inland Empire and The Mental Health of Women in Hollywood
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
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
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
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
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
Lucille Fay LeSueur started as a dancer for a variety of travelling shows, elevating her way to chorus girl, and would go by LeSueur until her time with MGM, where Joan Crawford would emerge as a prominent force on the Hollywood scene. One of the ‘symbols’ of the studio gals, with the likes of Judy Garland or Claudette Colbert, Crawford would make her first ‘debut’ in ‘Lady of The Night’ (1925) as a body double, her breakout alongside Horror legend Lon Chaney in the 1927 horror film ‘The Unknown’ and her film final appearance in a British sci-fi film entitled ‘Trog’ (1970), a bizarre climax to a turbulent career. Continue reading Spotlights & Spirits – A retrospective on Joan Crawford