26 March 2010
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22 March 2010
19 March 2010
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12 March 2010
The following St. Louis Blues (1929) is a two-reel short film starring Bessie Smith. The early sound film features Smith in an African-American speakeasy of the prohibition era singing the W. C. Handy standard, "St. Louis Blues". Handy co-authored the film and was the musical director. The film features a band that included James P. Johnson on piano, Thomas Morris and Joe Smith on cornet, as well as the Hall Johnson Choir with some thrilling harmonies at the end.
Bessie Smith performs W.C. Handy's St. Louis Blues in 1929
I hate to see the ev'nin' sun go down
Hate to see the ev'nin' sun go down,
'cause my baby, he done left this town
Feelin' tomorrow like I feel today
Feel tomorrow like I feel today,
I'll pack my trunk, make my getaway
St. Louis woman with her diamond rings
Pulls that man 'round by her apron strings,
't'want for powder and for store-bought hair
The man I love, would not gone nowhere,
got the St. Louis blues just as blue as I can be
That man got a heart like a rock cast in the sea,
or else he wouldn't have gone so far from me
11 March 2010
This movie is cited as being most responsible for the implementation of the private 'production code' in 1934. Barbara Stanwyck stars in this rags to riches story in pre-ww2 New York City, This clip contains two scenes cut from the final release, a breast grope and the entire rail yard 'exchange'. The Nietzsche speech here was also substantially changed. John Wayne has a small role here, as one of Stanwyck's early conquests.
10 March 2010
The Pawnbroker, 1964
The film was the first American movie to deal with the Holocaust from the viewpoint of a survivor. It earned international acclaim for Rod Steiger and was among the first American movies to feature nudity during the Production Code and was the first film featuring bare breasts to receive Production Code approval.
Director Sidney Lumet initially had misgivings about Steiger being cast in the lead role. He felt that Steiger "was a rather tasteless actor — awfully talented, but completely tasteless in his choices." Lumet preferred James Mason for the role, and comic Groucho Marx was among the actors who had wanted to play the lead.
The film was controversial for depicting nude scenes in which actresses Linda Geiser and Thelma Oliver fully exposed their breasts. The scene with Oliver, who played a prostitute, was intercut with a flashback to the concentration camp, in which Nazerman is forced to see his wife (Geiser) forced into prostitution. The scenes resulted in conflict with the Motion Picture Association of America, which administered the Motion Picture Production Code.
The Association initially rejected the scenes showing bare breasts and a sex scene between Sanchez and Oliver, which it described as "unacceptably sex suggestive and lustful." On a 6-3 vote, the Motion Picture Association of America granted the film an "exception" conditional on "reduction in the length of the scenes which the Production Code Administration found unapprovable."
09 March 2010
Drawing on Warhol’s legacy, and similar to Disney, Haring created a world for both adults and children, in which art became a visual vocabulary and one that could be shared with everyone, as seen here on the animated canvas of Andy Mouse. Believing that cartoon figures could be an component of fine art, and regarding Andy Warhol and Walt Disney as heroes, Haring’s exuberant and enchanting Andy Mouse bonded together the work of these three significant artists.