Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mae West: Ragtag Cinema

Come up and see MAE WEST this coming Tuesday.
• • Columbia, Missouri journalist Aarik Danielsen sets forth the history on the pre-Code Era: The transition from silent films to “talkies” included a period where filmmakers operated relatively free of censorship. With the libertine spirit of the 1920s still roaring inside and the technology to give their characters’ secret desires a voice, these creative conspirators tackled uncomfortable social topics in an often raw, risqué fashion before the brakes were applied through a binding Code of conduct. The best of these pre-Code films have been shown during “Forbidden Hollywood,” a series at Ragtag Cinema that continues Tuesday with Barbara Stanwyck in “Baby Face” and concludes with the Mae West — Cary Grant vehicle “She Done Him Wrong” on November 30th. Both screenings are at 6:00 pm.
• • Aarik Danielsen notes: Since moving to Columbia, Missouri six years ago, physician Lokke Heiss looked for an opportunity to program a series at Ragtag Cinema showcasing films made in the pre-Code period of 1930 to 1934, his favorite in Hollywood history. Though fleeting, those 48 months were, Heiss said, a “window of opportunity” yielding some of cinema’s paramount classics. ...
• • Aarik Danielsen adds: Fans of Mae West can see her at her bawdy best in “She Done Him Wrong,” which features her iconic turn of phrase, “Why don’t you come up some time and see me?” Adapted from a play, it stars West as a saloon entertainer embroiled in a world of criminal activity. Some scholars have suggested strong female leads and the treatment of issues relevant to women were better handled in pre-Code movies than for decades to follow, a battle still being waged today. The “vibrant” trajectory of black roles also was derailed once the Code was enforced, Heiss added. ...
• • According to Dr. Heiss: Mae West’s character essentially has two people killed … by what she does and, instead of her getting put to jail, she gets to marry Cary Grant,” Heiss said of “She Done Him Wrong.” “The bad woman doesn’t get punished — — she gets rewarded. Now, after 1934, that would have been the opposite. She would have to die or be put in jail so that the hero could marry the ‘good girl.’ ” . . .
• • WHEN: 6:00 PM on Tuesday, 30 November 2010
• • WHERE: Ragtag Cinema, 10 Hitt Street, Columbia, MO 65201-5014; T (573) 443-4359
— — Excerpt: — —
• • This article was published with the headline "CROSSING THE LINE — — Lokke Heiss explores a glorious time in pre-Code film history replete with strong women, bad men"
• • Byline: Aarik Danielsen| e-mail: ajdanielsen [at]
• • Published by: The Columbia Daily Tribune, 101 North 4th Street, Columbia, MO 65201
• • Published on: Sunday, 21 November 2010

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1932 • •
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