Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mae West: 2 Dates with Mae

A spirited talk on MAE WEST takes place this evening in Great Britain. The topic is "Parker Tyler, Mae West and Queer Fandom" and the speaker is Dr. James Boaden, Department of History, University of York.
• • According to critic Parker Tyler, Mae West's "sudden greatness was to have introduced a deliberately comic parody of the sex goddess. Her unique blend of sexiness and vulgar comedy, in other words, was the screen's first sterling brand of conscious sex camp." In 1969, Parker Tyler expressed his opinion that Mae was "a female impersonator who is, after all, a woman." A few years later, he wrote the intro to Jon Tuska book "The Complete Films of Mae West."
• • Admission: no prior booking required — the event will be followed by a wine reception, to which everyone is welcome.
• • WHAT: "Parker Tyler, Mae West and Queer Fandom"
• • WHEN: Thursday, 26 January 2012, from 6.30pm to 8:00pm
• • WHERE: Centre for Modern Studies, Room BS/118, First Floor of the Berrick Saul Building, University of York, York, England; Tel +44 (0)1904 328097
• • Tell them you heard about it on The Mae West Blog.
• • On Thursday, 26 January 2012 in Los Angeles • •
• • To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Paramount Pictures, for a period of five months, on the last Thursday of each month, Film Independent at LACMA invites you to a double feature of movies chosen from the studio’s archives. To kick off the Paramount Pictures’ centenary, the focus is on a pair of comedies created by the films’ female stars — — women whose unique timing and specific approach to sexuality in film is groundbreaking for very different reasons.
• •
Film Independent noted: In the 1933 comedy "She Done Him Wrong," Mae West helped adapt the successful Broadway sex farce, “Diamond Lil” (which she wrote) that made her infamous. Speedy and hilarious, the 1890-set Wrong follows Lady Lou (West) as she cuts a swath of larceny and lasciviousness through the Bowery, and her targets include a younger actor in his second role with his new stage name: Cary Grant.
• • WHAT: 100 Years of Paramount Pictures: She Done Him Wrong
• • WHEN: Thursday, 26 January 2012, at 9:25pm
• • WHERE: Film Independent at LACMA
• • HERE: Leo S. Bing Theatre at LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036.
• • Tell them you heard about it on The Mae West Blog.
• • Diem Obiit Mater — The Day Mother Died • •
• • "This is the real Mae West — — a woman of passion, highly geared emotions, tense feelings, who has been forced over a period of years to feed those emotions to a box-office," wrote Ruth Biery for Movie Classic in 1934. "A greedy, wanting-to-be-shocked box-office. Urged gently at first, tempted cleverly, promoted subtly, Mae West has put all the force of her cyclonic nature into bringing the thrills of love and life to others."
• • Journalist Ruth Biery had her tete-a-tete with Mae in Hollywood — — not unlike the way she had hunkered down with Greta Garbo in the 1920s — — as a sympathetic listener who wrote mainly for movie magazines. "I have really loved only once," Mae has told me, as she has told others. But never before have I heard her say, "They always found a way to break me up with a man before it became too serious. I was not allowed to love, really love. My mother and then Timony — — "
• • Journalist Ruth Biery either was mild enough or persuasive enough to extract Mae's confidences. Or perhaps Mae was ready to confess: "You see, first it was my mother. If she thought I was falling in love, she'd stop it right like that. If I was liking a man too much or she thought a 'crush' was getting serious, she'd find a way. She knew me so well, she could always find a way. She wouldn't let me learn to love really. She wouldn't let me — — and now Timony protects me."
• • When little Mae was growing up, neighbors referred to her as "the German girl."
• • Matilda, daughter of Christiana and Jacob Delker • •
• • The daughter of Christiana and Jacob Delker, Matilda was born in December 1870 — — perhaps in Wurttemberg, Germany, speculates biographer Jill Watts, noting that Jacob Delker had been working there in a sugar refinery. In January 1889, 18-year-old Matilda Delker wed John West.
• • Diem Obiit Mater: on Sunday, 26 January 1930 • •
• • However, she and her daughter Mae were really the love of each other's lives until Matilda died in the month of January — — on Sunday, 26 January 1930 — — at age 59. How terrifying it was for Mae during the winter of 1929, knowing that her mother's illness was worsening. After Matilda died, Mae felt, "There wasn't anyone to play to."
• • Note: On the April 1911 marriage license for Mae West and Frank Wallace, her mother's name is noted as "Matilda Dilker" not Delker, quite probably a clerical error.
• • Frank Mills [1891 — 1973] • •
• • Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan in the month of January — — on 26 January 1891 — — the character actor Frank Mills made his first appearance in a motion picture in 1928 when he was 37 years old. Cast often, and invariably in modest roles, he went on to perform stunts and portray photographers, carnival barkers, bums, cabbies, military men, reporters, etc.
• • In "She Done Him Wrong," Frank Mills played a barfly.
• • Frank Mills logged in more than 300 film and TV credits between 1928 — 1961. He died in Los Angeles on 18 August 1973 at the age of 82.
• • On Thursday, 26 January 2006 in Orange County • •
• • "Belle of the Nineties" [1934] was Mae West's first film that was produced after Hollywood implemented the repressive Hayes code. This was screened at the Long Beach School for Adults Auditorium, 3701 E. Willow St., Long Beach, Calif. on Thursday, 26 January 2006.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: ''I've been things and done places.''
• • Mae West said: ''You've got to rock with the rock — — and roll with the roll.''
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on the revival of "Sex" in NYC mentioned Mae West.
• • D. J. R. Bruckner writes: If it helps a writer to know a lot about her subject, Mae West brought great authority to her first play, ''Sex,'' written and first produced in New York in 1926. The writing is not as accomplished as it is in some of her later film scripts, but there are enough characteristic West lines to let you know who the author was, and it was good enough to get her tossed into jail in 1927 as the creator and star of an indecent public performance. As a publicity stunt the trial was perfect; from then on she was a star whatever she did.
• • Oddly, the text of the play was lost for 70 years. . . .
• • Source: Review: "Mae West's First Play (for the Stage, That Is)" written by D. J. R. Bruckner for The N.Y. Times; published on: 24 December 1999
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2189th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • in 1933 • •
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