Screen Goddesses – Arena
Only finishing an hour ago was a quick look at the filmic myth of the screen goddess, Starting in the silent era with the likes of Lilian Gish through to the power of the seductive Marlene Dietrich, and the plain powerful Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, ending as the studio system collapses with the arrival of the foreign Sophia Loren, to the legendary Marilyn Monroe who in herself has created her own legacy beyond film that outstrips that of any of other actresses who were once tailored for the screen by the major studios.
The short documentary touches on all the major players of the golden age of cinema, their change statuses with the audience and the world that admired them. I felt it would’ve been longer by at least half an hour to go more in depth, especially when they touch at the end on Louise Brooks who was lost at the dawn of the sound era and the Hays code that made it harder for her type, like Mae West to continue with a career in American Cinema. A light-hearted look at this aspect of the film industry, especially at this time of year, a chance to indulge in light fantasy and nostalgia.
Still, all that said it was interesting to see how the actresses were perceived by the the studios, and the public. Even using archive footage to gauge more insight. Reaching extremes with Rita Hayworth‘s image being plastered in the A-bomb, which shocked her to the core. The Screen goddess is a vital component of cinemas history, which without our view of the art form would be very different, helping to create a modern day religion where larger than life figures were/are brought together to play out new stories/parables that become a part of modern culture.
- In pictures: Hollywood unseen (bbc.co.uk)
- Louise Brooks and Me (multiglom.wordpress.com)
- Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Louise Brooks (rchristopoulos5166.wordpress.com)