April 23, 2007

Barbara Stanwyck Centennial.

Barbara Stanwyck "You couldn't tell who Barbara Stanwyck was just by looking at her; it took a little trouble to get to know her, and she had the ability - a star's ability - to make millions of viewers believe she was worth the trouble," writes Terrence Rafferty in the New York Times. "In honor of her centennial, the BAMcinématek at the Brooklyn Academy of Music is offering a modest retrospective - it starts Wednesday and runs through May 6 - and what's striking about the series is that every one of the dozen movies in it depends at least to some degree on the ambiguity of the heroine's character."

Updated through 4/27.

More - much more - from Anthony Lane in the New Yorker: "It was a face that launched a thousand inquisitions: the mouth too tight to be rosy, and a voice pitched for slang, all bite and huskiness. When I think of the glory days of American film, at its speediest and most velvety, I think of Barbara Stanwyck."

Earlier: Jim Emerson, as the centennial was being celebrated in Chicago.

Update, 4/27: "I think science fiction was the only genre she didn't attempt, which was just as well, as she would have told any fearsome bug-eyed monster where to get off." Robert Cashill surveys the series.

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Posted by dwhudson at April 23, 2007 5:53 AM