MOVIE STAR "You can tell that it's cheap by the smell of the fabric!" Veda Pierce says, wrinkling her nose when her mother, Mildred, gives her a dress.
You can tell 1945's Mildred Pierce is a classic film by the depth of its shadows. And you can tell that Ann Blyth — however Veda-rific and villainous — is the kind of class act Hollywood doesn't make anymore, the no-nonsense type who doesn't have an unkind word to say about anyone. Particularly when you ask about Joan Crawford.
"I can only speak from my own experience," Blyth says. "She was terrific to work with and very kind to me. Read more »
SFBG So what inspires you?
MICHAEL SHOWALTER You do, you inspire me.
I think about you in the morning. I doodle little pictures of your face and think about you making me a burrito. Sometimes I doodle little pictures of you making me a burrito.
OK, so maybe that isn't exactly how it goes. Although Showalter is a doodle enthusiast, he is only mildly turned on by baby-size burritos. Being the narcissistic Bay Area dweller that I am, I immediately ask Showalter, who's on the phone from his home in New York City, about San Francisco.
"I like San Francisco. Read more »
Anicca — at the Theater Artaud complex this week — is not exactly your everyday site-specific dance theater event. With the audience in tow, the piece makes its way from the Noh Space through internal hallways into Theater Artaud proper. Its 20 dancers (half professionals, half amateurs) all perform in the nude. Onstage. Outside. Foggy or not.
Eric Kupers, codirector of Dandelion Dancetheater, knows the risks of this kind of endeavor. Read more »
One of us is wearing green short-sleeved Lacoste, the other blue short-sleeved Sergio Tacchini. We've looked around his apartment, where he's leaving behind one shoebox-size tranquil bedroom — he’s now restlessly moving his belongings between two larger sun-drenched spaces. He jokingly calls one a massage room and the other a museum and talks about the patterns of shadows through his windows — how there's a shadow that looks like a dancing lady, and how the window that faces a church is both peaceful and a passage to a fantasy about priests. Read more »
Valley of the Dolls
(Fox Home Entertainment)
PRESS PLAY My favorite anecdote about Susan Hayward hides in a Nicholas Ray biography. When director Ray first met Hayward before the filming of 1952's The Lusty Men, he launched into one of his characteristic orations about methods of acting. Hayward knitted. Ray jabbered. After a while she cut him short. "Listen, honey, I'm from Brooklyn," she said with a trademark from-the-gut growl that could stop a linebacker short. Read more »
CULT MOVIE It's finally here. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (Fox Home Entertainment), a top contender in my sordid little mind for the greatest movie ever made (next time you see me in a bar and have two or three hours to kill, I can give you the complete list) has arrived in splendid, special-edition DVD form. Has Hollywood ever been so satirically skewered? Has a single film ever crammed in so many genres — musical, comedy, melodrama, youth-gone-wild, slasher? Has the Bentley vs. Read more »
THEATER If you love comedy, horror movies, and the singular sensation of being doused with oddly fruity stage blood, you're probably already a Primitive Screwheads fan. If you're not, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the madcap masters of mayhem behind such spectacles as Re-Animator of the Dead: The Tale of Herbert West and the inimitable Evil Dead: Live. Read more »