Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday (William Wyler, 1953)
Marie-France Pisier in Trans-Europ-Express
Ava Gardner in The Killers (Robert Siodmak, 1946)
Last Year at Marienbad | Alain Resnais | 1961
'You never seemed to be waiting for me… but we kept meeting at every turn in the path, behind every shrub, at the foot of every statue, at the edge of every fountain. It was as if in that entire garden there were only you and me.'
L’année dernière à Marienbad (1961)
Delphine Seyrig in ‘L’année dernière à Marienbad’, 1961.
The woman who invented the modern basis of wireless communication made also film history when appearing in the controversial film Ekstase (also known as, Symphonie der Liebe), Ecstasy. Hedy Lamarr, by that time, Hedy Kiesler plays a ordinary woman who marries an older man who can’t please her so she leaves him and finds a lover who can. This film from 1933 contains the first ever non-pornographic sex scene with a stimulated orgasm. Hedy had trouble to show emotion during the scene so the director, Gustav Machatý unexpectedly jabbed her in the derriere with a pin in order to get the desired expressions on her face. Hedy was 19 when the film released and a lot of sources say she was 19 years old during film but in her elder days she confessed that she was younger than that. The film shows female sexuality in a positive way and was ahead of its’s time. The lead female character is not shamed for her sexual desires as she leaves her husband for a younger lover. She has her own voice and own determination as she goes off leaving her husband and later lover to live happily in her own ways. Pope Pius XII publicly denounced the film and it was banned in Germany main reason was the sex scene was between a German man and a Jewish woman (Hedy Lamarr being Jewish in real life), the film still goes on to be one of the worlds most groundbreaking pictures and even shows a nude Hedy Lamarr, from the waist up.
Two years ago I went to see The Philadelphia Story play on a big screen in Bryant Park. It was July and so hot my brother and I had been spending the day in the penguin exhibit at the zoo, but then we heard about the film— my favorite film— playing outdoors and rushed downtown.
We were too late to get a seat. It was packed like I have never seen any New York open space since the Dalai Lama came to Central Park. We were disconsolately looking for a wall to sit on, when suddenly two unholy fools, two morons, changed their minds and gave up their second-row seats. Hard to describe how happy we were. And then over the loudspeakers came some news: Hepburn had been taken ill in the night — gasps, I mean, real gasps— but it was okay— happy sighs— she was back from the hospital and wished us all well. We roared! And then the film started, and I said all the lines before they came, and my brother asked me to shut up. But I wasn’t the only one at it. When Katharine whispered to Jimmy Stewart, “Put me in your pocket, Mike!” a thousand people whispered with her. That was the best night at the movies I’ve ever had.
Two days ago she died, aged ninety-six. I don’t know why I should be surprised, but I was, and when I found out, I wept, and felt ridiculous for weeping. How can someone you have never met make you cry?
— Zadie Smith [June 2003]
Cocktail Party, Chicago, 1957. Photo by Francis Miller
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, February, 1958.