This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Psychologically Artistic

(With a classic femme fatale thrown in for good measure)

When I read the newspaper, I often taken note of interesting events, museum exhibits, or cinema revivals in the area. I carefully circle, highlight, and/or clip the event listing which seems odd, considering that, more often than not, I never seem to ever actually go.
Lately, I’ve decided that I’ve become somewhat “culturally lazy” because of this phenomenon. Being in L.A., there are all sorts of events and activities, especially involving the film industry, that I’m not fully taking advantage of.

A few months ago, I highlighted an exhibit called “MOVIES ON THE MIND” being showcased at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. I kept intending to go, but something always came up.

“MOVIES ON THE MIND” highlights the connection between psychology and the movies. It’s a traveling exhibit, with several international stops - yet Los Angeles is its only American stop. With that in mind, and with the Los Angeles exhibit officially closing on September 16, I finally got my butt into gear and drove to Beverly Hills yesterday to see it.

Rare film posters, artifacts, memos, and film clips delved into such topics as psychoanalysis, mental illness, dream interpretation, and drug-induced “altered states of mind.” Flat-screens showcased clips from both known classics such as Persona, Annie Hall, and Psycho as well as lesser-known films. All of this was showcased in various staged environments that included a psychologist’s couch, a mental ward hospital bed, and really comfy leather chairs (that made me never want to leave.)

I watched clips of Psycho while viewing original script pages from the film along with a letter addressed to Alfred Hitchcock from the Production Code Censorship Office ~ with “suggested revisions.” Apparently, they didn’t appreciate the rather “pointed” implication of Norman’s incestuous relationship with his mother and took exception to the mention of such words as “damn”, “hell”, and “transvestite.”

There was also a handwritten letter (on Beverly Hills Hotel stationary) from Marilyn Monroe, writing to John Huston in 1960 to thank him for offering her a part in his film, then titled Freud and explaining why she would have to decline ~ noting that the Freud family would not approve.

When I finally extracted myself from the really comfy chair and the film of the moment, Marnie, I got a surprise. In the main lobby of the Academy was an exhibit of original Barbara Stanwyck film posters. That exhibit, which I hadn’t even heard about, included nearly 70 one-sheets, lobby cards ( and a couple three-sheets) that spanned Stanwyck’s 40-year career.

I also discovered that Mike Kaplan, who loaned the posters out for the exhibit, has a HUGE collection of film poster art that is on permanent display at the Gallery of Film Poster Art at Cal State Northridge. All in all, I was clearly rewarded for my museum-hopping Friday. I ended up moving Stanwyck’s movie, The Lady Eve, up on my Netflix list and I have a renewed desire to watch Psycho again (even though I’ve seen it several times already…) It also looks I’ll be trooping on over to Cal State Northridge to check out some more film posters.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Last Chance! ~Exhibit Closes: September 16


Exhibit in the main lobby of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

No comments:

Post a Comment