Fashion in Film Festival Bird of Paradise at the Museum of the Moving Image

Fashion in Film Festival Bird of Paradise at the Museum of the Moving Image

Dates: April 15 – May 2, 2011

NEW YORK, Mar 16, 2011/ — After several highly successful seasons, the biennial Fashion in Film Festival is proud to present this year’s program Birds of Paradise from April 15 through May 2, 2011, at New York’s newly refurbished Museum of the Moving Image (Moving Image), in collaboration with Yale University and City University of New York’s Graduate Center.

Highlights include rare screenings of Nino Oxilia’s darkly extravagant Rapsodia Satanica (1915/1917), Michael Curtiz’s pre-Hollywood story of a showgirl The Golden Butterfly (1926) and Jose Rodriguez-Soltero’s lavish masterpiece Lupe (1966).

The program also includes rare archival shorts from the likes of Georges Méliès and Segundo de Chomon, classic films such as Cecil B. DeMille’s Male and Female (1919) and the cult favorite Salomé (1923) from director Charles Bryant starring Alla Nazimova in glorious Aubrey Beardsley-esque costumes.

Lectures, introductions, seminars and Q&As with special guests will be staged at Moving Image and CUNY this April/May (followed by Yale University in the fall). Silent films will feature live accompaniment by Donald Sossin and Stephen Horne.

From the exquisitely opulent films of the silent era, to the sybaritic, lavishly stylized underground films of the 1940s through 1970s, costume has, for a long time, played a highly significant role in cinema as a vital medium for showcasing such basic properties of film as movement, change, light and color.

The festival program explores episodes in film history which most distinctly foreground costume, adornment and styling as vehicles of sensuous pleasure and enchantment.

Experimental films by Kenneth Anger, Jack Smith, Jose Rodriguez-Soltero, Steven Arnold and
James Bidgood constitute one such episode. Their decadent, highly stylised visions full of lyrical fascination with jewellery, textures, layers, glittering fabrics and make-up unlock the splendour and excess of earlier periods of popular cinema, especially ‘spectacle’ and Orientalist films of the 1920s and 1930s; early dance, trick and féerie films of the 1890s and 1900s; and Hollywood exotica of the 1940s.

Fashion in Film Festival Bird of Paradise is an intoxicating exploration of costume as a form of cinematic spectacle throughout the history of European and American cinema.

A full schedule of screenings and events will be announced soon and will be available on the Museum’s website at .