The Daily Agenda for Thursday, January 3
January 3rd, 2013
Events This Weekend: Arisa Gay Ski Week, Arosa, Switzerland.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR:
Jan 7: Court Hearing In Lawsuit Against Scott Lively. Uganda Transgender advocate Pepe Julian Onziema passes along this reminder:
TWITTER ACTION: On Jan 7, 2013 take to Twitter to show your support for our corageous plaintiffs from Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and Pam Spees of The Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR) who will be arguing the case. @theCCR will be providing live updates of the hearing, the rally and press conference using the hashtag #StoptheHate. Also follow @SMUG2004 @onziema @frankmugisha for updates.
Scott Lively is being sued in Federal District Court by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of Ugandan advocates for for his role in “the decade-long campaign he has waged, in coordination with his Ugandan counterparts, to persecute persons on the basis of their gender and/or sexual orientation and gender identity.” He is being sued under the Alien Tort Statute, which provides federal jurisdiction for “any civil action by an alien, for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” Oral arguments on Lively’s motion to dismiss are set for Monday at the Federal Courthouse in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Dorothy Arzner: 1897. Hollywood was a man’s world, but Dorothy Arzner managed to become a director despite the obstacles. When she first decided that her future lay in motion pictures after serving in the ambulance corps during World War I, she was hired right away by Paramount. As as stenographer. But she used that position to move on to script writer, then film editor. That’s where her work in the 1922 classic Blood and Sand starring Rudolph Valentino won her praise for her editing style.
When Paramount refused to promote her to director, she threatened to move to Columbia Studios. Paramount relented and named her director for the successful silent comedy Fashions for Women. She directed the first talkie for “The It Girl,” Clara Bow, in The Wild Party (1929). Arzner showed considerable ingenuity in making the film: She invented the boom mike when she had the sound crew suspend a microphone from a fishing rod so Bow could move uninhibited around the set. The Wild Party, set in a women’s college, introduced coded references to lesbian themes. Similar themes would emerge in Anybody’s Woman (1930) and Working Girls (1931). Arzner launched the careers of Katherine Hepburn in Christopher Strong (1933), Rosalind Russell in Craig’s Wife (1936), and Lucille Ball in Dance, Girl, Dance (1940). For that last film, Arzner collaborated with choreographer Marion Morgan, who had been Arzner’s partner for at least ten years and would remain so until Morgan’s death in 1971.
When World War II came along, Arzner directed several army training films. By 1943, Arzner stopped directing major studio feature films due to an illness. When she was ready to return after the war, she found that the workplace had grown impatient with women holding on to “men’s” jobs now that men were returning from fighting overseas. Arzner turned to teaching instead, first at the Pasadena Playhouse and then at the newly-established film school at UCLA, where Francis Ford Coppola was one of her students. Meanwhile, her old friend (and rumored paramour) Joan Crawford, who had married the chairman of Pepsico, got Arzner hired to make more than 50 television commercials in the 1950s. In 1975, Aarzner was recognized with a special tribute by the Directors Guild of America, after having become the guild’s first female member in 1936. She continued teaching until her death in 1979 at the age of 82.
Here are a couple of clips from The Wild Party:
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And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?