The Gift Girl AND The Grasp of Greed
29 September 2012, 2pm
Ticketing information, bookings (02) 6248 2000
Total running time 100 mins. approx.
The Grasp of Greed
Dir: Joseph de Grasse, USA, 28mins, 35mm
Australian actress Louise Lovely was probably Australia’s first Hollywood star, briefly one of the leading players in Universal Studios’ 1910s cycle of ‘Bluebird’ pictures: short melodramas aimed at woman audiences. Although once largely ignored as B-movies, the Bluebirds, their markers and stars are increasingly fascinating to film historians, for pioneering the ‘woman’s picture’ genre, and for their extraordinary influence on major filmmakers as far afield as Japan. Lovely is largely known in Australia for her own local film making in the 1920s (Jewelled Nights); but as part of our celebration of Universal Studios’ centennial, this is a chance to sample her surviving US films. Lon Caney Snr also features in a comic role in the partially surviving H Rider Haggard adaptation The Grasp of Greed, with Lovely as a talented novelist who has the rights to her life’s work stolen by a miserly old publisher. There is a handsome and better-natured nephew and somehow all three end up on a ship bound for Australia and a desert island where they learn how to get along and agree re-write Lovely’s contract – but without pen and paper, all they have is her back and a tattoo needle! Live musical accompaniment by Mauro Colombis.
Australian silent film historian Dr Jeanette Delamoir will introduce the screenings.
Courtesy George Eastman House. Preserved with funding from the Film Foundation.
The Gift Girl
Dir: Rupert Julien, USA, 65mins, 35mm
Louise Lovely is an Anglo-Persian orphan, fleeing a strict Islamic upbringing and an arranged marriage; for Paris and the love of a handsome French student. The bizarre (yet bizarrely still resonant) plot is also of interest because of the direction of the New Zealand-born, Australia-trained Rupert Julian; who went on to be the A-list director of major Universal projects such as The Phantom of the Opera. Australian silent film historian Dr Jeanette Delamoir will introduce the screenings.
Presented with the support of the Embassy of the United States.
The Gift Girl courtesy The Library of Congress.