Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) 98 min -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute | Mechanics' Institute

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Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) 98 min -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute
September 2022 CinemaLit: – The 1930s Get Real

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September 9 - Gold Diggers of 1933, 1933, 98 minutes, directed by Mervyn LeRoy, starring Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, and Ruby Keeler

Gold Diggers of 1933 famously opens with a bang, as Ginger Rogers and a line-up of chorus girls sing "We're in the Money" wearing nothing but well-placed gold coins. The number is brought to a halt by the arrival of the sheriff and his posse, who close the show for lack of funds. The plot bounces from one eye-popping Busby Berkeley number to the next ("Pettin' in the Park," "The Shadow Waltz," "Remember My Forgotten Man"). It's sublimely entertaining, and populated with some of the best musical and comedy talent of the day, but hard times are waiting just beyond the stage door.

CinemaLit / September 2022 – The 1930s Get Real

What are your impressions of American films in the 1930s? Gossamer musicals and Marx Brothers' slapstick? Stodgy romances burdened with wooden acting? Nonsense escapism from the Great Depression? That's all to be found. But dig deeper for a wealth of films of exceptional depth and complexity. September at CinemaLit is devoted to four films from four genres that are terrific entertainments AND fascinating historical and sociological relics. We've got a musical (Gold Diggers of 1933), screwball comedy (My Man Godfrey), comedy-drama (Politics), and social drama (Imitation of Life). And even as you're laughing or toe tapping, we've also got homelessness, political corruption, racism, bread lines, war, murder, unemployment, sexism, and the generation gap. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. (Image used with permission of Warner Bros)

 

Matthew Kennedy, CinemaLit’s curator, has written biographies of Marie Dressler, Joan Blondell, and Edmund Goulding. His book Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, was the basis of a film series on Turner Classic Movies.

I don't have a favorite film,” Matthew says. "I find that my relationships to films, actors, genres, and directors change as I change over the years. Some don't hold up. Some look more profound, as though I've caught up with their artistry. I feel that way about Garbo, Cary Grant, director John Cassavetes, and others."

Classic films have historical context, something only time can provide,” Matt observes. “They become these great cultural artifacts, so revealing of tastes, attitudes, and assumptions.”

 

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CinemaLit Films

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Future CinemaLit Films

Sep 30 - 6:00pm

Imitation of Life (1934) 111 min -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute
September 2022 CinemaLit: – The 1930s Get Real

Oct 7 - 6:00pm

Hollywood Chinese (2007) 89 min -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute
October 2022 CinemaLit: – Exposing Chinese Stereotypes in Film, Co-sponsored by Chinese Historical Society of America

Oct 14 - 6:00pm

Shanghai Express (1932) 80 min -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute
October 2022 CinemaLit: – Exposing Chinese Stereotypes in Film, Co-sponsored by Chinese Historical Society of America

Oct 21 - 6:00pm

The Good Earth (1937) 138 min -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute
October 2022 CinemaLit: – Exposing Chinese Stereotypes in Film, Co-sponsored by Chinese Historical Society of America

Oct 28 - 6:00pm

Enter the Dragon (1973) 102 min -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute
October 2022 CinemaLit: – Exposing Chinese Stereotypes in Film, Co-sponsored by Chinese Historical Society of America