Tagged: Alla Nazimova

Puce Moment and Salome at Light Industry

If you’ll permit me to publish yet another post about Light Industry, please note that they will be screening two films on Tuesday, October 7. At the previous screening on September 30, the organizers announced that these would be the most “gay” films they have ever shown.

The first is Kenneth Anger’s Puce Moment (1950), a camp celebration of Hollywood glamour that reminisces about the old silent era. In addition to being an absolutely beautiful and haunting parade of dresses featuring a stunning actress, Yvonne Marquis, it also offers glimpses of the Hollywood Hills. Though I never lived there or spent any significant time looking down on the Los Angeles basin, I am overcome with nostalgia every time I see it. I’m not sure whether that feeling comes from being an LA native or from watching a lifetime’s worth of Hollywood movies.

Yvonne Marquis in the Hollywood Hills in Kenneth Anger's Puce Moment

The film also has the only two known recordings of 1960s psychedelic folk musician Jonathan Halper. You can hear the two songs, “Leaving My Old Life Behind” and “I am a Hermit”, in recordings apparently ripped from the film’s soundtrack. Those songs speak to me now more than ever before.

And if that’s isn’t gay enough for you, they are also screening Alla Nazimova’s Salome (1922). This silent film adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play has been appropriated as a canonical queer film. According to the program notes for the screening, Kenneth Anger proclaimed the film to be “Nancy-Prancy-Pansy-Piffle and just too queer for words.”

Puce Moment and Salome at Light Industry

  • Tuesday, October 7
  • 7:30 PM
  • 155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn
  • $7.00
  • Tickets at Door