If any music can be said to have charms to soothe the savage breast -- it just might be the ebullient sounds of Caribbean steel drums. Originally coming to the fore during WWII in Trinidad, steel drums were developed by African slaves who were brought to the islands of Trinidad and Tobago to work on French and Spanish plantations. The music of these instruments became a direct link to the music of their homeland.
This Saturday, Denver Public Library hosts Toco Bay, the Colorado duo that uses steel pans to create a beautiful and joyous concert.
Marlene Dietrich started her career as a film actress in 1930. Born in 1901, she was thirty before American audiences discovered her in Josef von Sternberg's The Blue Angel; she became a film superstar and yet she was past the age of ingenue -- a rarity in Hollywood. But she learned auteur and Hollywood lighting and makeup techniques from von Sternberg, who had pioneered 'butterfly lighting' to create perfect shadows on Dietrich's face when photographed in close-ups and medium shots.
Ernest Hemingway was once just a school kid with hopes and aspirations like every other kid. Yet he grew up to be a definitive American author with a distinctive style; and he lived a life that could have been torn from the pages of one of his own books. Author Nancy Sindelar, who once worked as a teacher in Hemingway's high school, has written a fascinating book about the people and places that made Hemingway into the author and man who culturally dominated the last century.
By the time Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins made the film, Old Acquaintance, in 1943, their feud was part of the publicity for their film showdown. The two actresses had apparently had a rivalry since their days on Broadway in 1928 when they were in the same acting troupe (except at this time, Hopkins was on top professionally).
Fresh City Life will be taking a brief detour from our regularly scheduled programming of high-minded, culturally significant fare to ring in Valentine's Day with a presentation of Xanadu. It is arguably one of the finest worst films ever made. And it is a ton of fun.
Fresh City Life is getting out amongst 'em this Friday at Denver Art Museum's: Untitled: On the Rocks. This fun evening highlights the current Cartier exhibit of jewelry and rare items from the Cartier jewelers' collection. It is a fascinating and sparkling show -- go see it if you haven't yet.
The Beautiful Monsters film series wraps up next week with a presentation of the rare Spencer Tracy movie, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Tracy acted the dual role of Jekyll and Hyde using very little makeup or facial prosthetics because he wanted the evil of Mr. Hyde to come from within. It's a truly fitting rendition of the original Robert Louis Stevenson story that explores the evil that lurks inside all of us. Lana Turner supports as his innocent girlfriend and Ingrid Bergman steals the show as the street walker turned mistress.
The Denver Public Library has been visiting Hollywoods original horror films. The excavation continues this week when we dust off a Universal Studios gem based on the curse of the Egyptian kings, The Mummy. You'll be surprised that the film draws from its monster brother, Dracula and that it bears some similarities to its remake, 1999's The Mummy. And it is just a great popcorn movie for this time of year!
The Mummy (1932)
Tuesday, October 14, 7-9 p.m.
Central Library, Level B2 Conference Center
shrewdness 1) n. The quality of being shrewd. 2) n. An aggregation of apes.
If your participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), we're hosting a guerrilla workshop that will help you -- with shrewdness. Get great tips and tricks for not only surviving NaNoWriMo, but excelling at your novel writing. If you dream it, begin it!
A Million Monkeys: or Strategies To Get Your Book Written During National Novel Writing Month