At long last, the hotel and plane tickets are booked and everything is in place for a double dose of Ann Dvorak in Chicago this month!
First up will be the screening of a 35mm print of The Strange Love of Molly Louvain at the Patio Theatre on Wednesday, April 23rd at 7:30 pm. This event is co-sponsored by the Northwest Chicago Film Society and Park Ridge Classic Film Series with the book sales generously sponsored by The Book Cellar. I’ll be giving a brief introduction to the film and will be on hand before and after to chat and sign books. I have never seen Molly Louvain on the big screen, so this would be a special treat even if I weren’t introducting it!
Next is a screening of Scarface in the neighboring suburb of Park Ridge, which is part of the Park Ridge Classic Film Series at the Park Ridge Public Library and the Pickwick Theatre. This will be the following night, Thursday, April 24th at 7:30 pm. Once again, I’ll be introducing the film and signing books before and after, courtesy of The Book Cellar. Honestly, I never thought I would find myself in a gorgeous deco theatre introducing Ann in her most famous role, so this should be quite thrilling.
These will be a couple of the few out of town appearances I will be doing this year, so stop on by if you can!
Very special thanks to Matthew C. Hoffman of the Park Ridge Classic Film Series and Kyle Westphal of the Northwest Chicago Film Society for making these two events happen.
See you soon Chicago!
After blogging about Ann Dvorak every day for an entire year, I guess you could say that I have really embraced the break from it. Since I don’t want to be too neglectful of Ann, along with those of you who have been so faithful and supportive – here’s what’s been going on in the world of Ann Dvorak (and me).
The big Ann Dvorak news is that Our Blushing Brides is now available from the Warner Archive. This is actually a Joan Crawford film that was made during Ann’s waning days at MGM. Even though the film does have some dance numbers, Ann does not appear as a chorus girl but only as an extra fawning over Robert Montgomery. I don’t remember what I thought of this film overall, so I can only recommend it for you Dvorak completists.
On a bright personal note, I received my first royalty statement for Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel. The numbers were considerably higher than my publisher or I were expecting, so a big THANK YOU to everyone out there who purchased a copy!
I recently submitted a proposal for what I hope will be my next big project. It’s for the 33 1/3 series which are books focusing on a specific music album. The publisher recently did an open call for submissions, so I threw my hat in the ring with Heart’s Dreamboat Annie. The open call resulted in a whopping 410 submissions, so I am definitely a long-shot! Writing about a band from the 1970s might sound like an extreme departure from a 1930s movie star. However, much like Ann Dvorak, the Wilson sisters challenged the conventions of their sector of the entertainment industry, so I don’t feel that writing about them will be that much different from Ann. And if my proposal isn’t selected? Well, I have a couple of other ideas floating around…
On a totally non-Ann related note, I will be back at the Encino-Tarzana Branch Library on March 25th, lecturing on the changing roles of woman in the post-War San Fernando Valley. The entire presentation will be illustrated with images from the Los Angeles Public Library’s Valley Times photo collection, so hopefully there will be some interest.
Finally, I have two screenings/book signings arranged in Chicago in late April and a royalty check to pay for the trip! Keep an eye out here for more details very soon!
Otherwise, I have been slumming it a bit and enjoying free time with my daughter and husband. Hope all is well with all you Dvorak devotees, and check back for more updates.
On March 6th, I’ll be at the Whittier Public Library’s Whittwood Branch to sign copies of Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel and give a lecture all about my extended quest to document Ann’s story.
Hope to see some of you there!
I have waxed ecstatic about this property numerous times in the past, which is where Ann resided during the seemingly happiest and most productive time of her life and career. I am thrilled to ramble on about the place for an hour or so to a, hopefully, captivated audience. I have dug up every historic photo I could find, including images of owners after Ann, so the evening should be a lot of fun. AND, Larry Edmunds Bookshop has graciously agreed to sell copies of Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel at the event.
Hope to see some friendly faces there!
When I contacted the Senior Librarian over at the Encino-Tarzana Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library about doing a program devoted to Ann Dvorak’s Encino ranch house, I thought he would tell me I was an idiot for suggesting something so narrow and esoteric. Instead, he was totally on board and really excited about it. So, on February 6th at 6pm, I will be presenting “Walnuts, Sanka and a Cow Named Garbo: Ann Dvorak’s Encino Ranch.” It’ll be around an hour with a slide show packed full of every photo I have ever been able to find of that property, including ones of subsequent owners that I found in the LAPL Photo Collection. Of course, copies of Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel will be available for purchase. Ann Dvorak never stayed put for too long. Even when living in the same general area (ie Los Angeles, Hawaii), she tended to switch residences often. Ann and husband Leslie Fenton purchased the Encino property in 1934, had the home built, and she resided on the 35 acre walnut ranch until 1946, making it the longest she ever lived in one place. The property has significance for me because it was where I got married in 2007.
The branch was so enthusiastic about the program that they also scheduled screenings of some of Ann’s films! The showed G Men yesterday and have Scarface scheduled for January 30th, and Three on a Match sometime in the near future. They generously let me take up prime real estate near their entrance to promote the program.
If you’re in the L.A. area on February 6th, I hope you’ll come join us in Encino to pay tribute to their “hometown girl!”
A few weeks back I did my first ever Ann Dvorak lecture for the Los Angeles Visionaries Association (LAVA). The fine folks with LAVA recorded the whole thing and have now posted it on YouTube and their website.
Even though I was wearing two pairs of Spanx that day, I cannot bring myself to watch it so I hope the quality is ok. The content is rough in a few spots and I will be making some adjustments, but otherwise this will probably be my standard talk about Ann and the book.
If you’re willing to sit in front of your computer for the next hour or so, I hope you enjoy it!
Tomorrow, I am going to be giving a brief lecture on pre-Code cinema followed by a screening of an Ann Dvorak film. The program is going to be at Central Library where I work, and our licensing agreement with the studios prevents the film title or studio from being advertised. I am not sure if that agreement actually extends to this website, but I would rather not take any chances. So, I will just say that the lecture will be followed by a screening of a pre-Code gem starring Ann Dvorak, Joan Blondell, and Bette Davis as childhood friends who are reunited years later, causing Dvorak’s life to derail after she’s the third to light her cigarette on a match.
Start time is 2pm in the Taper Auditorium, and it’s FREE! Full details can be found here.
Just a reminder to those of you in the Los Angeles area that tomorrow I will be presenting my first ever lecture on Ann Dvorak! The event is being sponsored by the Los Angeles Visionaries Association (LAVA) and is FREE. On top of all that, the legendary Hollywood bookstore Larry Edmunds will be sponsoring the book sale where you can get your personally inscribed copy of Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel.
I am nervous as all get out about this, so I would love to see some friendly faces. Full details are here.
I have talked about Ann Dvorak A LOT over the years. There have even been times when I have held court at social gatherings, relaying tales of the Divine Miz D. However, I have never presented a formal talk about her with an audience. That is going to change this Sunday. On November 24th at 12pm, I will be one of two presenters at the Los Angeles Visionaries Association (LAVA) Sunday Salon at Les Noces du Figaro in downtown Los Angeles.
I am focusing the talk around my experiences researching and writing a book on Ann while weaving in her story. Am I nervous? Hell yes, mainly because I am going on after a woman who will be talking about being raised in burlesque. How am I supposed to follow something as awesome as that? I will do my best. I will also be doing a book signing sponsored by the good folks over at Larry Edmunds Bookshop.
Don’t forget that for the remainder of the day I am taking questions over at the Silver Screen Oasis.
Today and tomorrow, I am participating in an online discussion over at the Silver Screen Oasis. Got a question about Ann Dvorak, research, writing, Los Angeles? Go ahead and post away and I will do my best to give an acceptable answer.
Special thanks to Moira Finnie for inviting me to talk all things Ann and making this happen!