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Sep 12, 2019

Elise and Dave launch their extended excursion into oligarchic auteurism with a pair of films from the studio whose special touch may very well have been its hands-off approach to directorial oversight. Certainly Behind the Make-Up (aka The Feeder) makes a very interesting companion piece to Dorothy Arzner’s later masterpiece Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) – a film discussed on this very feed earlier in 2019. It stars William Powell, Kay Francis, Fay Wray, and Hal Skelly, none of whom would wind up becoming intimately associated with Paramount (although an argument could be made for Francis).

Then we turn our attention to that great cinematic marvel of the early sound era – the picture that proved talkies could move! In fact, filmed out of Paramount’s Astoria Queens facility, Applause rambles magnificently all over pre-Chrysler Building and Empire State Building Manhattan. It’s also damned moving, with a performance from Helen Morgan that’ll leave you wondering why any of us were born.


Time Codes:

0h 1m 00s:      

Behind the Make-Up aka The Feeder (dirs.. Robert Milton & Dorothy Arzner)

0h 40 17s:       

Applause (dir Rouben Mamoulian)

1h 28m 39s:   

Listener Mail with Todd Murry



*Read Elise’s Writing at Bright Wall/Dark RoomCléo, and Bright Lights.*

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Theme Music:

“What’s Yr Take on Cassavetes?” – Le Tigre