WESTWOOD—On Friday, July 31, the University of California, Los Angeles will kick off its month-and-a-half long tribute to Dorothy Arzner. “Dorothy Arzner: A Retrospective” will be held at the Billy Wilder Theater in UCLA’s Hammer Museum, which is located on the corner of Westwood and Wilshire Boulevards. The event will kick off with a double-feature of “The Wild Party” (1929) and “Anybody’s Woman” (1930), and will run from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Arzner is considered an notable figure in American film history. From 1919 to 1943, she devoted her career to the industry. For 15 years, she worked as a director and made 16 movies. She was the first female member of the Directors Guild of America, and is credited with the invention of the boom microphone.
She instructed filmmaking at UCLA, where she taught director Francis Ford Coppola. She also made “a series of fifty commercials for Pepsi at the behest of Joan Crawford,” according to Allyson Nadia field, assistant professor of Cinema & Media Studies at UCLA.
“Dorothy Arzner remains the most prolific woman studio director in the history of American cinema,” Field wrote in the Women Film Pioneers Project. Her movies “received significant scholarly attention from feminist film critics and queer theorists” for their focus on strong female characters and the importance of female friendships.
“Try as a man may,” Arzner said to the Washington Post in 1930, “he will never be able to get the woman’s viewpoint in telling certain stories. Many stories demand treatment at the hands of a woman, not only from the script side, but also in the direction, and here a woman should be allowed to direct in all cases.”
The event will showcase 14 of Arzner’s films. Additional information about the event can be found on the official website. Advance tickets may be purchased online for $10. Tickets will also be available at the Billy Wilder Theater box office starting an hour before the show starts.
General admission tickets will cost $9. Students, seniors and ID-carrying UCLA Alumni Association members will pay $8. Current UCLA students with valid ID will receive free admission.