Golden Butterfly

(Der Goldene Schmetterling)

Austria 1926. Dir Michael Curtiz.

Golden Butterfly stars French actress Lili Damita, director Michael Curtiz's then-wife. Her film career was launched by a beauty contest, though she already had experience as a revue dancer on Parisian stages, performing under the pseudonym Lily Deslys. The story of Golden Butterfly epitomises the familiar jazz-age conflict between female independence and morality where Damita's dancer is portrayed as a moth driven to the glitter of the stage only to be burnt. Following the successful Red Heels, this was another Curtiz's ambitious European co-productions set in the spectacular music halls and designed to rival the dominance of Hollywood cinema in the mid - 1920s (ironically, the director and his star left for Hollywood soon after). Shot in London, Cambridge and Berlin, it showcases the high glamour of metropolitan night life as well as some accomplished dance routines under the art direction of the 'master of atmospheric mysteries' Paul Leni.

Live music by Stephen Horne.

Museum of Moving Image Sunday 17 Apr 2011, 7:00 pm