Read Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood by Mick LaSalle Free Online
Book Title: Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood|
The author of the book: Mick LaSalle
Edition: St. Martin's Griffin
Date of issue: December 19th 2001
ISBN 13: 9780312284312
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 810 KB
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In the pre-Code Hollywood era, between 1929 and 1934, women in American cinema took lovers, had babies out of wedlock, got rid of cheating husbands, enjoyed their sexuality, led unapologetic careers, and, in general, acted the way many think women only acted after 1968.
Before then, women on screen had come in two varieties-sweet ingenue or vamp. Then two stars came along: Greta Garbo, who turned the femme fatale into a woman whose capacity for love and sacrifice made all other human emotions seem pale; and Norma Shearer, who succeeded in taking the ingenue to a place she'd never been: the bedroom. In their wake came a deluge of other complicated women-Marlene Dietrich, Jean Harlow, and Mae West, to name a few. Then, in July 1934, the draconian Production Code became the law in Hollywood and these modern women of the screen were banished, not to be seen again until the code was repealed three decades later.
A thorough survey and a tribute to these films, Complicated Women reveals how this was the true Golden Age of women's films.
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Read information about the authorMick LaSalle is an American film critic and the author of two books on pre-code Hollywood. As of March 2008[update], he has written in excess of 1550 reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle, and he has been podcasting them since September 2005.
LaSalle is the author of Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood, a history/critical study of the actresses who worked in the film industry between 1929-1934. It was published by Thomas Dunne Books in 2000. In his review in The New York Times, Andy Webster called it "an overdue examination of a historic conflict between Hollywood and would-be monitors of morality" and added LaSalle "has an avuncular but informative style, and makes his points with a relaxed economy."
The book served as the basis for the documentary film Complicated Women, directed by Hugh Munro Neely and narrated by Jane Fonda, which originally was broadcast by Turner Classic Movies in May 2003. LaSalle provided commentary for and served as Associate Producer of the project.
LaSalle's follow-up to Complicated Women was Dangerous Men: Pre-Code Hollywood and the Birth of the Modern Man, published by Thomas Dunne in 2002.
LaSalle has lectured on film subjects at various film festivals, including those in the Hamptons, Denver, Las Vegas, and Mill Valley and at New York City's Film Forum and San Francisco's Castro Theatre. For several years he taught a film course at the University of California, Berkeley, and now[when?] teaches film courses at Stanford University.
In the late 1990s, LaSalle was the on-air film critic for KGO-TV. He is a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, and was a panelist at the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Venice Film Festivals. He was also a panelist at the 2009 Berlin film festival. In addition to his reviews, he answers film-related questions in the Chronicle column Ask Mick LaSalle.