Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bette Davis in Now, Voyager (1942), All About Eve (1950)

Blog Post #1

Until we started this class, I had heard of Bette Davis but hadn’t seen any of her films. I’m happy to report that I can now confidently put the name to the face. Yay me.

After watching the creepy and bizarre All About Eve (1950) followed by Davis’s previous film Now, Voyager (1942), I noticed a few things about Davis as an actress. Disclaimer: I’ve only seen two films. The character plots that Davis was involved in seemed to follow a similar pattern: a headstrong older woman who encounters some sort of mid-life crisis, then the end of the film is resolved by some sort of unpredictable event that the audience would have not been able to predict — oh and there is a love interest, but he’s not a huge thing in the plot line because Bette’s stardom seems to get in the way of that. I think it is safe to say that Bette knew what roles she liked and she made sure that she maintained a certain status by only performing in roles like those. She was most definitely the original Hollywood diva — she earned the reputation to be difficult to work with — but she paved the way for other women on screen, so go her!

Another thing that I noticed was her acting style. I realize that this is something that we are going to cover in class soon, but I thought I would touch upon a facial feature that stood out to me the most — her eyes. In every scene that she was in during both movies that we screened, her eyes gave everything away — her anger, exhaustion, her fear, her sadness. In addition, as I read on some random blog, she even had an acting technique called “leading with your eyes” named after her because of the way that she used her eyes in her films.

Anyway, I decided to look her up and did some self-taught learning of my own (see what I did there, Professor McPherson?) and looked up her website. Long story short, if you were like me where you were not as familiar with Bette Davis, The First Lady of American Screen as much as others in the class, do not fret. I read her website and now you can too: BetteDavis.com

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