Pioneers: Comedy and Camp
102 minutes, Digital
Distributor: Kino Lorber
Caught in a Cabaret
Director: Mabel Normand
1914 • USA • 30 MIN • Silent
Normand was instrumental in shaping the career of Charlie Chaplin, here playing a bumbling waiter who fakes being an ambassador in order to impress her.
Feature Film: (Pictured)
Director: Charles Bryant and Alla Nazimova
1923 • USA • 72 MIN • Silent
The passion project of Russian-born actress and producer Alla Nazimova, this outrageously stylized adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s notorious play — based on the biblical story of the teenage princess who lusts after the severed head of John the Baptist — is a delirious, decadent avant-garde spectacle. Its status as a queer classic rests both on its Art Nouveau‑meets‑camp style and on the legend that the bisexual Nazimova cast the film entirely with gay actors.
“To watch Salomé is to absorb a wondrous mix of contradictions, lavishness, and excess.”
— Ela Bittencourt, Hyperallergic
Selected for inclusion on the National Film Registry
Series sponsored by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.