Pioneers: Comedy and Camp

An outrageously stylized adaptation of a notorious play by Oscar Wilde and a short by the instrumental Chaplin collaborator Mabel Normand.
Pioneers: Comedy and Camp

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USA, 102 minutes, Digital

Distributor: Kino Lorber

Program Notes

Short Film:
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)
Salomé

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.


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