The Bigger Than Life Hollywood’s First 100 Years exhibition is currently going on at the Jewish Museum Vienna. According to their press release:
BIGGER THAN LIFE Hollywood’s First 100 Years explores one of the most fascinating cultural phenomena of the twentieth century, and looks at the well-known milestones in film history, and sets them in the context of the Jewish European experience… specifically themes such as directly addressing the anti-Semitic theory of a Jewish-controlled Hollywood by showing that Hollywood was founded by Jewish immigrants from Europe.
The exhibition shows how Hollywood interpreted historic events such as the arrival of Austrian and German refugees in the 1930s, the Golden Era of Hollywood. The program also investigates the various attempts by Hollywood and its producers to portray the inconceivable horrors of the Holocaust.
(Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History references the flight of Eastern Europeans to Hollywood in a poignant chapter on S.Z. Sakall. He had a remarkable career, even while many of his immediate relatives were being murdered in concentration camps by Nazis during World War II. It was the tragedy of his personal life)
BIGGER THAN LIFE is also devoted to more generalized phenomena such as the invention of the star system. It shows key films, unseen billboards from the early days of cinema, and surprising items: Marilyn Monroe’s makeup case from Max Factor, the inventor of her platinum blonde hair; and Dorothy’s red shoes from The Wizard of Oz, the symbol of the power of imagination and the Hollywood happy ending.
The exhibition continues until May 1st. It’s currently Europe’s finest tribute to classic cinema (in my opinion).
Until next time> “never forget”