My Obsession

Theda Bara as CleopatraThe Nitrate Diva

When I was 5, I was obsessed with Ancient Egypt, so my mother gave me an article about Cleopatra that she’d clipped from a beauty magazine. I don’t remember much about the article. But I remember the picture of Theda Bara that was in it.

That image etched itself on my mind so powerfully that years later I could still emulate it. I had internalized it.

The movie, a 1917 version of Cleopatra, is forever lost to us, yet it lives in me. My love for mummies and old things ripened into a passion for film and for the encounters we have with films, encounters that change us in ways we may never fully understand.

What I love most about movies is that they begin before they start and they don’t end when they’re over.

I believe that movies should be dangerous, fun, and incendiary, at once familiar and mysterious—even when being analyzed.

I cherish the bizarre and I don’t believe in tying up loose ends.

I don’t want merely to explain movies.

I want to dance with them.

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2 thoughts on “My Obsession

  1. I just wanted to thank you for the awesome articles. I’m a fan of the classics. The 30’s and 40’s being my favorite. I wish I had your ability to describe these movies and actors. Thank you for giving me new insights and directions to check out. You are a breath of fresh air.

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