LOS ANGELES–On the heels of Vanity Fair’s November cover story featuring actress Amy Adams as film icon Rita Hayworth, the 11th Arpa International Film Festival announces a 90th birthday screening of Hayworth’s breakout film, 1941’s “Blood and Sand.” The screening will take place at 8pm on Saturday, October 25 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Arpa festival director, Alex Kalognomos says, “’Blood and Sand’ gave audiences a thrilling first glimpse of the woman who would become, as Life Magazine hailed her, ‘the Love Goddess of the 20th Century.’”
Based on a novel by Vicente Blasco Ibanez, “Blood and Sand” was helmed by pioneer film director Rouben Mamoulian, and stars Tyrone Power as a bullfighter destroyed by Rita Hayworth’s character.
In the film, Hayworth does a scorching Paso Doble with Power’s rival, Anthony Quinn. Though her character is ultimately deadly, when Hayworth dances, she is nothing less than a screen heroine of the first magnitude.
Mamoulian drew on Hayworth’s peerless talent to create drama through dance. In doing so, he set the stage for one of the greatest movie stars of all time. Hayworth’s later and greatest films employed Mamoulian’s formula: two men rivaling for her affection, culminating in a sexually charged dance performance by Hayworth meant to spite, scorn, and humiliate the men who dare to control her, whereby she reclaims her power from the patriarchal status quo. The 1946 film noir classic “Gilda” and the recently released DVD of 1952’s “Affair in Trinidad” take this approach – and Hayworth’s erotic mystique – to dizzying heights.
Arpa is commemorating the Love Goddess because, as Kalognomos notes, “Rita Hayworth was the embodiment of the 1940s ‘s the archetypal pin-up girl and lethal femme fatale. Her sultry image was seared in the memories of audience’s world wide who saw ‘Blood and Sand’ in 1941.”
Today, the Academy Award-winning motion picture is regarded as a marvel of Technicolor filmmaking and one of the most beautiful films ever produced during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Upon the film’s release, Hollywood Reporter observed, “Rita Hayworth who has been widely cheered for her beauty, comes through with a well-defined artistry that must win for her some of the top acting roles.” “When one sees this film on the silver screen,” Kalognomos adds, “Rita Hayworth’s performance makes for a completely singular cinematic experience.”
Off-camera, Hayworth (October 17, 1918 ‘s May 14, 1987) lived a life that played out like a spectacular movie. She was a Spanish dancer who transcended cultural stereotyping to become a great American movie star, a producer of her own films, a princess, a loving mother of two, and a style icon. Rita Hayworth’s name conjures up the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age, the victory of WWII, and the smoldering magnetism that made her the most famous and publicized woman of her era. The greatest indication of Hayworth’s still potent powers as a love goddess may be the millions of dollars raised every year in her memory to fight Alzheimer’s disease, the illness that tragically claimed her life in 1987. “Rita Hayworth influences the world in so many poignant ways.” says Kalognomos. “We felt it our duty as a film festival organization to acknowledge her legacy on the 90th anniversary of her birthday.”
Arpa will screen a new 35mm print of 20th Century Fox’s “Blood and Sand” during its 3-day festival, from October 24-26. Fifty films will be shown from twenty-one nations, including Armenia, Australia, Canada, China, Congo, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tobago, Trinidad, Turkey, UK, and Venezuela. Arpa’s 2008 Official Selection includes the world premiers of J. Michael Hagopian’s “The River Ran Red”; and Tadeh Daschi’s “The Witch of Portobello”, based on author Paolo Coelho’s novel. International luminary Serge Avedikian will be in attendance to present his film, “We Drank the Same Water.” Other highlights include Mark Mahon’s “Strength and Honour” starring Michael Madsen and Richard Chamberlain; Teressa Tunney’s “This is a Story about Ted and Alice”, starring Melissa Leo; “Familiar Voices” with Mia Farrow; and “The Flyboys”, starring Jesse James and Steven Baldwin.
Additionally, the festival recognizes individuals in the film industry with achievement and humanitarian awards. 2008 recipients include Theodore Braun who will receive the Armin T. Wegner Award for his film “Darfur Now.” Award-winning actress and human rights activist Mary Apick will receive the Arpa Foundation Award and will host a revival screening of her controversial 1987 film “Checkpoint”; and Marco Khan will be named Breakthrough Artist of the Year for his performances in “10,000 B.C”, “Iron Man”, and “Don’t Mess with Zohan.” Honorees and winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony hosted by ReelzChannel’s Jill Simonian on Sunday, October 26 at the Egyptian Theatre ‘s 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028.
Arpa International Film Festival, which goes green in 2008, is produced by Arpa Foundation for Film, Music, and Art (AFFMA), a non-profit organization dedicated to artists exploring identity, multi-culturalism, war, exile, genocide and global empathy.
For schedule and tickets, please call (323) 663-1882 and visit www.AFFMA.org.