Anton Artefact #5

‘Mascherata’ (Milan: Edizioni, 1935)
This 64 page pocket-sized booklet is written in Italian and is an early example of a movie novelisation, albeit in miniature. King Kong (1933) was perhaps the first big sound film to be adapted into a novel, but Mascherata sits midway between a book length adaptation and the concise retelling of the story found in various cinema programmes and magazines of the period such as Illustrierter Film-Kurier or Le Film Complet. There are a couple of section breaks in the text but no chapters and the entire narrative is covered in about 8,000 words. These cineromanzos remained popular for many decades, developing into a glossier magazine format in the 1950s and 1960s, although as a genre they have received scant critical attention.
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Anton Artefact #4

AW as Duke Alfonso II of Ferrara (1533-97), patron of the poet Torquato Tasso, from a theatre programme for a performance of Goethe’s Torquato Tasso ​at the Sächsische Staatstheater, Dresden, in February 1930.
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anton artefact #3

Promotional postcard for the play ‘Design for Living’ (1939) signed by the three stars
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Moira Shearer (1926-2006)

AW and MS in ‘The Red Shoes’ (1948)
Moira Shearer died on this day, eleven years ago. After The Red Shoes she went on to appear in other film roles: as Olympia in The Tales Of Hoffmann (Powell and Pressburger, 1950), Paula Woodward in The Story Of Three Loves (Minnelli/Reinhardt, 1952), multiple parts in The Man Who Loved Redheads (French, 1955), Vivian in Peeping Tom (Powell, 1960) and Roxanne in Black Tights. Most of these roles showcased her dancing talents.
She worked with AW again – on the stage this time – in Walter Hasenclever’s play Man of Distinction, which opened at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh during the 1957 Festival, before moving south for a three weeks of performances in what was the termed ‘the provinces’ (including Leeds, Manchester and Blackpool) before showing at at the Princes Theatre, London. Set in Berlin in the 1920s, Hasenclever’s comedy Ein besserer Herr was written in Paris and Nice in the summer of 1926 and mocks the hypocrisies, materialism and delusions of the Weimar republic. Hugo Mobius is a fraudster who specialises in conning wealthy ladies into marriage, a scheme that founders when he finds himself genuinely falling in love. Prunella Scales played the part of Aline, next to Walbrook’s Hugo Mobius, while Moira Shearer played the part of Lia Compass.

AW and MS in ‘Man of Distinction’ (1957)
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Anton artefact #2

This is the cover of the Curzon Mayfair programme for La Ronde (Ophuls, 1950) which was screened here for almost eighteen months in 1951-2. The film was one of the first in Britain to receive the new ‘X’ certificate which replaced the old ‘H’ for ‘Horrific’ – a recognition that film-makers were now treating adult themes that were not necessarily related to horror. Only those over the age of sixteen could be admitted. For a long time the Curzon was the only place the film could be seen, as controversy about its content hindered nationwide release. The original cinema – depicted inside the cover – was built in 1934 but demolished in 1963 to be replaced with the current building. There is a small photograph and biography of AW inside, emphasising his Viennese origins.
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