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It’s November, and though Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, we’re very thankful for all the programming coming up here at The Frida this month! Revisit the music and artistry of legendary prog-rock band King Crimson this Thursday with a one night-only screening of In the Court of the Crimson King: King Crimson at 50. Then next week, our New York November series continues with a double feature of Spike Lee’s Crooklyn and Clockers, Uncut Gems, The Warriors, Uptown Girls, and Little Shop of Horrors. Also wedged between the Big Apple-themed excitement is George Cukor’s A Star is Born, the 1954 musical starring the one and only Judy Garland.
Hollywood actor Norman Maine (James Mason) is a celebrity whose star is on the wane, but when he meets aspiring actress Esther Blodgett (Garland), he is inspired to help her, and soon the two appear in a musical together. Now known as Vicki Lester, she marries Norman and finds herself in demand, while his reputation continues to decline, resulting in heavy bouts of drinking. Eventually, Vicki must choose between moving forward with her career and attempting to save her husband. The first of three remakes of the original 1937 film, Cukor’s retelling of the eternally-beloved story has the honor of being added to the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
Our first time screening the film, it was selected by our November Volunteer of the Month Andie Foster as her VOTM pick. One of the Thursday night crew, I had already encountered her a few times before our interview but this was our first time talking at length together. Both friendly and well-spoken, talking with her was as engaging as it was enjoyable, with me especially getting a kick out of her favorite Frida memory. There were some funny asides in our conversation but unfortunately, as they didn’t match the format of these interviews, I had to leave them out. You can, however, see what she likes about this particular iteration of A Star is Born, which plays starting next Wednesday!
How did you find out about The Frida Cinema?
It has been a very long time. So I lived and worked near Santa Ana for a while. I actually worked really close down the street, so my friends and I would hang out on 4th Street a lot, and I remember coming across the Frida, seeing the things that they offered, and just being really excited at the opportunity to see some more arthouse films which is not really a thing you get in Orange County. When I was younger, I had to go out all the way to LA so this was a really great find for me.
What made you want to volunteer here?
I just really appreciate what The Frida does for the community. I work for a non-profit so I know that the volunteers are really the lifeblood of everything that we do and so the ability to contribute my time, my passion, and my labor for an organization that I believe is doing great work and whose mission I fully support, it was really a win/win for me. Also, an opportunity to learn more about movies, to talk about movies with people, and to just meet other people in the community that have similar interests to me was a big value for me.
Tell us a little bit about A Star is Born.
A Star is Born is my favorite movie period. It’s my favorite Judy Garland movie. I’m a very big fan of Judy Garland in general which is why I think this movie is just a huge triumph for her, for her work, and really her ability to overcome the challenges that she had really faced in her own life as well as her fight with the studio system. So it’s just a beautiful – well, heartbreaking love story of one person that’s really emerging in her fame and career and celebrity while her husband and love of her life is going in the opposite way. So it’s this perfect moment where they meet and go off in completely different directions.
What were your other choices for Volunteer Pick of the Month?
Oh, I actually had a lot of choices. So some of my other choices were to try to go along with the theme, which I know is like New York November. So I chose Rear Window, which is not my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie but, keeping with the theme and then Escape from New York. Not my favorite Escape movie – Escape from LA is my preferred one – but, those were my top choices.
What is your favorite Frida memory?
My favorite Frida memory is seeing Cats on February 14th, 2020. It was the last movie I saw before the pandemic shut everything down and it was just an incredible experience. It was the evening, everyone was really rowdy, and everyone was screaming at the screen. Whenever I talk about that moment, it’s just this shining little bright beacon of light especially because we spent the next two years not being able to have that experience in a cinema and really getting together with other people.
If you could program any movie here, what would you pick?
I mean, it’s already A Star is Born. That’s it!
A Star is Born screens starting Wednesday, November 15th.
Wednesday, Nov 15th – 4:45pm
Thursday, Nov 16th – 4:45pm
Friday, Nov 17th – 4:30pm