“Why Not Choose Love: A Mary Pickford Manifesto” premiered at the Ace hotel last night as part of the launch gala for the Hollywood Womens International Film Festival. The theater was at capacity as we celebrated the 100 year anniversary of United Artists in their very own picture house that was created by Pickford, Fairbanks and friends.
The biopic, directed by Jennifer DeLia, is a mash-up of old and new, including the stylings of modern musicians and artists in a film about old Hollywood. I never thought I’d hear a Doors tune in a Mary Pickford film or see art nouveau of Tupac, Prince and Amy Whinehouse…yet here it was.
The pre show entertainment included a 20’s band fronted by Bing Crosby’s grandson Phil Crosby Jr. Didgeridoo and drums filled the lobby. The audience was asked to do a grounding ceremony for a Google educator before we watched the movie. The most delicious sound scripts came from pianist John Vaughn, who tickled the ivories on-screen and off for our listening pleasure.
The movie opens as Mary leaves the stage to begin her career in film in order to support her family. Sophie Kennedy Clark plays Mary Pickford beautifully. It is an esoteric look at the life of Mary Pickford–a marriage of fact and fantasy–that gives us a glance into a dreamlike snapshot of her life. Besides her success as a business woman who co-founded United Artists and the Academy of Motion Pictures, Pickford’s life is one of romance. The title of film asks “Why Not Choose Love ?” Mary did.