Days after the book came out, the Malibu town council voted to name a
local road after Murphy. Coincidence? The L. A. Times has the story.
Geoffrey's of Malibu. Since
the 1980s, Geoffrey's has occupied what was originally the restaurant
at Holiday House, Murphy's exclusive Malibu hideaway. Check out the
menu and be sure to take the virtual tour—the view from the terrace is
as glorious as ever.
Mapping of a Decade: Los Angeles During the 1930s.
A two-part article by Margarita Nieto, offering a detailed look at the
art scene in L.A. during this decade. A brief mention of the three
murals painted there by Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros in
1932—including the one done in Murphy's backyard. From ArtScene, December 1999.
A Survey of Surviving Buildings of the Krotona Colony in Hollywood.
What's left of the Theosophist paradise that Murphy called home for a
short time in the late 1910s? This scholarly survey by Alfred Willis
offers a virtual tour of the remaining structures, which these days
look surprisingly like the rest of L.A. Includes photos and
illustrations. From Architronic, The Electronic Journal of Architecture, Vol. 8. No. 1, January 1999.
The Dream of Color Music, and Machines That Made It Possible. An essay on visual music by the late William Moritz, whose research and writings on Murphy were so important to Dudley Murphy, Hollywood Wild Card.
Includes a description of Thomas Wilfred's clavilux, the color-music
organ that left a lasting impression on Murphy when he encountered it
in the early 1920s. From Animation World magazine, issue 2.1, April 1997.
A Lifetime in Animation: The Glamorous Dr. William Moritz. An affectionate tribute to Moritz and his work by longtime associate Cindy Keefer. From Animation World magazine, June 24, 2003.
George Antheil: Composer, Pianist, Inventor. Everything you'll ever want to know about Ballet mécanique composer Antheil, assembled by musicologist and pianist Guy Livingston.
Antheil. All about Ballet mécanique,
Antheil, and composer Paul D. Lehrman's re-creation and adaptation of
the original score. Includes information on Lehrman's recent
performances of Ballet mécanique. Click on ‘Listen to
History' for excerpts from an audio interview with Antheil, and a
eulogy for him delivered in 1959 by, of all people, radio humorist Jean
Preserving African-American Cinema: The Case of The Emperor Jones (1933). By Jennie Saxena et al. The crew responsible for the 2002 Library of Congress restoration of The Emperor Jones describes the detective work that went into finding and assembling all that lost footage and sound track. From The Moving Image Volume 3, Number 1, Spring 2003.
Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder.
Few crimes have had more books written (or more films made) about them
than the Black Dahlia Murder, committed in Los Angeles in 1947. But
this one comes with a startling thesis, which outlines a relationship
between the murder and Surrealist art—most notably through Man Ray,
Murphy's erstwhile collaborator, who spent the 1940s in Southern
California. Murphy and his fourth wife play a peripheral role in the
grisly story. Warning: the crime scene photos are not for the faint of
heart (or stomach).
Portals, Databases, Distributors, Exhibitors, etc.
Anthology Film Archives. Home to the earliest surviving version of Ballet mécanique
(available on “Unseen Cinema,” below), Anthology is an East Coast
bastion of experimental and avant-garde cinema, led by veteran
filmmaker Jonas Mekas.
information on thousands of movies, with concise, intelligent synopses
and dozens of short essays. Links to DVD retailers.
Center for Visual Music.
The website for this L.A. organization has an extensive online library
of articles about experimental film, animation, color organs, 1960s
light shows, and more. Links to artist websites, too. DVM also curates
and tours film programs and series.
Facets Multimedia. A
pioneer in the movies-by-mail biz, Facets also runs its own video
label. For Chicagoans, it's a hub of film activity on the city's North
Based in San Francisco, GreenCine calls itself an “independently owned
and operated film addict's film site since July, 2002. Our philosophy
is simple: Movies Matter.” More than 80,000 titles to rent, download,
and buy, plus articles, interviews, and the latest on film festivals
around the country.
Internet Movie Database (imdb.com). Ratcheting up from its DIY beginnings, IMDb has grown into what it calls “Earth's biggest movie database.”
|Kino International (kino.com).
Kino's home video catalogue is a gem—but if it's Murphy you're searching for, you'll want The Best of Jazz and Blues
(Hollywood Rhythm Volume 1
), a compilation that includes both St. Louis Blues
and Black and Tan
(listed here as Black and Tan Fantasy
Museum of Modern Art. Okay, they still think Fernand Léger directed Ballet mécanique
by himself. Even so, they're an indispensable nexus of film scholarship
and exhibition, with an eminently useful film study center, 16mm rental
library, and wide-ranging screening programs.
University of Minnesota Press. Publisher of Dudley Murphy, Hollywood Wild Card
and many other worthy tomes. Search by subject to bring up 33 different
fields of interest—including Film and Media Studies—and let the
anyone interested in early cinema—specifically, early American
avant-garde cinema—this 7-disc set is a must-have. Or at least a
must-see. And it includes 3 of Murphy's early films: Soul of the Cypress
, Danse Macabre
, and Ballet mécanique
(Full disclosure: I contributed a few of the notes on the discs. But I
bought the set anyway.) Added website attraction: Quick-Time Murphy
Zeitgeist Films. No, they don't carry any of Murphy's films, but they do carry one of mine: Cause and Effect
(1988), an 11-minute experiment in cross-breeding Eisensteinian
juxtaposition with Bresson's concept of the model. It is, I think, a
comedy. Manohla Dargis called it “a quirky crowd-pleaser.” It probably