TAMPA, FL – One of Hollywood’s most notoriously bitter feuds provides an interesting subtext to one of the all-time greatest cult films, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, which will be screened at The Vault (611 N. Franklin St., Tampa) on Wednesday, March 9, by award-winning film series Second Screen Cult Cinema.
In one corner, the formidable Bette Davis; in the other, the equally feisty Joan Crawford. The lengthy rivalry began in 1935 (allegedly over Crawford’s affair with actor Franchot Tone, Davis’ former beau), though it reached its crescendo when Baby Jane was released in 1962. After the film’s release, both actresses relayed tales of ego-driven squabbles, backstabbing and intentional Oscar snubs.
“Perhaps that’s why the film was so well received during its time – the element of art imitating life adds another fascinating layer to an already entertaining movie,” explained Ann-Eliza Musoke Taylor, Second Screen Cult Cinema’s co-founder and co-curator.
Directed by Robert Aldrich, Baby Jane is a psychological thriller and black comedy rolled into a campy, crowd-pleasing whole. The film centers around former vaudevillian star (Davis), who maliciously holds her disabled sister (Crawford) captive in a perfectly creepy, old Hollywood mansion. The film holds the distinction of receiving five Academy Award nominations (winning one) and creating the bizarre “hag-horror” subgenre.
Second Screen’s presentation of Baby Jane in The Vault’s posh, historic space will be preceded by a cocktail hour (6 p.m.), which features curated music selections, themed craft cocktails, and food available for purchase. Taylor and fellow co-curator/co-founder, Michael Martz, will briefly introduce the film around 7 p.m.; an insightful discussion will follow immediately after the credits roll.
A suggested donation of $5 can be made before entering The Vault to attend the event, and seating is limited to 150 guests. The monthly series also has memberships available ($50) for its 2016 season, which includes upcoming films Jodorowsky’s Dune, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, Enter the Dragon, Night of the Hunter and many more.
Second Screen Cult Cinema, which was named “Best Movie Series” in Tampa Bay late last year and has been called the area’s “swankiest film series,” is a nonprofit organization created in February 2015 by a local group of friends and cinephiles entrenched in the local arts scene. The collective recently celebrated its first anniversary of screening unconventional, underappreciated and unforgettable cult films in downtown Tampa.
For more information on Second Screen Cult Cinema, visit CultCinema.org or Facebook.com/SecondScreenCultCinema. Second Screen’s official hashtag is #WeAreCultCinema. The series is currently sponsored by Tucker/Hall and The Wilson Company.
Constructed in 1919, The Vault is the historic Exchange National Bank transformed into a modern event venue in the heart of downtown Tampa’s arts district. For more information, visit TheVaultTampa.com or call (813) 225-3450.
FILM SCREENING: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Wed., March 9, 2016
6pm Cocktails 7pm Showtime.
The Vault – 611 N. Franklin St., Tampa, 33602
Suggested $5 Donation