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Skirball Cultural Center

2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049 - (310) 440-4500
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Sunset Blvd., 1950. Directed by Billy Wilder. Courtesy: Photofest.

Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950

October 23, 2014–March 1, 2015


ADMISSION

  • Included with Museum admission:
  • $10 General
  • $7 Seniors and Full-Time Students
  • $5 Children 2–12
  • FREE to Members and Children under 2
  • FREE to all on Thursdays


ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Hollywood’s film history is a Jewish and an American story alike. The exhibition Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950 highlights the émigré actors, directors, writers, and composers who were refugees from Nazi persecution in Europe—exploring the origins of their exclusion from the German film industry and focusing on their subsequent contributions to American cinema and culture.

Film directors from German-speaking countries—such luminaries as Henry Koster, Fritz Lang, Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder, and Fred Zinnemann—made their way to California via Berlin, Paris, and London, and shaped the look of Hollywood's “Golden Age.” Oscar-winning composers such as Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Franz Waxman created its sound, and acclaimed writers—from Salka Viertel to Franz Werfel—its stories. Already established émigrés, such as the director Ernst Lubitsch, the actress Marlene Dietrich, and the agent Paul Kohner, helped the new exiles and émigrés find their path in Hollywood.

Different genres in which the European émigrés were especially productive, such as the exile film, the anti-Nazi film, film noir, and comedy, are highlighted. Well-known films are presented alongside new discoveries using film footage, concept drawings, costumes, posters, photographs, and memorabilia to tell the story of Hollywood's formative era through the lens of the émigré experience.

Light & Noir demonstrates how the experiences of exodus and exile affected the lives and work of émigrés in many different ways. It is a story of immigration, acculturation, and innovation that intersects with the flourishing of Hollywood as an American cultural phenomenon.

Organized by the Skirball Cultural Center and co-presented with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


SPONSORS

LIGHT & NOIR: EXILES AND ÉMIGRÉS IN HOLLYWOOD, 1933–1950 AND ITS RELATED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AT THE SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER ARE MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THE FOLLOWING DONORS:

The David Berg Foundation
Max Factor Family Foundation
Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Los Angeles

Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary
The Kallick Family in Memory of Sidney S. Kallick
Richard Orgell Family Foundation in Memory of Jack Karp
Margaret Black and John Ptak 
Skirball Volunteer Service Council
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Lannette and Scott Turicchi
Ellen and Ken Ziffren

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY:
The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles

ALONG WITH SUPPORT FROM:
Austrian Consulate General


MEDIA SPONSORS

MEDIA SUPPORT PROVIDED BY:

KCETLos Angeles Magazine



RELATED TO THIS EXHIBITION:

Upcoming

Readings and Talks

Hollywood: The War Years
Thursday, October 30, 7:30 p.m.

For Members

Vincent Brook
Monday, October 6, 1:00 p.m.

For Members

Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950 Member Preview Day
Drop in anytime Wednesday, October 22, 12:00–5:00 p.m.

For Members

Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950 Membership Offer
October 22, 2014–January 4, 2015

Courses

Urban Noir: Night Photography in Los Angeles
Wednesdays, October 29–December 10, except November 26, 7:00–10:00 p.m. (6 sessions)

Gallery Tours

Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933–1950
Tuesday–Sunday, beginning October 30, 1:00 p.m.

  1. John L. Seitz So glad you are doing this. My cinematographer father, John F. Seitz, did several noirs including Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard with Billy Wilder. June 21, 2014
  2. Skirball Cultural Center Thank you for writing to us, Mr. Seitz. We appreciate your father's work a lot. He had such a good eye and visual sensibility! Both Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard will be featured in the exhibition. We do hope that you will come and see it when it opens this fall.

    Best wishes,
    Doris Berger
    Curator
    June 25, 2014
  3. Arianne Ulmer Cipes I am delighted to see that you are doing this series. I am the daughter of the director Edgar G. Ulmer and president of the Edgar G. Ulmer Preservation Corp. Are you including any of his works in your exhibition on émigré directors? August 17, 2014
  4. Skirball Cultural Center Thank you for your nice comment, Ms. Cipes, and for reaching out to us. Yes, your father will be represented in the exhibition with material from his film Detour. We all look very much forward to presenting this amazing legacy at the Skirball! I hope you will come and see it.

    Best wishes,
    Doris Berger
    Curator
    August 19, 2014

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