Friday, September 17, 2010

Theda Bara, the Original Vamp of the Silent Screen

This video clip presents some of the memorable shots of actress Theda Bara, the Original Vamp of the Silent Movies Era, especially notable are her costumes and makeup for her title role as Cleopatra in the movie Cleopatra (1917) directed by J. Gordon. It was one of the most elaborate Hollywood films ever produced up to that time, with particularly lavish sets and costumes. Theda Bara appeared in a variety of fantastic costumes, some quite risqué, but years later, with the imposition of Hollywood's Hays Code, the film was judged too obscene to be shown.

Her costumes and makeup deserve more careful evaluation now in view of the accusations made by the leading American feminist author Camille Paglia that Lady Gaga is an 'asexual copycat who carefully scripts her every move’.

Paglia, among many accusations of just copying others by Gaga, ‘writing in the Sunday Times Magazine, accused Gaga of not being one of the few original artists of today's young music scene, claiming she has copied a host of iconic stars, most notably Madonna’. But most interestingly, she alleges her of ‘looking to old Hollywood: Gaga's gold shell bikini looks similar to one worn by silent screen actress Theda Bara, who played Cleopatra in the 1917 movie.

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