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“Old Weird America” Thursday, July 12 at 6pm—Northside Library THEDA BARA: KISS ME MY FOOL

While Europeans were butchering each other during the Great War in 1914, the U.S. was developing a film industry that would make it a world-wide cultural influence throughout the rest of the century.  Beyond the technical innovations in movie making, the most lasting contribution of the early studios was the invention of the movie star. The most recognizable faces in the world in 1915 were “The Girl with the Curls”-Mary Pickford, “The Little Tramp”-Charlie Chaplin, and “The Vamp”- Theda Bara. What? Wait. Who? You’ve never heard of her? I know you haven’t seen any of her films –they’re non-existent—yet no one made more of an impact or created a more significant and copied persona than Theda Bara. You’ll get a kick out of the story of how this quiet young woman from Cincinnati became the very definition of the female sexual predator by 1915. Her publicity stills alone are enough to captivate and convince you that “The Vamp” was one weird character!