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Film @ the WMML: "Frankenstein: Celebrating the 200th Anniversary"

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Film @ the WMML:

Frankenstein: Celebrating the 200th Anniversary

Frankenstein  Frankenstein Movie Poster

                This event is part of FrankenReads:
An international celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for Halloween 2018 organized by the
Keats-Shelley Association of America.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley anonymously published the novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus in 1818. In celebration of this 200th anniversary, we will examine one aspect of this legacy: its story in film. First we will watch a short documentary titled The Frankenstein Files: How Hollywood Made a Monster then we will watch the original 1931 film directed by James Whale staring Boris Karloff as the monster. The film screening will be from 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. in the Cornelia White Community Room at the Welwood Murray Memorial Library (WMML) located at 100 S. Palm Canyon Dr. in downtown Palm Springs. For more information, please call the Welwood Murray Memorial Library at 760-323-8296.   

The Frankenstein Files: How Hollywood Made a Monster

This documentary explores the iconic creation of the Frankenstein Monster. Filmmakers and film historians reach back to share some of the differences between Mary Shelley's creation in print and the creature brought to life by Karloff. They also look at a few of the stage adaptations that appeared immediately in the 1800s and then proceed to early screenplays and story concepts that were being considered before James Whale was given the reins and picked out Boris Karloff to star. The creation of the monster makeup is discussed along with the Universal sequels and the legacy of this classic monster films.

Frankenstein (1931)

Director James Whale's adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein became an instant horror classic when it premiered in Santa Barbara in 1931. As remarkable for its grasp of elemental horror as it is for its visually arresting set design, the groundbreaking Universal film set a new standard for the genre that has continued to influence contemporary film.

Though Frankenstein had been made into other film versions, including a 1910 Edison Company production, a 1915 version called Life Without Soul and the Italian Master of Frankenstein in 1920, none of them offered as memorable a movie monster as the one created by Boris Karloff. And though a flurry of movies were inspired by Whale's penultimate horror film: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) and many others, none has yet matched the original power of a film which broke important ground in two regards: in its representation of a scientist who tampers with power reserved for God and of a monster who is not entirely evil, but has sympathetic qualities too.

Though referred to simply as "the Monster" in Shelley's novel, it is one of the quirks of history that this movie monster's name was so often confused with his symbolic father and creator, Dr. Frankenstein. But in Karloff's hands, the Monster turned out to be a greater star than the titular scientist who created him and ever since the name Frankenstein is synonymous with the monster, not the doctor.


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