On August 31, 2006 The Black Dahlia opened at the 63rd Venice Film Festival.
'The Black Dahlia', directed by Brian De Palma, stars Scarlett Johansson [also Josh Hartnett and two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank] and is the first of 21 films in competition for the coveted Golden Lion award.
French actress Catherine Deneuve, a favorite of mine and a Scarlett Johansson beauty in her time, is top judge on the jury to award the Golden Lion which will be announced next Saturday on the festival's closing day.
One of the reasons I would like to see the film receive awards is to get more photo opportunities of Scarlett Johansson; recall the bouncy images from the Golden Globe Awards?
Adapted from the novel by James Ellroy, 'The Black Dahlia' is based on the unsolved, real-life murder of 22-year-old actress Elizabeth Short in Los Angeles on January 15, 1947. Her tortured body was found in a vacant lot in Hollywood. Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia, an aspiring young Hollywood hopeful, had been tortured and brutally murdered. In the film, two policemen are assigned to investigate the murder which turned out to be one of the greatest manhunts in California history.
I don't do movie reviews per se other than to comment on certain features of a film, so I will report back later when I see it, but meanwhile here are a few Black Dahlia photos:
Very few actresses so young (21) could carry a role with such class as Scarlett Johansson. If you are my age (61) the photos above should give you a film noir frisson.
I came to America in 1949. The next year I was in kindergarten in New York City. Right after school my mother would drop me off at the RKO theater near 149th Street and Broadway. She would give the usherette a box of nylons (three pairs of stockings, retail $1.59 a pair) to watch over me. There would be a matinee, a newsreel, a cartoon or two, and then the main feature. She would pick me up by 9 p.m. In this manner I learned English, however no one ever said I sounded like Humphrey Bogart.
Although I enjoyed Cinderella that year, I was mesmerized by the Asphalt Jungle and other crime dramas of the time. I cannot wait to see the Black Dahlia.
For trailers to The Black Dahlia click here.
The Official Movie website click here
ContactMusic.com reports that critics and early viewers of THE BLACK DAHLIA have a complaint: Scarlett Johansson's sex romp is so hot that they found it difficult to concentrate following the raunchy scene.
This warning sounds similar to the one found on certain male enhancement pills: that your erection may last more than 4 hours. Yeah, that'll keep men from using it! So if you are worried that you won't be able to follow the plot after watching Scarlett Johansson steam up the screen, do what I'm going to do. Watch it again and again until I stop being distracted.
indiewire.com, Scarlett Johansson Sex Scene Distracts Critics
According to IMDb, "Scarlett Johansson has angrily dismissed claims her steamy sex scene in The Black Dahlia is an unnecessary distraction." Some critics complained that Brian De Palma's film was "difficult to concentrate following the raunchy scene" with Johansson and Josh Hartnett. The blonde star retorts, "Of course it's nice to be considered sexy, as a young woman in my prime. But I try not to think about the sexiness. And I never think about it being distracting from a scene."
I was gonna write something clever to end this blog entry, but was too distracted by the photo on the right.
Irish Examiner - Curvy Scarlett sails into film festival, Excerpt:
The film received its first screening today – and Johansson’s famous curves proved diverting for some critics.
One told the actress she exuded so much on-screen sex appeal during a steamy scene with co-star Josh Hartnett that it could distract audiences from the plot.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON is planning to race back to Venice, Italy after being stunned by the city's beauty during a promotional trip to launch her new film THE BLACK DAHLIA. The sexy actress had to dash in and out of the romantic canal city for the Venice Film Festival last week (ends01SEP06) and now she can't wait to get back there. She says, "It's so glamorous and so beautiful to walk around but unfortunately, during this festival, it's next to impossible to enjoy those things. "I'll have to come back and have the tourist's version."
AP - ELLROY IMPRESSED BY SCREEN VERSION OF HIS 'THE BLACK DAHLIA', Excerpt:
DEAUVILLE, France, Sept 3, 2006 (AFP) - US writer James Ellroy heaped praise on the film version of his best-selling novel "The Black Dahlia", which was screened Sunday at the annual festival of American cinema in the northern French town of Deauville.
"It's a brilliantly conceived and executed abridgment of what is a very long novel. In its form it is very beautiful, more so than I could have imagined," Ellroy, 57, told journalists.
"The Black Dahlia" is directed by Brian de Palma -- maker of "Carrie", "Scarface" and "The Untouchables" -- and stars Aaron Eckhart, Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson.
"When the producer told me that Brian de Palma had been signed up, I was over the moon," Ellroy said.
De Palma said he had originally thought the book was too long to adapt for the cinema. "But then several years later I saw 'L.A. Confidential' (also from a book by Ellroy) and I saw it was possible," de Palma said.
the independent, Scarlett Johansson: How the world fell in love
It's the way she handles that cigarette holder. For a few moments in her new film The Black Dahlia (which opened the Venice Festival yesterday), Scarlett Johansson really does look like a Barbara Stanwyck or a Veronica Lake sprung back to life. Her luxuriant blonde hair is piled on top of her head with hairpins holding it in shape. She doesn't so much speak as pout. She has a languorous, lazy quality about her, at once world-weary and provocative. That cigarette holder doesn't leave her grasp. It is still there between her fingers, even when she is eating.
Johansson is a throwback: one of the few contemporary actresses with the force of personality and distinctive looks that characterised sirens in old Hollywood film noirs. As producer Art Linson says: "She has that look that pulls you right back in time."
exposay - Scarlett Johansson Dazzles The Crowd At Venice Film Festival, Excerpt:
Scarlett Johansson made a grand entrance at her new movie premiere Wednesday night. The beautiful actress thrilled fans and critics at the Venice Film Festival where she brought some vintage Hollywood glamour to the city at the premiere of her new movie "The Black Dahlia."
Here's Scarlett in Venice.
Is that some set of gams or what?
For larger photo gallery of Scarlett Johansson click here.