There can hardly be any more extraordinary story from the Hollywood golden age than that of Hedy Lamarr; a very beautiful star with a moderate acting talent but an untutored brilliance in science and engineering that should by now be getting her compared to Nikola Tesla, or maybe even a neglected female scientist like Rosalind Franklin. Her tragedy was that she was in the wrong business, precisely that business that promotes beauty over brains – the movie business.
Alexandra Dean’s excellent and important documentary about her is very instructive – a parable of modern sexual politics and assumptions about science. Even now, many can’t believe in their hearts that movie star Hedy Lamarr really was a scientist, or scientist manqué. The accomplishment simply doesn’t square with the accepted female star biography narrative into which Lamarr otherwise fits: movies, husbands, poignant reclusive decline etc. Many film encyclopedias and reference books simply omit what was important about Hedy Lamarr.
Lamarr was an enigma: a great brain trapped in a silly, spurious image of glamour, while her real talent was allowed to wither. A sad but fascinating story.
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Film brunch on Sept. 29th at 11 am at Korjaamo Kino
Brunch at Korjaamo Kino lobby at 11 am, film screening at 12 pm.
Screenings on Sept. 22nd and 26th are normal priced (no brunch).