OUT at the Movies is ‘Undressed’ to thrill
For the next installment in its ongoing series, Winston-Salem’s International LGBT Film Festival OUT at the Movies will present a special screening of director Gillian Armstrong’s documentary Women He’s Undressed, on Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Reynolds House Museum of American Art.
The film offers an in-depth look at the life and career of Orry-Kelly (1897-1964), one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed costume designers, and the winner of three Academy Awards for his work: An American in Paris (1951), Les Girls (1957), and Some Like It Hot (1959). He also received a fourth nomination for Gypsy (1962).
“OUT at the Movies is so excited to be partnering with the Reynolda House Museum of American Art on our screening of Women He’s Undressed,” said Rex Welton, co-founder and director of the OUT at the Movies Festival. “The film is a wonderful documentary about Orry-Kelly. During the boom years of Hollywood, he was the costume designer for an astonishing 282 motion pictures and designed for Marilyn Monroe, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn, and many others.”
Born Orry George Kelly in the small town of Kiama, Australia, the future Oscar winner was almost obsessively cautious about his personal life.
In a 2015 interview with The Guardian, Armstrong explained that her eight-year quest to make Women He’s Undressed was an attempt to celebrate Orry-Kelly’s legacy and shed some light on this enigmatic figure, including his long friendship with superstar Cary Grant (dating back to the days when both were young and struggling).
“It’s a story about friendship and loyalty,” Armstrong told Alexandra Spring. “It’s a story about two young mates starting out and helping each other; it’s about fame, money, power, and homophobia.”
Orry-Kelly’s list of credits is long and mind-boggling, encompassing a variety of genres: I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932), The Petrified Forest (1936), Angels With Dirty Faces (1938), Jezebel (1938), The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), Dark Victory (1939), The Sea Hawk (1940), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942), Now, Voyager (1942), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), Oklahoma! (1955), and many others.
“This fun movie will be a nice complement to the Reynolda House Museum of American Art’s exhibition, ‘Leyendecker and the Golden Age of American Illustration,’” Welton said. “[It’s] the first Reynolda House show to feature openly gay artist, Joseph Christian Leyendecker, (who) captivated the public with striking images and fashionable depictions on handsome men and glamorous women.” The Leyendecker exhibition opens Aug. 31 and is scheduled to run through Dec. 31.
The sixth annual Out at the Movies festival, which runs Oct. 2-6, is also coming up soon, and Welton believes it to be the best one yet. For one thing, it’s the biggest – running an extra day – and boasting over 25 feature films and several shorts screened at the ACE Theatre Complex on the main campus of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the Byrum Welcome Center on the campus of Wake Forest University.
In addition to film screenings, there will be panel discussions, parties, and live entertainment throughout the festival.
See Mark Burger’s reviews of current movies on Burgervideo.com. © 2019, Mark Burger.
The OUT at the Movies screening of Women He’s Undressed will take place 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art, 2250 Reynolda Rd., Winston-Salem. Admission is free with regular Reynolda House admission ($18 general admission, free for students and members). For advance tickets or more information, call 1(888)663-1149 or visit the official Reynolda House website. For more information about OUT at the Movies, call (336)918-0902 or visit the official website.