Canadian Restoration Premiere
The Sensation Seekers is one of the few surviving works of the innovative and visionary director Lois Weber (1879-1939). In 1914 Weber became the first American woman to direct a feature-length film with The Merchant of Venice. In 1916 she became the highest paid director of either sex in Hollywood. Her outrage regarding the hypocrisy surrounding society’s outlook on the changing social status of women is noted throughout her films. During her career, she pioneered the use of split-screen techniques in Suspense (1913), tackled abortion and birth control in Where Are My Children? (1916) and was provocative enough to provide Hollywood with its first instance of female full-frontal nudity in Hypocrites (1915). As a screenwriter, she penned the first big-screen version of Tarzan of the Apes (1918). She also discovered and served as mentor to several acclaimed actresses.
In Sensation Seekers, “Egypt” is a hedonistic party girl in pursuit of her own agenda and making no apologies while doing it. Engagement to a scion of the fashionable Long Island jazz set doesn’t mean Egypt doesn’t have a bit of a roving eye either. When she’s arrested in a scandalous roadhouse raid, she’s unrepentant even when her church going mother, trying to avoid family shame, arranges with the young and handsome Reverend for her release.
Her wild reputation sets off a vicious whisper campaign by the church’s congregation whose hypocrisy doesn’t extend to their own twisted views. It all ends with a thrilling finish.
It has all the glamour, glitz and Art Deco touches one expects from a top studio production plus a terrific performance by a now forgotten Billie Dove.
Live Piano Accompaniment by Fern Lindzon
This film presentation would not be possible without the generous support of NBC/Universal
Co-presented by The Muff Society
None Currently Scheduled