The Kodak Moment
As part of The Florida Review and Aquifer: TFR Online’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and Latinx contributors, we are featuring the work of multi-media artist, theorist, and historian Michael Betancourt. We will feature one video by Betancourt every week until October 15th, starting today with The Kodak Moment. Betancourt’s work will also be featured in the upcoming fall print issue of The Florida Review.
The silent film actress Mae Murray, known as the “girl with bee-stung lips,” appears in fancy dress, pouting and flirting with the audience. Hers is an archetypal image of white feminine beauty from the start of the twentieth century, a form that was already old when the source film was shot in 1922, here glitched and fragmented—yet remaining coherently recognizable throughout this movie. The music is from a vintage 1920 recording of inventor, visual music pioneer, and symphony piano soloist Mary Hallock-Greenewalt playing Chopin’s Nocturne in G Major.