Friday, October 21, 2011

Lilia Skala

Last night Michael and I watched the film Roseland. He was interested in it because of Teresa Wright, but that was all he knew about the film. What a thrill it was to find the actress Lilia Skala, the actress who played the Mother Superior in Lilies of the Field, in the role of Rosa.

Now THIS is acting. Here's a clip from the film where the character of Rosa begins with an impression of Marlene Dietrich, and after a bit of Puccini, contemplates a proposal of marriage.

Encountering acting like this echoes the line that the character of Arthur, played by David Thomas, says at the end of this clip: ". . . but gee wiz, I know it when I see it. The real thing. When I see that, something in me goes "bang, bang" instantaneously. Never fails."

and here's another very short clip:

Acting like that does not come without brains. Skala was the first Austrian woman to get a degree in architecture. She had to go to Germany to get one because in the second decade of the 20th century Austria wouldn't accept women in the university (at least in technical fields).

Skala's granddaughter, who is also an actress, wrote and performed a one-woman show about her grandmother a couple of years ago, and Libby has generously put some clips from it on YouTube:

Slow Learner
Never in Love

Here's part one of a four-part interview with Libby about her grandmother.

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