Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis by Ed Sikov

By Ed Sikov

The mythical Hollywood superstar blazes a fiery path during this enchanting portrait of a super actress and the films her expertise increased to greatness

She used to be incredible and exasperating in equivalent degree. Jack Warner known as her "an explosive little large with a pointy left." Humphrey Bogart as soon as remarked, "Unless you're very vast she will knock you down." Bette Davis was once a strength of nature—an idiosyncratic expertise who however outlined the phrases "movie star" for greater than part a century and who created a unprecedented physique of labor packed with unforgettable performances.

In Dark Victory, the famous movie critic and biographer Ed Sikov paints the main particular photograph ever introduced of this clever, opinionated, and weird lady who was—in the phrases of an in depth friend—"one of the main occasions of the 20 th century." Drawing on new interviews with neighbors, administrators, and admirers, in addition to archival study and a clean examine the flicks, this trendy, intimate biography finds Davis's own in addition to expert lifestyles in a manner that's either revealing and sympathetic. along with his clever and well-informed tackle the construction and accomplishments of such motion picture milestones as Jezebel, All approximately Eve, and Now, Voyager, in addition to the turbulent lifestyles and complex character of the actress who made them, Sikov's Dark Victory brings to existence the two-time Academy Award–winning actress's unmistakable monitor kind, and exhibits the reader how Davis's artwork used to be her personal darkish victory.

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Social media, e-blasts, and periodic self-published magazines or newsletters—either hard copy or online—are very useful tools for 25 6/19/2013 4:02:05 PM the cycle 26 reaching this segment. Nor do I devote many resources to “everyone else”—those who are far less likely ever to attend my performances. I simply do not have the marketing resources to address this huge and dispersed group. The needs of the marginal buyer are typically distinct from those of my core audience; while research may indicate they have attended similar events at our venue, have revealed interest in our programming in the past, or are in geographic proximity to our offerings, they need more convincing, more engaging marketing techniques and images; they require a harder sell.

By working with the local Girl Scouts organization, we were able to sell enough group tickets to sell out a repertory season entirely. indb 29 29 6/19/2013 4:02:06 PM the cycle tickets at the last minute, but she was also proud that “her” company was so popular all of a sudden. Sold-out houses have a major impact on the way the family perceives the organization. We have refined our group sales approach at the Kennedy Center and now develop a comprehensive group-sales calendar, host group-sales events, and even offer Girl Scout merit badges to those scouts who come to specific performances and complete a series of assignments related to their visit.

I realized that every central programming area had at least one major project in the plan except for our jazz program. There was plenty of jazz programming, to be sure, but there was no blockbuster event likely to attract significant press and donor attention. I worked with my jazz programmers to create a project—Jazz in Our Time—which brought together about thirty of the greatest jazz artists working today, from Dave 21 6/19/2013 4:02:05 PM the cycle 22 Brubeck to Wynton Marsalis. Bringing this astonishing group together, having them perform in unusual combinations (five great saxophone players together), and having a chance to honor them was a remarkably exciting moment for the Kennedy Center and our audience.

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