Highlighting subversive humor, gangster anti-heroes, and spectacles of violence, the Kemper Art Museum presents three films illustrating various aspects of Rosalyn Drexler’s groundbreaking work as an artist and writer. Drexler has often adapted subjects drawn from both classic films and B-movies in her paintings, asking viewers to consider not only the glamorous myths of popular culture’s stereotypes and tropes but also their disturbing underside.
My Little Chickadee, directed by Edward F. Cline
Tuesday, March 7, 7p
The 1940 comedy-Western My Little Chickadee brings together two golden age screen icons who have directly impacted Drexler’s works: Mae West, celebrated and censored for her groundbreaking mix of humor and overt sexuality, and W.C. Fields, famed for playing a sardonic misanthrope.
White Heat, directed by Raoul Walsh
Wednesday, March 8, 7p
Starring James Cagney as a ruthless gangster who has a special dedication to his mother, celebrated film noir White Heat (1949) blends masculine violence and vulnerability, a recurring motif of Drexler’s work.
Raging Bull, directed by Martin Scorsese
Thursday, March 9, 7p
Starring Robert De Niro in an Oscar-winning performance, Cathy Moriarty, and Joe Pesci, Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull (1980) tells the story of Jake LaMotta, a figure who is featured in Drexler’s boxing scenes that, like the film, lay bare the brutal yet intimate violence of the sport.
Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Rosalyn Drexler: Who Does She Think She Is?