Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Mask of Childhood

This just-completed audio play tells of the conflict between Mai Zetterling and Shirley Temple at a film festival in the '60s.

Zetterling is a Swedish filmmaker whose work explores sexual malaise and often features political outsiders. Temple of course is the greatest child star in the history of cinema, a tireless patriot who later become a prominent California Republican.

The Mask of Childhood begins when Temple resigns from the festival's panel of judges over Zetterling's Night Games, which Temple found obscene. The antipathy is not reciprocated though: Zetterling idolized Temple from a young age.

European art film had a reputation during the period for being sexy and open-ended, while Temple's movie musicals did all they could to endorse militarism and reinforce power structures. Zetterling's career was full of dilemmas and irresolution but achieved a lasting integrity.

Creative Commons License
The Mask of Childhood by Burke Bindbeutel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.