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IU Cinema to celebrate actor Vincent Price with film series



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Vincent Price stars in "The Bat," a 1959 film about a murderer. Price's daughter, Victoria Price, will be speaking about her father March 8 and 9 in the IU Cinema. Movie Stills Database Buy Photos

The actor Vincent Price was a one-of-a-kind Hollywood talent whose name and works are worth remembering, Michaela Owens, editor for IU Cinema’s A Place for Film Blog, said in an email.

Price was known for, among other things, his performances in "Edward Scissorhands" and the feature film adaptation of Poe's "The Raven." 

“Vincent Price is an actor that we still talk about today, which isn’t a privilege that most people from classic Hollywood get,” Owens said via email. “Throughout his career, he managed to gain new fans and find interesting projects, while other stars of his caliber struggled to remain in the spotlight.”

The films of Vincent Price will be the focus of an upcoming series at IU Cinema, which will feature two of his most well-known films, "The Masque of Red Death" and "The Abominable Dr. Phibes," as well as a lecture by his daughter Victoria Price. 

Victoria Price will give a lecture at 5 p.m. Thursday followed by a book signing of her 1998 book, “Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography.”

The Cinema will also be screening two of Price’s films. IU Cinema will present “The Masque of Red Death,” a 1964 horror film adapted from Edgar Allen Poe’s short story of the same name by filmmaker Roger Corman at 7 p.m. Thursday  with an appearance by Victoria, and “The Abominable Dr. Phibes,” a 1971 fantasy film by Robert Fuest, at 7 p.m. Friday.

Tickets to both screenings are $4, and tickets to Victoria Price’s lecture are free.

The series is about honoring the life and legacy of Vincent Price, IU student Jesse Pasternack said in an email.

"The value of celebrating Vincent's work is that a lot of it is ahead of its time in how postmodern it is," Pasternack said. 

Pasternack is a regular undergraduate blogger for the cinema's blog, and he previously wrote movie reviews for the Indiana Daily Student.

He said Price could bolster the quality of any movie he was in through layered performances.

"He could elevate any movie he was in by virtue of treating his characters as complex human beings and not mustache-twirling villains," Pasternack said. "Vincent is a wonderful bridge between high and low culture, and people should come out to the festival because we really capture that special part of him in this series."

“The two films we’re showing are considered two of his best, and to have his daughter there just makes it even more special," Owens said. "It’s sure to be an amazing two days."

Owens said she is incredibly excited for people to get the chance to hear Victoria Price speak about her father.

“Victoria is very insightful about her father, and she doesn’t try to ignore his flaws or his mistakes,” she said. “She loves him very deeply, and it’s really admirable how she keeps his legacy alive.”

Owens also said she thinks the film series will be perfect for fans of Price but also accessible to those unfamiliar with his works. 

“’The Masque of the Red Death is the seventh of eight movies Price made with director Roger Corman, and it’s also a part of the duo’s infamous 'Poe cycle,' which was a series of films made in the 1960s that were adapted from works by Edgar Allan Poe,” she said.

Pasternack said "The Masque of Red Death" is his favorite Price movie.

"It is arguably the richest and most technically complex Poe film Roger Corman directed," he said. "Price has a lot of funny lines but he imbues his character with an anguish and an anger at God that would be right at home in an Ingmar Bergman movie."

Price’s collaborations with Corman were among his most essential works, Owens said.

“If you’re not familiar with Price’s movies, his collaborations with Corman are a perfect place to start," she said. 

She said she is incredibly stoked to be celebrating the legacy of such an iconic actor.

“I can guarantee that you will have a good time at this film series,” she said. “And I sincerely hope that people will be inspired to check out his other movies once this event is over.”

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