Regeneration: Spotlight on Dorothy Dandridge

  • Tuesday, March 7, 2023 / 7:00 PM - 9:45 PM (PST)
  • Pollock Theater
  • Screening Format: Sony 4K digital projection (105 minutes)
  • With Doris Berger (Academy Museum of Motion Pictures)
  • Director: Otto Preminger
    Starring: Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Pearl Bailey

In conjunction with the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures’ exhibition Regeneration: Black Cinema, 1898-1971, the Carsey-Wolf Center is delighted to present an evening of screenings and discussion focused on the work of actor Dorothy Dandridge. On view through July 16, 2023, Regeneration explores the achievements and challenges of Black filmmakers in the US in both independent production and the studio system—in front of the camera and behind it—from cinema’s infancy in the 1890s to the early 1970s.

This exciting event will open with the 1942 short musical film (aka “soundie”) Cow-Cow Boogie, followed by director Otto Preminger’s 1954 Carmen Jones, a musical adaptation of Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen, featuring an all-Black cast. Dorothy Dandridge was cast as the fiery, vivacious Carmen Jones in the film after a much-publicized talent search.  Her star turn was a huge success, making Dandridge the first Black woman nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.

We present Cow Cow Boogie courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Doris Berger (vice president of curatorial affairs and co-curator of Regeneration: Black Cinema, 1898-1971) joined Peter Bloom (Film and Media Studies, UCSB) for a post-screening discussion of the Regeneration exhibition and Dorothy Dandridge’s legacy.


doris berger

Doris Berger, co-curator of Regeneration: Black Cinema, 1898-1971

Doris Berger is a scholar, curator, and author. She oversees the Academy Museum’s curatorial department, shapes the overall exhibitions program with leadership, and curates exhibitions. She was previously a Getty postdoctoral fellow, a curator at the Skirball Cultural Center, and the director of the Kunstverein Wolfsburg, Germany. She curated numerous art and film exhibitions including Light & Noir: Exiles and Emigres in Hollywood, 1933–1950 (2014) at the Skirball. At the Academy Museum, she co-curated the inaugural exhibitions Stories of Cinema (2021) and Backdrop: An Invisible Art (2021), and curated Isaac Julien: Baltimore (2022). She wrote the book Projected Art History: Biopics, Celebrity Culture, and the Popularizing of American Art (Bloomsbury, 2014) and has published essays in German and English in catalogues, books, and journals. Berger earned a PhD in Cultural Studies (focused on art and film history) from the University of Art in Braunschweig, Germany, and an MA in Romance Studies and Art History from the University of Vienna, Austria.

december 2nd 2006

Moderator Peter Bloom

Peter J. Bloom is Professor and Chair in the Department of Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara. His recent work has focused on film and radio in late colonial Ghana and Malaya. He has published extensively on British, French, and Belgian colonial media including French Colonial Documentary (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), Frenchness and the African Diaspora (co-editor, Indiana UP, 2009), and Modernization as Spectacle in Africa (co-editor, Indiana UP, 2014). His current project, entitled Onomatopoeia and Empire, addresses the unifying context for radio-cinema modernity by reference to Counterinsurgency and Pan-Africanism.

 This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center.

CWC Classics

The CWC Classics program celebrates cinema’s rich history, bringing classic films back to the big screen for critical viewing and discussion. These events feature filmmakers, academics, and professionals who can contextualize the production and historical impact of the films. The series occasionally presents classic films in their original 16 or 35 mm formats. CWC Classics events celebrate the history and significance of cinema’s enduring legacy.