New Moviediva Series Skips The Damsels In Distress

Jul 17, 2018

In the 1937 screwball comedy 'The Awful Truth,' actors Irene Dunne and Cary Grant play a couple who squabble then decide to divorce despite still being in love.
Credit Columbia Pictures

Film Curator Laura Boyes is a sucker for old romantic movies. But digging for gems from the golden age of cinema also tends to turn up sexist tropes: the two-dimensional secretary, naive blonde and women who flounder without significant male help.

In the new “Moviediva Film Series” at the Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham, Boyes is highlighting old films that tell a different story: ones where women have agency and use strategy and wit to champion their own narratives.

Boyes, film curator at the North Carolina Museum of Art, speaks with guest host Anita Rao about the series and some of its featured movies, such as “The Awful Truth,” “Born Yesterday” and “Nine To Five.” The series runs from July 18 to November with a film playing on Wednesday at 7 p.m.