A silent film classic film by Alla Nazimova

A hothouse orchid of decadent passion . . . You have your warning: this is bizarre stuff
— Photoplay Magazine

This year's POW Film Fest Opening Night film is in celebration of a pioneer in the early days of Hollywood, Alla Nazimova. In collaboration with Holocene's project Fin de Cinema, we present the silent film SALOMÉ with a live score by Portland artists Dolphin Midwives & Indira Valey.

SALOMÉ is the passion project of Russian-born actress and producer Alla Nazimova. This outrageously stylized adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s notorious play—based on the biblical story of the teenage princess who lusts after the severed head of John the Baptist—is a delirious, decadent avant-garde spectacle. Its status as a queer classic rests both on its Art Nouveau-meets-camp style and on the legend that the bisexual Nazimova cast the film entirely with gay actors. (BAM)

Despite careful stylisation and exquisite photography, this adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play boasts a healthy streak of vulgarity of which Wilde, one suspects, would have secretly approved.
— Time Out


Alla Nazimova started her career as a theater actress - first in her native Russia and then on Broadway. After nearly a decade of success in New York, she found her way into the nascent film industry with the 1916 screen adaptation of her notorious play War Brides. Within a year, she had moved to Hollywood and negotiated one of the most lucrative studio contracts of the time. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Nazimova took a strong authorial role on most of her projects, writing and producing the majority of the films in which she starred. And many film scholars acknowledge her as the director of pictures that gave on-screen credit to her lavender husband, Charles Bryant.



Fin de Cinema is a recurring live film score series curated by Gina Altamura. The series was established in 2009, and allows prominent Portland- based pop and experimental musicians to re-interpret the soundtracks to art films. Fin de Cinema is an audio-visually immersive, deeply collaborative series which seeks to give new life to classic films. Visually rich cinematic landscapes are paired with daring musicians in a variety of genres.

Doors open at 8:00pm with DJ Black Daria spinning tunes.
Film starts at 9:00pm

If Alla Nazimova had the good fortune to come along a hundred years later than she did, she’d have found a world with its arms thrust wide open to embrace the groundbreaking artist that she was.
— Library of Congress


1001 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214


Wednesday, March 27th
8:00 pm door
9:00 pm film


$ 10.00