Holland Releasing's FLASH GORDON Screens at Art Director's Salute
May 05, 2009


LOS ANGELES, May 5, 2009 -- The Art Directors Guild (ADG) Film Society and

American Cinematheque (AC) will honor Art Directors/Production Designers Ralph

Berger and Danilo Donati with a screening of their 1936 and 1980 versions of Flash

Gordon, respectively. These films will be shown Sunday, May 24, at 5:30 pm at the

Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood), the third of this year’s

screening series focusing on specific genres of narrative storytelling. Steve Berger, son

of Ralph Berger and a panel of industry professionals will be present to discuss the

remarkable achievements of both designers. Production Designer John Muto will

moderate this panel discussion.

Based on the celebrated 1930s science fiction comic strip, both scripted and drawn by

Alex Raymond, the plot follows the adventures of Flash Gordon, Dale Arden and

Professor Zarkov, as they travel to the planet Mongo where they battle the tyrant, Ming

the Merciless, to save the Earth. The 1936 version of Flash Gordon was written and

directed by Frederick Stephani and stars Jean Rogers, Charles Middleton and Buster

Crabbe as Flash Gordon. Directed by Mike Hodges and written by Lorenzo Semple, the

1980 version stars Melody Anderson, Max Von Sydow and Sam J. Jones as Flash.

Beginning with Raymond’s comic strip of the 1930s, followed by three serials and

eventually the feature film, Flash Gordon also became a radio serial, a series of “Big

Little” books, television series, comic book series, and a magazine.

Academy Award® nominated Art Director Ralph Berger designed such films as White

Zombie (1932), Back to Bataan (1945), Dick Tracy (1945), Without Reservations (1946)

and Forever, Darling (1956). He was nominated for an Academy Award® for his work on

the western, Silver Queen (1942). One-time head of the Desilu art department, Berger

was the supervising Art Director on a number of television series including I Love Lucy,

Our Miss Brooks, and December Bride, and won two Emmy Awards® for his work in

Shower of Stars (1954) and Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (1958).

A giant of Italian cinema design, Danilo Donati was Production Designer, Costume

Designer, and Decorator of the 1980 version of Flash Gordon, and designed both

settings and costumes for such films as Amarcord (1973), Red Sonja (1985), Life is

Beautiful (1997) and Roma (1972). For his costume design, Donati won two Academy

Awards®, for Romeo and Juliet (1968) and Fellini’s Casanova (1976), and was

nominated three other times. His Flash Gordon was nominated for the British Academy

of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for both art direction and costume design.

Representing the ADG are President Thomas A. Walsh, and Production Designer John

Muto. Working with them are the American Cinematheque’s Gwen Deglise and Chris D.

The series is in part sponsored by trade publication Below The Line. General admission:

$10. American Cinematheque members: $7. Students/Seniors with valid ID: $8. All

screenings start at 5:30 p.m. 24-hour ticket information is available at 323-466-FILM



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