Fresh off her successful collaboration with George Cukor on The Philadelphia Story, Katharine Hepburn secured her comeback after a brief career slump with George Stevens’s 1942 Woman of the Year. This clever battle-of-the-sexes comedy—which marked the actor’s first on-screen partnership with Spencer Tracy, with whom she would go on to make eight more films and share a decades-long romantic relationship—follows the story of two newspaper reporters who fall in love and get married, only to realize that their lives may not be as compatible as they had imagined. Our new edition, out this week on Blu-ray and DVD, features writer Claudia Roth Pierpont discussing how the film gave Hepburn the chance to exude the sexuality that had been latent in her previous work. In the excerpt below, Pierpont details the ways in which the star’s intimate involvement in the project helped shape its direction.
Bringing the Grit to Philippine Cinema
For Philippine master Lino Brocka, casting a mix of nonprofessional and professional actors was key to achieving his brand of unvarnished naturalism.
This Kiss: Filming an Intimate Moment in The Virgin Suicides
What goes into staging the perfect on-screen kiss? Director Sofia Coppola and actors Kirsten Dunst and Josh Hartnett look back on shooting a passionate make-out session in The Virgin Suicides.
“Perfect Imperfection”: Neil Young Improvises Dead Man
Jim Jarmusch filmed Neil Young recording the score for his 1995 revisionist western. Watch a bit of the never-released footage here.
Discovering the Jazzy Sounds of Paul Whiteman
Musician Michael Feinstein talks about discovering Paul Whiteman, the wildly popular bandleader who stars in the early-Technicolor musical King of Jazz.
Playing with Color and Light in Women in Love
Cinematographer Billy Williams talks about his experience creating the lush images and expressive lighting in Ken Russell’s boldly stylized adaptation of Women in Love.