Friday, September 30, 2022

The Catalan Natacha Today

It is interesting news to hear that the Natacha Rambova documentary I worked on with the Mallorcan producers will be shown today in such a beautiful setting in Spain.

The producers of this documentary requested a great deal of material from Michael Morris' archive which I shared with them over the two years they were working on this film. I was also interviewed and sent video additions to my interview which they requested. 

I chose not to appear personally in the film for the following reason. 

Just before Michael Morris passed away in 2016,  Ms. Maria Salome contributed her entire collection of photographs and Rambova archival materials to him for his book, Beyond Valentino...She was also interviewed for this documentary. Some things occurred between the production crew and Ms. Salome which she took exception with. 

I was informed about this from the English gentleman William James, who discovered Ms. Salome and who wrote the fine article on Rambova and the Spanish Civil War included in Beyond Valentino. He said Ms. Salome wanted nothing to do with or any affiliation at all with the project and this put her contribution of her Rambova collection to Michael in jeopardy. 

I dearly wanted to finalize the Mallorcan materials and I chose to maintain a loyalty to Ms. Salome at the time. I believe Michael would have done the same and considered the historical content priority over a personal appearance. 

Nevertheless the producers included a wonderful acknowledgment of my book Astral Affairs Rambova and credited Michael and I, etc.

This said, for the record I take a certain exception with their inclusion of a local Mallorcan... who with no documentation or much argument at all... disputes Michael's telling of Natacha's reason for and details of her exile to France during the war. 

The events as Michael reported them in Madam Valentino were told to him by Natacha's family, her cousin Ann... and it was odd the documentary's producers chose to tamper with that. But all in all I was happy to participate despite the ups and downs. And it is great to see respectful, quality films about Rambova being made.