Moulin Rouge

AUGUST 6 & 7   Zsa Zsa Gabor makes her festival debut and it is, at the least, a bizarre mixture of an evening. She comes down the steps of the Moulin Rouge lip synching “The Song from Moulin Rouge,” which became the number one song in America for 24 weeks. Set in Paris’s wild Left Bank of a past century, this is the movie that certainly can can-can. And it has art, too. Based on the life of Toulouse-Lautrec, it features an Oscar-nominated performance by Jose Ferrer (who, literally, walks on his knees for most of the movie). Directed by John Huston, who scored here in The Maltese Falcon, the film attempts, brilliantly, to capture the golden hues of Lautrec’s paintting. (You can prepare by seeing some of them at the Chrysler Museum.) The film won Oscars for its costumes and sets, but Mal, with some guilt, admits that the real reason he programmed the film was to get to tell the stories of Zsa Zsa Gabor in Norfolk. Yes, she was here, and frequented many local jewelry stores (as well as made quite a fuss about his negative review). This is an evening not to miss. And, yes, plenty of can-can dancers too! (1952, 119 mins)