MFAH Screens ‘A Beautiful Mind’ and More Math-Savvy Movies This Month

'A Beautiful Mind'

HERE’S AN ARTFUL way to stay cool this month. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston rolls out a six-film mini-series The Mathematician Moviegoer on Saturday, July 9, beginning with Giant (1953), George Stevens’ epic if somewhat shambolic celebration of the transformative power of black gold, starring three of 1950s Hollywood’s sexiest actors: Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean. (At one point Dean, a dedicated “method” actor, manages to pull off an Oscar-worthy scene with his body completely covered in crude oil.)


All of the films were selected by artist Salle Werner Vaughn, widow of the late Texas philanthropist and oil heir James M. Vaughn, Jr., who was a longtime supporter of the MFAH film department. The series screens in the MFAH’s Brown Auditorium Theater July 9-24, and each film will be introduced by a member of the Houston Film Critics Society.

Taken together, the six films speak to James and Salle’s Texas upbringing, courtship and marriage (Salle and James met and fell in love in the third grade), as well as James’ fascination with puzzles and math.

In 1972, he created the Vaughn Foundation Fund to support research into a mysterious theorem conceived by the 17th-century math enthusiast Pierre de Fermat, a math problem so complex it was deemed unsolvable until the English mathematician Andrew Wiles, inspired by James and his dedication to the field, managed to solve it in 1994 and publish his proof the next year.

Salle and James were also acquainted with the American mathematician John Nash, who lived with schizophrenia and is the subject of Ron Howard’s film A Beautiful Mind (2001) which screens July 17.

The remaining films include A New Leaf, a dark comedy directed by Elaine May, who stars in the film alongside Walter Matthau; Cat Ballou (1965), an over-the-top slapstick western starring Jane Fonda as Catherine “Cat” Ballou, who teams up with a motley crew of barely competent gunslingers to avenge the death of her father; and Alfred Hitchcock’s classic murder-on-a-train mystery The Lady Vanishes (1938), starring Margaret Lockwood and Sir Michael Redgrave.

Jane Fonda as Cat Ballou

Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean in 'Giant'

Art + Entertainment
Duos, Trios and Teams: Clients Get ‘Personalized, Hands-on Service’ at Perdomo Group

Standing left to right: Meghan Johnson, Jill Knowles, Julianna Lind, Beth Stephan, Marla Reade, Galina Saburov, Lil Newman

Seated left to right: Susan Boylan, Julie Sheets, Kim Perdomo, Kim Zander, Tracy Ackley

HOW DID YOUR team form? After ten years as a realtor for a top firm in Houston, Kim Perdomo established a boutique brokerage in 2011. The team grew organically and joined forces with Compass in 2019.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gown, by Christian Dior; French-cut diamond earrings, $498,950, and emerald-cut diamond necklace, $172,025, both at Deutsch Fine Jewelry.

THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, diamonds really are a girl’s best friend. Oh, and also rubies, emeralds and statement pieces from Houston’s top jewelers. Especially paired with stunning evening gowns and bold looks from Naeem Khan, Dior, Gucci and more.

Keep ReadingShow less
Style

Clams Casino (photo by Julie Soefer)

ONE OF THE year’s most anticipated restaurants, modern American seafood concept Navy Blue, has dropped anchor in Rice Village, taking the space formerly occupied by Politan Row. Everything points to success — from its buzzy vibe to the big New York chef Jerrod Zifchak, and the quality seafood, of course. Catch our first bite!
Keep ReadingShow less
Food