Experiencing Interruptions?

I Remember Devi Dja

A short documentary about Devi Dja, known as the 'Pavlova of the Orient.' She was an Indonesian dancer who was discovered by the symphony conductor Leopold Stokowski in Bali. She then traveled the world and became a choreographer and bit actress in Hollywood. She was the first Indonesian woman to become a naturalized citizen from Indonesia to the United States. This is a memory from filmmaker R. Christian Anderson who knew the great dance figure personally.

  • R. Christian Anderson
    When the World Came to San Francisco, Tea and Destiny
  • R. Christian Anderson
    When the World Came to San Francisco, Tea and Destiny
  • Grover James Taylor
    The Eyes of Bierstadt, Sugarfoot Photo Shoot
  • R. Christian Anderson
    When the World Came to San Francisco, Tea and Destiny
  • James P. Hinkley
    Special Thanks
    Liquid Television
  • Chris Clark
    Special Thanks
    Lady Sings the Blues
  • Lita S. Bowman
    Historical Advisor
    Behind the Candelabra, To Free a Man to Fight
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • Grover James Taylor
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - R. Christian Anderson

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Hollywood, his passion for film came at an early age. His mother, Lita, was a radio personality for station KMPC, at the time a music and entertainment station. He was performing on live radio in commercials by the age of 3. She took him to many movie premiers on the boulevard that she covered in her broadcasts, so he was able to meet many stars of the time while still a small child, among them Lucille Ball, Celeste Holm, Dick Powell, June Allison, cowboy star Lash LaRue, Sally Forrest and celebrity psychic "Criswell."

At the age of 9, his mother married Raymond D. Bowman, a jazz and classical music impresario and noted music critic who taught and encouraged Christian to write. His step-father later owned an art gallery in Beverly Hills where he was inspired by the artists showing there, including Innocenzo Daraio, Mae Babitz, Leonora Cetone Starr, and the late Edgar Payne. At age 12 he met legendary dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis, who encouraged his love of art and shared her life and career with him.

In 1969 Christian volunteered to serve in the United States Air Force where he was trained as an illustrator and designer. He created orientations and briefings with the 62nd Military Airlift Wing (MAC), where he was also a member of the base Honor Guard. He later worked on military training films with the Aerospace Audiovisual Service (MAC), and worked with one of the first units to produce films on video tape, rather than film stock. He received an Honorable Discharge for his service.

By 1973 he moved to San Francisco where he freelanced as a graphic designer, creating numerous posters, brochures, print ads and collateral materials over the next couple of decades.

He spent two years in Springfield, Ohio where he was active in live theater. During the 1980 season at the Springfield Civic Theater, he performed in two plays, Agatha Christie's "Mousetrap" in the part of "Christopher Wren" and played the lead role of "Charles Condomine" in Noel Coward's comedy "Blythe Spirit". Both plays required him to speak in an English accent.

He lived in New York City in during the spring of 1984 and worked for an noted entertainment manager. It was during that time he was fortunate to meet several people he admired in film. Among them Martin Scorsese, Robert DeNiro, Treat Williams, Martin Scorsese, Shelley Winters, Anthony Franciosa, Joe Pesci, and Martin Balsam, respectively. This experience further inspired his passion for film.

During the 1990s he returned to college to obtain a degree in Multimedia and was then employed by two major advertising agencies in the San Diego area. He also gave tours at the San Francisco Opera House, worked as a classical music manager in a music store, and spent a season working with the Houston Symphony Orchestra in the Operations Department. He began freelancing as a writer and had several magazine articles on music and film published during this time.

By the 2000s, he turned to ghost-writing screenplays before finally directing his first feature-length film "Defcon 2012" in 2008. He is also a composer and song lyricist and co-wrote the song "The Ghosts of San Francisco," sung by Chris Clark for the film "When the World Came to San Francisco", the music video of which won the "Mixed Genre Jazz Film Award" at the "New York Jazz Film Festival" in Harlem in November, 2016.

He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and continues to write, compose, and direct films. He is a member of ASCAP.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I knew Devi Dja from 1960 until she passed in 1989. She was a creative influence in my life. I have an archive of photos of her, which belonged to my step-father Ray Bowman, who was her manager in the 1950s and 60s and I used these in my film. She was among the most brilliant artists I have ever known.