Alice Guy-Blaché, the first woman filmmaker, came up during the Belle Époque period in Paris around the turn of the century, and was an important artist during this period, producing several films for the Gaumont company and serving as Léon Gaumont’s secretary for a time. She was also present for many of early cinema’s key moments, including the first public cinematic projection (by the Lumière Brothers), from which she took much inspiration but blazed her own path in subsequent years. In 1907, she married and moved to Fort Lee, New Jersey (the epicenter of American film production prior to the establishment of Hollywood). It was there she founded her Solax Film Company, widely known as the preeminent production house of the early 1910s. Ultimately retiring from filmmaking in the early 1920s, Guy-Blaché is nevertheless an unsung hero in cinema history, whose story is just beginning to be told. In this program, several of Guy-Blaché’s most important Solax productions screen—with a strong focus on gender dynamics, class, and the spatial arrangement of each.
Films screening in this program:
Mixed Pets, 1911, 14 mins., silent, digital
Algie the Miner, 1912, 10 mins., silent, digital
Falling Leaves, 1912, 12 mins., silent, digital
A Fool and His Money, 1912, 10 mins., silent, digital
The Little Rangers, 1912, 11 mins., silent, digital
The High Cost of Living, 1912, 14 mins., silent, digital
A House Divided, 1913, 13 mins., silent, digital
Also screening, July 12-14, is Pamela B. Green’s documentary on Alice Guy-Blaché’s work and legacy: Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché.