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Alice Guy-Blaché, the forgotten first female filmmaker

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Alice Guy-Blaché, the first female filmmaker.

Alice Guy-Blaché, the first female filmmaker.

I think I’m on a film history kick here.  Filmmaker Magazine writes today about a Kickstarter-funded documentary on early filmmaker Alice Guy-Blaché:

Alice Guy-Blaché wrote, produced or directed nearly 1,000 films over her 20-year career. She directed one of the first films to have an all-Black cast of actors. She was also a savvy businesswoman, opening her own film studio, Solax Films in the U.S., becoming the most financially and technologically successful film studio at the time on the East Coast. Alice also pioneered the first uses of synchronized sound and image manipulation/superimposition, among other things.

She’s not totally invisible in film histories, but she is hard to find, unless you’re in the habit of watching those late-night TCM features of early experimental film.  (Um.  Guilty as charged.)  Her film La Fée aux Choux (The Cabbage Fairy), made in 1896, is thought to be the first film with a narrative plot, while Alger, the Miner focused on gay cowboys in 1912, somewhat before Brokeback Mountain.  I think there’ll be more Alice Guy-Blaché here in upcoming months; it’s hard to pass up an early female filmmaker and technology geek.

Here’s La Fée aux Choux:

Biography of Alice Guy-Blaché
A French site devoted to Alice Guy-Blaché


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