Film: "Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache"

Dartmouth Events

Film: "Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache"

Narrated by Jodie Foster, this tribute/detective story profiles a remarkable but largely forgotten female film pioneer who directed and produced a thousand films!

Sunday, October 13, 2019
Visual Arts Center 104 Loew Auditorium
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Films
Fee required. Tickets required.

How could Alice Guy-Blaché, a contemporary of Edison, the Lumières and Méliès—who wrote, directed or produced a thousand films, 150 with synchronized sound, and who had a career longer than any of them—reach the heights of fame and then be forgotten by an industry she helped create? This crucial intervention in film history gives credit where credit is due.

In 1896, at age 23, Alice Guy-Blaché, then the secretary to French film pioneer Léon Gaumont, directed her first movie, The Cabbage Fairy, among the first narrative films made. Known for her inventive camera and editing techniques, incisive cultural commentary and excellent humor, she influenced young Sergei Eisenstein and later Alfred Hitchcock, and by 1908 she was running her own movie production studio, Solax, in Fort Lee, N.J. Guy-Blaché helped to invent and refine the language of cinema while tackling various hot-button issues of her day, from immigration to planned parenthood.

Guy-Blaché's landmark achievements have been obscured through decades of film history focusing on male genius, but this energetic film—featuring testimony from Ava DuVernay, Patty Jenkins, Kathryn Bigelow and more—is “an incredibly necessary tonic, reestablishing the prominent role of women at the advent of cinema, when anything was possible.”

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