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ALICE GUY BLACHÉ Volume 1: The Gaumont Years (Blu-ray)

ALICE GUY BLACHÉ Vol. 2: The Solax Years (Blu-ray)

From the dawn of the cinema comes astounding inventiveness and magic.

Alice Guy Blaché is a name to reckon with. There is so much we take for granted in cinema that it is astounding to learn that the woman who pioneered narrative cinema was told it was a girlish thing to do. Good thing she was a girl.

That said there is more than one treat in these delightful collections.

One film, THE RESULTS OF FEMINISM (1906), took my breath away. In its seven minutes the roles of male and female are reversed. Women aggressively pursue men. When they get the men into their bedrooms they throw them on the bed tearing the clothing from them (we don’t get nudity–this is still 1906). There is no hint if these unions are sanctified by marriage. We then see the men pushing baby carriages about the streets while the women meet in bars and drink. .

These are bold movies. They are also fun.

These films were made before the birth of the grammar of film. There’s nothing in the way of close ups, long shots, etc..

What there is are frames so full of action it is a delight to watch them move.

Her 1906 Gaumont film THE BIRTH, LIFE AND DEATH OF CHRIST tells the story in 25 minutes with over 100 extras. It was the biggest hit that French filmmaking had ever seen. It was perhaps the cinema’s first  big blockbuster.

Women played a vital role in movie making during the silent period. With the coming of sound that role was diminished.

Speaking of sound, Alice Guy Blaché was making sound film as early as 1905.  This woman was ahead of everyone.

I must say a word about the scoring of these films. It is superb. It’s a difficult thing creating scores for so many short films. The challenge is met and surpassed.

Include with each set are wonderful notes by Kim Tomadjoglou: , , .

History’s First Female Filmmaker Has Been Rescued From Obscurity Thanks to an Enlightening New Jodie Foster-Narrated Documentary

The true story of Alice Guy-Blaché, the world’s first female filmmaker and first narrative filmmaker:

 Here are some of her many films from the web. Note the picture quality is nowhere near t5hat on these sumptuous Blu-ray collections.

If you, like me, thought cabbage patch babies date only to 1978 you are wrong.

The Cabbage Fairy (1896) – 1st Female Filmmaker – ALICE GUY BLACHE – La Fee aux Choux

Alice Guy-Balché: Madame a des envies (1907)

“Falling Leaves” (1912) silent film dir by Alice Guy Blaché – piano score by Ben Model

–Reg Hartt

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