© Filmperlen

USA 2019 | Director, Editor, Production: Pamela B. Green | Script: Pamela B. Green, Joan Simon | Camera: Boubkar Benzabat | Music: Peter G. Adams | Narrator: Jodie Foster | With: Alice Guy-Blaché, John Bailey, Geena Davis, Julie Delpy, Ava Du Vernay, Patty Jenkins, Ben Kingsley, Agnès Varda, Evan Rachel Wood | Colour & b/w | DCP | 103 min | french/ english OV with german SUB | Filmperlen

Alice Guy-Blaché began making films in 1896, only one year after the birth of the cinema [...]. As a Gaumont secretary, she was actually responsible for the promotion of photographic equipment; the product range was expanded to include a simple version of a cinematograph. The secretary asked her employer whether she could also film a couple of scenes, Alice Guy-Blaché tells us in a 1957 television interview. Yes, it's something young women can do, he supposedly said. The advertisements for the cinematograph displayed a surprising gender balance: a man and a woman holding the device equally and enjoying filming. [...]

In her documentary film Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, American filmmaker Pamela Green presents the feminist impact of the film pioneer in detail. Her influence reached to Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin (1926), with the famous scene on the stairs where the baby carriage takes off on its own, and October: Ten Days That Shook the World (1928), with the masculine behaviour of the female anti-aircraft gunners. Russian film historian Naum Kleiman tells us that Eisenstein mentioned the films of Alice Guy-Blaché in his notes. Pamela Green very carefully seeks out an original argument and historic document for each thesis. She leaves (almost) nothing to speculation, amasses material and biographical details, assembles the daughters, draws family trees and outlines influences using lines and arrows. She finds a fitting document for every statement, points out locations on maps of archives that hold information on the world's first woman filmmaker – so much so that the viewer is nearly overwhelmed. (Dunja Bialas, artechock.de)

WED, 10.11.21

6.00 pm

Mal Seh’n