Fabulous Femme Friday

Hello Everyone!!

Hope you’re staying warm out there, wherever you are. It is the WORST here in DC. I have been worried sick about the homeless people out on the streets in this weather! Worrying and praying are not enough, I know, but I have been doing both. A reminder–practically every state has a “fuel fund”, which you can donate to in order to pay someone’s heat bill that would be shut off otherwise. A wonderful charity!! Here’s ours in DC: http://washingtonareafuelfund.org/   Find one where you live, if you are so moved! Maybe in the spirit of Chinese New Year, where people give red hong bao envelopes of money to younger (poorer) people, you could give some money of your own to help someone in need. Anyway, just a thought 🙂

I am thinking about a new series (since Movies Monday seems to be such a hit)–Fabulous Femme Friday!! Here we will celebrate amazing women–any time period, any achievement, just so long as she’s fabulous! You can suggest people you’d like to see covered. Do y’all like this idea?  I will see how this goes.

My first Fabulous Femme is Alice Guy-Blache, the founder of narrative film-making. She was born in France in 1873 and was trained as a secretary. As a 23-year old, she saw an exposition of the Lumiere Brother’s moving picture equipment, brand-spanking new at the time. She persuaded her boss to let her borrow it so she and her girlfriends could make a moving picture, and a 24-year career was born. She and her husband eventually moved to America to get a jump on the movie business.

She founded her own studio, Solax Pictures, and wrote and directed 2 to 3 films per week! (These were short, single-reel films, but still…) She is thought to be the first person to make a film with a plot. Her movie motto was “Be natural”, which was very different from the cartoonish acting of the day. She was a pioneer in so many wonderful ways: synchronized song, split screen, double exposure, and even color film were all invented by her.

When her marriage ended, she moved back to France and was not able to make a career in the film industry there. She did however teach film, and mentored Louise Weber, who would go on to be another great woman in film-making. Sadly, much of her work has been lost and she is rarely, if ever, mentioned in film history studies. She died in 1968 at age 94. Just another example of a woman being swallowed up by history because nobody sang her praises.

Well, I am singing them! And I’m not alone. There is a documentary being made about her life called “Be Natural”, which Jodie Foster is a part of. Here is the trailer for that film: https://vimeo.com/70380930

I await its premiere with high anticipation! I can’t wait to learn more about her. Here is one of her movies called “Madame’s Fancies”, which is about a pregnant woman who steals food out of people’s hands. At the end she finds her baby in a cabbage patch and all is right with the world. It’s pretty hysterical. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCGVu9LHWxA

Any other women the world needs to know about? Did you know about Alice before? Have a great weekend!!

xx,

Laura

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