Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché
Director: Pamela B. Green
2019, 103 minutes, NR
Cast: Jodie Foster, narration
Distributor: Zeitgeist Films
Guest speaker will join us after the 8:00 pm screening on Saturday, May 25.
Caroline Eades, Associate Professor
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Maryland.
Caroline Eades specializes in Film Studies and Contemporary French Culture. She received her PhD in Film Studies from the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris III and has taught at the University of Grenoble, France, the University of Southern California, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her main fields of research are European Cinema, Post-Colonial Studies, Film Feminist Theory, Film and Myth. She published “Le Cinéma post-colonial français” appeared in 2006 (Paris: Collections 7eArt, Editions du Cerf) and a volume on The Essay Film co-edited with Elizabeth Papazian (New York: Wallflower Press, 2016). She has published numerous book-chapters and articles on French cinema, culture, and literature in American, Canadian, French, Greek, Brazilian, Swiss, Belgian, and Italian scholarly series and journals, including The French Review, Revue de Littérature Comparée, and CinémAction.
Alice Guy-Blaché was a true pioneer who got into the movie business at the very beginning – in 1894, at the age of 21. Two years later, she was made head of production at Gaumont and started directing films. She and her husband moved to the United States, and she founded her own company, Solax, in 1910. They started in Flushing and moved to a bigger facility in Fort Lee, New Jersey. But by 1919, Guy-Blaché’s career came to an abrupt end, and she and the 1,000 films that bore her name were largely forgotten.
Pamela B. Green’s energetic film is both a tribute and a detective story, tracing the circumstances by which this extraordinary artist faded from memory and the path toward her reclamation. Narration by Jodie Foster.
“By the end of Be Natural, you won’t only have a clear idea of who this remarkable woman was; you may well have acquired a new taste in old movies.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times