zoetrope: (Misc - Feminism)
Wanna be scared? This beats Blair Witch, The Shining, and Knocked Up for sheer terror value.
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Alice Guy Blaché

Alice Guy Blaché was a pioneer in the film world. If there was something to be done first, she did it.

Blaché was the first women film director, and the first person ever to put a narrative on film. She was also the first person to make a film shot in colour. She made films in every genre: fairytales and fantasies; romances and comedies; religious parables; myths and trick films. She even produced a science fiction film entitled, "In the Year 2000" in which women rule the world.

Blaché began as Leon Gaumont's secretary when he was making film equipment. She began making short films intended for use as demonstrations to clients. In 1895, Louis Lumiere paid Gaumont a visit to show him a new contraption that Lumiere had just invented: a camera that made still photographs appear as a series of moving images. Blaché was fascinated with what she saw.

She said ...I thought I could do better...Gathering up my courage, I timidly proposed to Gaumont that I would write one or two short plays and make them for the amusement of my friends. If the developments which evolved from this proposal could have been foreseen, then I probably never never would have obtained his agreement. My youth, my lack of experience, my sex all conspired against me.

Gaumont, who never took the invention seriously, was taken aback -- "What! What! All right, if you want to," he is credited to have said, "It's a child's toy anyhow."

Gaumont allowed her to have her fun on the condition that her secretarial duties did not suffer. Thus she made the first film, "La Fee Aux Choux" in 1896, some months before the man usually credited with filming the first narrative - Melies. The film was so successful in helping Gaumont to sell the cameras, that Blaché was released from her secretarial duties, and instead was put in charge of film production.

From then, she directed, produced and/or supervised nearly 300 films, and when men took over and women were pushed out of the film industry she was forced to spend the rest of her life attempting to prove to others that she had done so.

Blaché lived for a time in America, and prospered until 1919, when the larger film studios began to push out the smaller production houses. She moved back to France where she was unknown, and without the prints of any of her films. She was unemployable. It wasn't until she was 78 years old that she was finally honored in France as the first woman filmmaker in the world, and made a knight of the French Legion of Honor.

However, in New Jersey, the State in which she changed the course of film history and made her most entrepreneurial triumphs, she died anonymous. Not one newspaper carried her obituary. She was 95 years old.


Written with the help of this webpage. Look here for more details.
zoetrope: (Misc - Superman)
Ever look for a response for those people who insist that women are equal now, and that the only people who still harp on about feminism are hairy-legged lesbian separatists?

Some hard facts from Womankind.org.uk:

- Women do two-thirds of the world's work, yet earn just 10% of the world's income and own 1% of the world's property.

- 75% of the world's illiterate people are women.

- Violence against women causes more deaths and disability among women aged 15 – 44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents or war.

- 80% of those displaced by violent conflict and disasters are women.

- Women hold only 14% of parliamentary seats worldwide.

Food for thought.

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April 2010

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