Sunday, April 29, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – 3 Tinted Dances

Guy continues her Spanish exploration with three hand-tinted films showing the tango, flamenco, and bolero dancing styles:

The Tango [Le Tango]

The Malaguena and the Bullfighter [La malagueña et le torero]

Saharet Performs the Bolero [Madame Saharet, boléro]

Friday, April 27, 2012

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – Spain [Espagne] (1905)

Historic time-capsule notable for numerous reasons:
1. The fascinating people and places captured on film over 100 years ago.
2. The impressive cinematography including a some nice camera movement.
3. Footage with Alice Guy Blaché in front of the camera instead of behind. 

The locations are as follows: 
MADRID - Puerta del Sol, The Prado, The Fountains of Cybele, Palacio Real
GRANADA - Sierra Nevada, The Alhambra
SEVILLE - Guadalquivir River
BARCELONA - Montserrat Monastery

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Truly Awesome Video of Outer Space

The footage in this video is derived from image sequences from NASA's Cassini and Voyager missions.

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – The Magician's Alms [La charité du prestidigitateur] (1905)

Excellent use of the Melies-style effects common for the time, and created in multiple outdoor settings instead of the controlled-environment stage typically used. Nice morality tale as well. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Hubble Space Telescope!

The Hubble Telescope launched 22 years ago today, and the entire collection of Hubble pictures is available online and well worth your time. The video below contains 1 selected image from each year.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – Miss Dundee and Her Performing Dogs [Les chiens savants] (1902)

Adorable dog and handler performance video where the tricks become more impressive and entertaining as the show progresses. The finale is definitely worth the wait.

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – Midwife to the Upper Classes [Sage-femme de première classe] (1902)

Both cute and disgusting. Cute as an expansion of Guy's earlier film, The Cabbage Fairy, involving the plucking of babies from the cabbage patch. Disgusting in the repulsive reaction of the couple towards the darker baby. Still, that is an important moment in movie history as a snapshot of society, and it's also critical that we note the mention of "upper classes" in the title. We are left to wonder whether Guy was making a statement towards the prejudices of elitists in their rejection of the less-desirable baby.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – Pierrette's Escapades [Le départ d'Arlequin et de Pierrette] (1900)

An early example of a hand-tinted film, where each frame was painted and which always contain an air of magic.

Music performed by Billy Duncan for Change Before Going Productions

Incredibly Inspirational Video of 65-year-old Female Hockey Player

At the age of 65, Diane Pieknik decides to play ice hockey for the first time and joins a women's "18 and over" hockey league. As a result, she reminds us that life is for living.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – At the Photographer's [Chez le photographe] (1900)

Slightly meta film as we have moving pictures of a man continually moving out of the way from being photographed. A simple film, but the comedic timing is on point.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Brotherhood of Man or: How I Learned to Get Blacklisted and Thrown in Jail

Based upon the pamphlet Races Of Mankind by Ruth Benedict and Gene Weltfish, Brotherhood of Man is a controversial 10-minute cartoon from 1945 which explores the inherent equality of all peoples, and promotes the tolerance of other cultures. It was sponsored by the UAW (United Auto Workers) union and produced by UPA (United Productions of America).

Ring Lardner Jr., one of the UPA writers of this adaptation, soon came under the scrutiny of the Joseph McCarthy Red Scare and was blacklisted along with nine other Hollywood writers and directors in 1947. Known as the "Hollywood Ten", they were investigated by the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) and refused to answer any questions during appeals, claiming their rights from the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution. The HUAC and courts disagreed and all were found guilty of contempt of Congress. Lardner was sentenced to 1 year in Danbury Prison and fined $1,000.

Though blacklisted by the Hollywood studios, Lardner returned triumphantly in Robert Altman's MASH, for which he won an Academy Award (Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay).

Directed by Robert Cannon, animated by John Hubley, featuring music by Paul Smith.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – Wonderful Absinthe [La bonne absinthe] (1899)

Is this a film with a main character who drinks absinthe? Or a representation of Alice Guy-Blaché's mind after she took a trip with the green fairy? It appears to be the former, though I would love to see the latter.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Music Therapy and Fraggle Rock

I have a question for those interested. First, imagine being of the age and unfortunate condition as the gentleman in this video:

Now, which song do you THINK would have the most impact upon you, as occurred with him?

There are so many aspects to consider, not just regarding how songs remind us of certain times in our lives, but also in connection within our various relationships, both past and present. And who knows what is deep within our subconscious which we may not even think as being a trigger in such a state.

Personally, the 1st thing that came to my mind is from an episode of Fraggle Rock! The song which starts at the 1 minute mark here:

I'd love to hear your songs.

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – At the Club [Au cabaret] (1899)

A slightly different look at a familiar narrative in early French cinema. The original was Louis Lumière's Card Game (Partie de Cartes), and the 1st remake was Georges Méliès's Card Party (Une Partie de Cartes).

Monday, April 9, 2012

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – Surprise Attack on a House at Daybreak [Surprise d'une maison au petit jour] (1898)

The appropriately titled Surprise Attack on a House at Daybreak (aka House Ambushed at Dawn) by Alice Guy-Blaché begins rather shockingly, and then the action continues all the way through the final frames.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Vintage 19th Century Star Wars Yoda

Check out more from Nick Agin, including Darth Vader, Boba Fett, C-3PO, and plenty of non-Star Wars art and design as well.

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – Disappearing Act [Scène d'escamotage] (1898)

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and Alice Guy-Blaché's Disappearing Act (aka Scène d'escamotage) is an obvious imitation of the early films of Georges Méliès, such as The Vanishing Lady. Also note that we see the same backdrop used in At the Hypnotist's.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Kurt Vonnegut recites his 8 tips for writing a great story

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  4. Every sentence must do one of two things: reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Be a sadist.
  7. Write to please just one person.
  8. Give your readers as much information as possible, as soon as possible.

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – The Turn-of-the-Century Blind Man [L'aveugle fin de siècle] (1898)

After being admonished by a cop, a "blind" beggar takes advantage of a sleeping mark to......get the mark arrested?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – At the Hypnotist's [Chez le magnétiseur] (1897)

This is one of the earliest Guy-Blaché films in which we see the influence of Georges Méliès. One striking difference is the longer distance that exists between the onscreen action and the camera.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – The Fisherman at the Stream [Le pêcheur dans le torrent] (1897)

The Fisherman at the Stream (aka Le pêcheur dans le torrent), is a comedic prank film of a type which began with Louis Lumière's L'arroseur arrosé (The Sprinkler Sprinkled). In fact, Alice Guy-Blaché also filmed a remake of Lumiere's short, but that movie is now presumed lost.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker - The Cabbage Fairy [La fée aux choux] (1896)

The Cabbage Fairy (aka La fée aux choux) is the oldest surviving film directed by the world's 1st female filmmaker, Alice Guy-Blaché. The short references a folk tale regarding the origin of babies, not unlike the delivery stork, and pre-dating Cabbage Patch dolls by about 80 years.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Beyond 100: The 1st Female Filmmaker (Alice Guy), Méliès in May, and more

First off, thank you to anyone reading this and to everyone who's checked out a previous posting. It's been a delightful time, giddy actually, connecting and interacting with those who have found something of interest in a post or two. I plan to do a better job of regularly sharing content from a more diverse range of topics that are of interest to me, while still maintaining a slight focus on film, movies, cinema, flicks, whatever-you-might-call-it.

Speaking of which, March Melies Madness officially concluded with my 100th post, but despair not, the works of Méliès will resume in May. As for April, I'm spotlighting the surviving films of Alice Guy-Blaché (seen below), the world's 1st female director in the motion picture industry. She was a true pioneer with accomplishments and works that rival any of her male counterparts from the era of cinema's birth.

Thank you again, and here's to the next 100.

Source: Silent Film via Janelle on Pinterest