Monday February 2, 7:30pm / POSTPONED TO MONDAY 2/9, 7.30PM
Viewing Party: Alice Guy
suggested donation (free for Members)

Alice Guy shooting “Frà Diavolo” (1912)

We invite you to join us as we screen works by early film pioneer Alice Guy. The filmmaker made her first film in 1896 and is considered as the first female film director working both in her native France and in the US. Although most of the more then 700 works Guy directed have been lost or destroyed, those recovered reveal an innovator in the art form including in the use of synchronized sound, double exposure, split screen, tinting, and close up among others.

Guy’s films, ranging from 30 second pieces to features, range from scenes of everyday life and nature, dance and other performances, slapstick humor, fantasy, sexuality, feminism and other subject matter of her times. Among her many signifcant works are: “The Cabbage Fairy” (La Fée aux choux, 1896), based on an old European fairy tale, considered among and possibly as the first narrative film; the “big budget”, 33-minute “The Life of Christ” (La vie du Christ, 1906) an elaborately staged production with over 300 extras; and “A Fool and his Money” (2012) the first known and surviving film to feature an all African American cast. 

Alice Guy’s career spanned 25 years both with Gaumont Studios, in France and the US, and later with Solax, a studio she opened with her husband in Fort Lee, New Jersey, then a center of American Film industry, where she was the first and remains to today the only female studio head. Guy, who also worked under the name Alice Guy-Blaché made her final film in 1920, returned to France, and was widely forgotten. Guy was briefly recognized during her lifetime receiving a Legion of Honor award by the French government in 1953 and a screening of her works at Cinemathèque Francaise a few years later. Much of what is known about the filmmaker is from her own writings published after her death in 1968 at the age of 94 in New Jersey. There has been increased interest in Guy’s works over the last few years including a series of screenings at the Whitney Museum in 2009 and at the Museum of Moving Image in 2012.

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