Alice Guy Blache by Emmanuelle Gaume with Alexandra Lamy

Alice Guy Blache by Emmanuelle Gaume with Alexandra Lamy
Why a movie? Guy-Blaché is the definition of an industry pioneer, rising first through Gaumont Studios, then by becoming the founder and head of Solax Studios. By all accounts a cisgender woman, she nonetheless challenged masculine stereotypes, making big meaningful moves like casting women into then-typically male professions, like magicians or dog-trainers, and taking on the masculine roles herself, dressing as a man and stepping in front of the camera. Today, as we continue to mold our perspectives on how we conceptualize gender and sexuality in mainstream artr, Guy-Blaché’s story is both a feminist rendering of an inherently masculine system, and a subversion of how women were expected to perform both on- and off-screen

vendredi 17 février 2017

Dancing with Alice Guy-Blaché

Dancing with Alice Guy-Blaché

The first female director’s tinted silent film, Pierette’s Escapades.
Pierrettes escapades.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1
Alice Guy-Blaché used to tell her actors, “Be natural.” It’s advice that rings oddly when you watch her films. Guy-Blaché was the first woman director, and to modern eyes her silent films look stagey and highly artificial. Actors mime broadly as they trot through unlikely scenarios. Women get glued to stairwells, babies are born from cabbages, statues come to life. There’s a lot of slapstick and fantasy. It can be surprisingly entertaining, but it’s not what you’d call realistic.
One of Guy-Blaché’s least naturalistic films is Pierrette’s Escapades, a 1900 two-minute short. Most of Guy-Blaché’s films are black and white, but Pierrette’s Escapades is vibrantly hand-tinted. The main character, a young woman dancing in her room, wears a bright pink desk; a chair off to the side is a vivid and incongruous yellow/orange, while a dresser in the back pops red. Black-and-white images, these days, usually indicate grit and realism; the brightness of Pierrette’s Escapades makes the film seem hyper-real and fantastic—a window onto a kind of fairyland.
The narrative, such as it is, is fantastical too. The woman protagonist is in her own room, dancing for no one, or herself, or the audience, when she’s accosted by an androgynous individual in a hat and oversized white coat, who tries to kiss her. She dodges his advances, and shows him out. Then she twirls about some more, lifting her skirts flirtatiously, until another woman dressed as a man in shining green tights and yellow boots appears. The two of them dance, the green woman’s arm around the pink woman’s waist, and then delightedly kiss, at which point the film ends.
In “Comparative Sapphism,” Sharon Marcus argues that in France in the 1800s lesbianism was associated with the seamy underbelly of life—French novelists showed they were mired in authentic nastiness by exploring taboo topics like drug abuse, violence, and homosexuality. But that’s obviously not what’s happening here. The flirtations with androgyny and lesbian eroticism aren’t presented as dirty, real, or tragic in Guy-Blaché’s film. On the contrary, lesbianism here is theatrical, light-hearted, campy fun. It’s fluffy diversion.
Who’s fluffily diverted, though? We don’t know a lot about the audience or genres of early silent film, and it’s difficult to reconstruct exactly what Guy-Blaché thought she was saying, or to whom. We know broadly that Pierrette’s Escapades draws the Harlequinade, of the Comedia d’elle arte tradition. Harlequin farces often included cross-dressing and pantomime; women often played young boys, while men played ugly old women. In harlequin performance, the story of Pierrot (here feminized to Pierrette) was about unrequited love, with Pierrot pursuing a woman named Columbine futilely, to evoke either pathos or ridicule.
That simple outline leaves questions for those watching Pierrette’s Escapades today. First, why has Pierrot been changed to Pierrette? Is the Pierrette figure supposed to be a man? A woman? Is the gender deliberately ambiguous? Was the audience supposed to find the lesbian romance funny? Disturbing? Arousing? Maybe Guy-Blaché made the movie for a primarily male audience, fitting broadly into a tradition of porn for men featuring lesbian eroticism. Maybe it was for a female audience, in which case perhaps women at the time found female/female relationships funny or titillating.
Another mysterious aspect of the film is the setting. Where’s the film supposed to be taking place? Is Columbine an actress or dancer, waiting in her room backstage? Is she in her own room? The set is framed as an interior; Columbine is in her room, with her own make-up table, and a mirror before which she primps and dances. But you can’t see any doors. Columbine’s first suitor simply walks on. The second appears in the center of the floor as if by magic; there must be a break in the version of the film extant, so that her exact moment of arrival is lost.
The location of the film is ill-defined because Pierrette’s Escapades is not a narrative or a story. The point of the film is simply to show Columbine, an attractive woman, dance, reject one suitor, and embrace a second. There’s no development; it’s simply spectacle. The film makes little effort to be natural; it has no pretense of realism. As such, it’s arguably more natural than the standard contemporary Hollywood film that presents itself as a window on an ongoing reality. Guy-Blaché’s film is open about its artificiality; it’s natural in that it admits it’s not natural. It’s taking place in a place that is not a place, in brilliant colors that are not colors.
This is the pleasure of the film. The short pantomime isn’t tied down by any logic, colors or narrative. Natural rules about gender and sexuality are casually shrugged off; people of every gender, or none, watch and admire Columbine. The film frame doesn’t take you to a real place. Instead, it’s a magical, flickering vision, in which people and desires appear and disappear.

vendredi 10 février 2017

ELLE S'APPELLE ALICE GUY de Emmanuelle Gaume

Dimanche 26 février, au cinéma Le Reflet Médicis à Paris projection de ELLE S'APPELLE ALICE GUY de Emmanuelle Gaume FRANCE | 2016 | 59' | VO st EN. Un portrait passionnant de la première femme cinéaste au monde + films d’Alice GUY+ signature du livre. Reflet Médicis 3 rue Champollion Paris 5ème, projection 14h, conférence 16h.

mercredi 4 janvier 2017

Alice Guy Blache ©riginal Solax & Be Natural™

#Alice Guy Blache ©riginal -Solax & Be Natural™1910
Alice Guy Blache ©riginal Solax & Be Natural™ 

Alice Guy Blache ©riginal Solax & Be Natural™

Alice Guy Blache ©riginal Solax & Be Natural™
MR. H. BLACHE SEVERS HIS CONNECTION WITH GAUMONT CO. We are in receipt of a communication from Mr. Herbert Blache, who was formerly general manager and vice-president of the Gaumont Company, with offices and studio at Flush- ing, L. I ..

dimanche 18 décembre 2016

Be Natural ©riginal story of Alice Guy by Alice Guy Blache #75 Martin Scorsese

video Be Natural ©riginal story of Alice Guy by Alice Guy Blache #75 Martin Scorsese
« Alice Guy était une réalisatrice exceptionnelle, d'une sensibilité rare, au regard incroyablement poétique et à l'instinct formidable. Elle a écrit, dirigé et produit plus de mille films. Et pourtant, elle a été oubliée par l'industrie qu'elle a contribué à créer ». Martin Scorsese, New York, octobre 2011

samedi 3 décembre 2016

"Elle s'appelle Alice Guy" Un film d'Emmanuelle Gaume avec Alexandra Lamy

"Elle s'appelle Alice Guy" Un film d'Emmanuelle Gaume avec Alexandra Lamy

"Elle s'appelle Alice Guy" Un film d'Emmanuelle Gaume avec Alexandra Lamy

Comment est né votre intérêt pour la réalisatrice Alice Guy ?
  Emmanuelle Gaume: De ma passion pour le cinéma, l’histoire, et les beaux personnages ! J’aime découvrir et faire partager mes découvertes. C’est en plongeant dans la grande histoire du 7ème art que j’ai croisé Alice, seule femme cinéaste des débuts du cinéma pendant 17 ans ! Un seul visage de femme au milieu de centaines de pionniers… Elle s’est vite distinguée !
Le travail de recherche autour d’Alice Guy a-t-il été compliqué ?
Ce fut surtout long et ce n’est pas terminé ! Je travaille sur le sujet depuis 2012 et je découvre encore des documents, de nouvelles images… Ma rencontre avec la petite fille d’Alice, Régine Blaché-Bolton, et l’amitié qui a découlé de cette rencontre a été fondamentale. Régine était, car elle est malheureusement décédée il y a peu, la mémoire vivante de sa grand-mère. Elle m’a ouvert les archives familiales et surtout elle m’a confié les souvenirs qu’elle avait de sa grand-mère. Ce sont ces souvenirs qui m’ont permis de sculpter le personnage d’Alice Guy dans mon roman puis de construire mon film sur elle.
A cette époque, comment était-elle dans la vie ?
Comme George Sand, Sarah Bernhardt, ou Colette elle était hors-normes ! Émancipée à l’âge de 15 ans après le décès de son père,  elle a pu travailler, gagner de l’argent, voyager… Toutes choses parfaitement inaccessibles aux jeunes femmes de l’époque qui ne pouvaient rien décider pour elles.  Elles étaient contraintes par la loi, soumises  à  la tutelle de leur père, ou de leur mari. Elle a pu choisir de faire un métier réservé aux hommes ! Volontaire, autoritaire, créative, entièrement dévouée à son métier, elle a consacré sa vie à faire du cinéma puis à se faire reconnaître comme première femme cinéaste. Comme tous les beaux personnages, elle est assez double… une main de fer dans un gant de velours ! Sa carrière est flamboyante et son histoire d’amour avec le seul homme de sa vie (et père de ses enfants) est un mélodrame hollywoodien !

jeudi 3 novembre 2016

Un frotteur (Alice Guy, 1907)

Un frotteur (Alice Guy, 1907) non signée ...Quand l’affiche invente le cinéma L’Institut Jean Vigo propose un voyage dans le temps en racontant, à travers une exposition, les origines de la “réclame des films”. Jusqu’au 6 novembre au couvent des Minimes de Perpignan (rue Rabelais).
Catalogue de l’exposition à la vente pour 17 euros.