News & Updates

UPWIFT presents:
A Celebration of the First Woman Filmmaker, Alice Guy-Blaché

Three theaters within the UPWIFT region will present films by the first female filmmaker, Alice Guy-Blaché, as well as sneak-peeks into a new documentary about Alice by Pamela Green and a Q&A with the filmmaker.

Press release for the three events here.

Upstate Films/Rhinebeck, Sunday, December 11, 1:00PM:

A retrospective of Alice Guy's films will be shown tonight (September 23) as part of the Woman with a Movie Camera series at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City. The 90-minute program includes:

THE DRUNKEN MATTRESS / LE MATELAS ALCOOLIQUE (France, 1906, 7 min, 35mm, b&w, silent. Print courtesy of the Library of Congress.)

THE STRIKE (U.S., 1912, 12 min, 35mm, b&w, silent. Print courtesy of the British Film Institute.)

This filmography is an accompaniment to the article "Stereotypes and Archetypes in Early Spanish Cinema," by Francisco Griñán, edited and translated by Alison McMahan, New Review of Film and Television, digital publication  22 July 2016.

The films listed are only the ones mentioned in the article but it provides a good overview of early film production in Spain. Included are the films Alice Guy and her cameraman Anatole Thiberville filmed in Spain in October-November of 1905.

FILMOGRAPHY

* ph: phonoscenes
** sd: sound movie

 

Although we can't be sure who filmed the 1905 Gaumont hand-colored movies La malagueña y el torero y Le Tango, we have identified one of the performers. La Bella Romero (real name, Elsa Romero) was born in Malaga in the late nineteenth century. By early 1902 she was dancing tangos and sevillanas in Madrid (El Globo (EG) 1902, Madrid, 3 January, 3). In 1903 she debuted at the Teatro Novedades in Barcelona, where she was a great success. Her fame continued to grow. She even performed with La Fornarina and appeared in films. 

The Journey

Alice Guy traveled around Spain for six weeks, from October 15th to the end of November of 1905,  filming in Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Córdoba and Seville. Guy's mission was to film a series of chronophone films in Spanish and pave the way for Gaumont film distribution in Spain. Guy has also been tentatively credited with filming La Malagueña y el torero (1905) and Le Tango (1905) while on this journey.  Francisco Griñán has investigated her journey in a way never done before.

Early filmmakers who made films in and about Spain used Andalusia as a stand-in for all of Spain, and had three favorite tropes for representing what they considered to be typically Spanish: Flamenco dancers, bullfighters, and bandits. The opera Carmen (and the novel it is based on) perfectly emblematizes these stereotypical archetypes.

I just completed a translation and edit of  Stereotypes and Archetypes in Early Spanish Cinema by Francisco Griñán for the New Review of Film and Television Studies. The paper is a case study of how national archetypes and stereotypes get put into place.

The OpenCulture Blog has posted a list of where you can find 65 free Charlie Chaplin films on the web. I post the beginning of the blog and link to it below; and I post Chaplin's A Burlesque On Carmen (1915) here for your viewing pleasure. Stay turned for more early cinema on Carmen in future posts.

It is with great joy that I announce that my friend and fellow early cinema researcher, Francisco Griñán, has been awarded his Ph.D. by the University of Malaga. I was honored to be invited to form part of his doctoral committee. The defense took place on February 5th and was witnessed by all of Paco's friends and family.