American Cinematheque, along with Kino Lorber and the Library of Congress will present three nights of silent films made by women July 27th-29th at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles.
Times have changed for the worse. The fact is that In the 1910s and early ’20s, there were many women directing films. Some worked for the major studios. Some established their own companies. They were hugely influential in shaping the language of cinema, as the industry moved from short films to features. From comedies, thrillers, dramas and even Westerns, their films are visually dazzling, emotionally complex and defiantly controversial. Showcasing these ambitious works from the golden age of women directors also underlines what was lost by the marginalization of women’s participation in the film industry.
Cari Beauchamp provides some background on these amazing women in her article The Women Behind the Camera in Early Filmmaking.
American Cinematheque has collected a few of these obscure, rare gems, and here’s your uncommon chance to see them:
The Red Kimona, 1925, 77 min. Directed by Dorothy Davenport.
Friday, July 27 – 7:30 PM
New Restorations! This salute to early female filmmakers begins with shorts by Grace Cunard, who wrote, starred in and often directed a series of action vehicles, plus an episode of Helen Holmes’ adventure series. Followed by Dorothy Davenport’s drama The Red Kimona, about a girl forced into prostitution in New Orleans. Ileana Douglas to introduce the program. Click for more details.
Where Are My Children?, 1916, 64 min. Directed by Lois Weber.
Saturday, July 28 – 7:30 PM
New Restorations! Our tribute to pioneering female filmmaker Lois Weber begins with 1916’sWhere Are My Children? and What Do Men Want,” both grappling with controversial issues of their day. The program concludes with shorts Suspense and Hypocrites, which display the director’s more surreal side. Author and Hollywood historian Cari Beauchamp will introduce the program. Click for more details.
The Films of Alice Guy-Blaché and Others 165 min.
Sunday, July 29 – 7:30 PM
New Restorations & Archival Rarities! This salute to female film pioneers begins with shorts by French director Alice Guy-Blaché, including the first film with all-black cast. The second part of the program features archival rarities by filmmakers Zora Neale Hurston, Marion E. Wong and Lita Lawrence. Click for more details.