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Alice Guy Blaché: Lost Visionary of the Cinema

Alice Guy Blaché: Lost Visionary of the Cinema
Your Price: $26.95 CDN
Author: Alison McMahan
Publisher: Continuum
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 408
Pub. Date: 2003
ISBN-10: 0826451578
ISBN-13: 9780826451576

About the Book:

Alice Guy Blaché (1873-1968), the world's first woman filmmaker, was one of the key figures in the development of narrative film. From 1896 to 1920 she directed 400 films (including over 100 synchronized sound films), produced hundreds more, and was the first — and so far the only — woman to own and run her own studio plant (The Solax Studio in Fort Lee, NJ, 1910-1914). However, her role in film history was completely forgotten until her own memoirs were published in 1976.

Subtitled Lost Visionary of the Cinema, this book tells the life story of Alice Guy Blaché and fills in many gaps left by the memoirs. Her life and career mirrored momentous changes in the film industry, and the long time-span and sheer volume of her output makes her films a fertile territory for the application of new theories of cinema history, the development of film narrative, and feminist film theory. Author Alison McMahan provides a close analysis of the one hundred Alice Guy Blaché films that survive, and in the process rewrites early cinema history.

What people say:

"Alison McMahan's study of Alice Guy is an astonishing piece of work, the most wide-ranging and ambitious book on a filmmaker that I can recall. For its comprehensiveness, its spirit of intellectual adventure and its quality of thought, this is a truly remarkable book." — Alan Williams, Rutgers University

"McMahan's book is an obsessively detailed history of a true motion-picture pioneer." — American Cinematographer

"The author provides intriguing information about Guy's life, the early days of film production, and Guy’s independent film company (Solax)." — Choice

"Alison McMahan's indefatigable ten-year research project to recover the work of Alice Guy Blaché, not only the first woman filmmaker in both France and the USA but the pioneer with the longest career (1896-1920), has produced a fascinating book that will interest scholars and general readers alike. To top it off, the book concludes with an unusually reflexive, yet authoritative filmography of the one thousand films attributed to Guy Blaché as a director and/or producer." — Richard Abel, Drake University

"Monumental … a daunting achievement." — Los Angeles Times

About the Author:

Alison McMahan is a Mellon Fellow in Visual Culture at Vassar College. From 1997 to 2001 she ran the MA program in film and television studies at the University of Amsterdam, where she taught early cinema and new media. She has published widely on early cinema and has done research for several documentaries on the subject.