Film symposium “First among Equals. Alice Guy’s cinema work between 1896 and 1920”

21 September 2012 – From 28 to 30 September, Kinothek Asta Nielsen in cooperation with Deutsches Filmmuseum – DIF will present the cinema work of the first woman film director Alice Guy (1873-1968).  Guy started making films around the same time as Georges Méliès and the Lumière brothers and yet she is practically unknown today, even among experts. Several of her more than 1000 – largely lost – films have meantime been identified by researchers in archives and restored. Following New York, Paris and Bologna, Frankfurt is for the first time presenting films by Alice Guy.

In late 1895, Alice Guy, secretary to Léon Gaumont, joined the Comptoire Général de Photographie in Paris and several months later supported her boss when he took over the company. That was the start of Gaumont Film Productions, in which Alice Guy played a decisive role from the very beginning, as director and production manager.  In 1907 Alice Guy accompanied her husband Herbert Blaché to the United States, where she set up her own film company, Solax (1910-14). She made her last film in 1920. Her book, Autobiographie d’une pionnière du cinéma 1873-1968, was published posthumously by the Association Musidora (and subsequently in German by tende Verlag, 1968).

 The six symposium sections will position Alice Guy’s films in the context of Early cinema, highlighting her work as it unfolded in a variety of genres – from “fééries” – fairy tales – to views, dance pieces, comedies and social drama. Programme presentations and lectures will open up various perspectives on the works of Alice Guy. 

The film showings will be accompanied by the pianist and composer Elvira Plenar; the matinee showing on 30.9 by the silent-film pianist and composer Eunice Martins.

The curators are Heide Schlüpmann and Karola Gramann, Kinothek Asta Nielsen.

Read the symposium programme (in German)