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Seeing Sarah BernhardtPerformance and Silent Film$
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Victoria Duckett

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039669

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039669.001.0001

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Sarah Bernhardt at Home

Sarah Bernhardt at Home

Cinema and the Home, ca. 1915

(p.136) 5. Sarah Bernhardt at Home
Seeing Sarah Bernhardt

Victoria Duckett

University of Illinois Press

This chapter analyzes Sarah Bernhardt at Home to show how Sarah Bernhardt, by exploring the different spaces that together represent “the home,” reveals her home's expansive horizons. It asks what it is we are seeing when we watch Sarah Bernhardt at Home by tackling a number of questions, for example, why Bernhardt made a film that had little or nothing to do with her famous theatrical roles. The focus is on what we can see on the film today: the different places, activities, and people that constitute Bernhardt “at home.” The chapter first looks at Hecla Films, which produced Sarah Bernhardt at Home, during the period 1912–1915 before explaining how the film provides a significant insight into the way that art nouveau entered and shaped the home at the opening of the twentieth century. It also considers how Bernhardt recontextualizes familiar paintings in Sarah Bernhardt at Home in order to fashion new visual meanings for us.

Keywords:   home, Sarah Bernhardt at Home, Sarah Bernhardt, film, Hecla Films, art nouveau, painting

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