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Doing Women's Film HistoryReframing Cinemas, Past and Future$
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Julia Knight and Christine Gledhill

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039683

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039683.001.0001

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Alice Guy’s Great Cinematic Adventure

Alice Guy’s Great Cinematic Adventure

(p.95) Chapter 6 Alice Guy’s Great Cinematic Adventure
Doing Women's Film History

Kimberly Tomadjoglou

University of Illinois Press

This chapter rethinks Alice Guy's legacy by analying her adaptation of the paternalist practices of Gaumont Film Company, where she began, to the matriarchal organization of her own film studio in America, Solax. It tackles a number of questions arising from the figure of Alice Guy: for example, whether she was a feminist; whether her husband Herbert Blaché was responsible for the failure of Solax; whether she directed La Fée aux choux (The Cabbage Fairy), which, according to her, was her directorial debut, made in 1896; or whether she directed her first film in 1902, the two-shot Sage-femme de première classe (First Class Mid-Wife). In historicizing Guy's practice, this chapter reconceptualizes her creativity in terms not of “auteur” but of metteur-en-scène—thereby recognizing her generative role in managing the creative output of her studio. It also examines the role of fantasy in creating a feminist historiography or a feminist Alice Guy.

Keywords:   auteur, Alice Guy, Herbert Blaché, Solax, La Fée aux choux, Gaumont Film Company, feminist historiography, film studio

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