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"Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology"

More women worked in film during its first two decades than at any time since. Unfortunately, many early women filmmakers have been largely written out of film history, their contributions undervalued. This necessary and timely collection highlights the work of 14 of early cinema's most innovative and influential women directors, re-writing and celebrating their rightful place in film history.

International in scope, this groundbreaking collection features over 10 hours of material, comprised of 25 films spanning 1902-1943, including many rare titles not widely available until now, from shorts to feature films, live-action to animation, commercial narratives to experimental works. Directors include Alice Guy Blaché, Lois Weber, Mabel Normand, Madeline Brandeis, Germaine Dulac, Olga Preobrazhenskaia, Marie-Louise Iribe, Lotte Reiniger, Claire Parker, Mrs. Wallace Reid (Dorothy Davenport), Leni Riefenstahl, Mary Ellen Bute, Dorothy Arzner, and Maya Deren.

These women were technically and stylistically innovative, pushing the boundaries of narrative, aesthetics, and genre. Going back to the beginning of cinema, this collection makes visible the tremendous directorial contributions women made all around the world. Beautifully restored in high definition, Early Women Filmmakers features new scores by Sergei Dreznin, Frederick Hodges, Tamar Muskal, Judith Rosenberg, and Rodney Sauer and the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.

This anthology is dedicated to the memory of David Shepard (1940-2017), without whom these films along with countless others would simply not have been made available in such beautifully-restored editions. The collection represents one of David's final produced works, completed in collaboration with several film archives, including the French National Center for Cinematography and the Moving Image (CNC), the Film Studies Center at the University of Chicago, and the Library of Congress.

 

Reviews

DVD Review: Flicker Alley -  Region 'A' - Blu-ray

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CLICK to order from:

Distribution Flicker Alley - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Flicker Alley Blu-rays Reviewed at DVDBeaver:
Runtime 3:19:39.008 + 4:02:13.852 + 3:44:09.644
  Blu-ray One Blu-ray Two Blu-ray Three
Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,674,943,120 bytes

Features Size: 46,544,588,736 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.41 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video / 23.976 fps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,910,119,860 bytes

Feature's Size: 44,807,784,576 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.82 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video / 23.976 fps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,525,486,660 bytes

Feature's Size: 49,406,403,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video / 23.976 fps

 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Disc 1 Blu-ray Bitrate:

 

 

Disc 2 Blu-ray Bitrate:

 

 

Disc 3 Blu-ray Bitrate:

 

 

Audio

LPCM Audio Undetermined 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles

English (for foreign language intertitles, text and dialogue)

Features

Complete List of Directors and Films Included:


Alice Guy Blaché: Les Chiens Savants (1902), Une Histoire Roulante (1906), La Barricade (1907), Falling  Leaves (1912), Making an American Citizen (1912), The Girl in the Armchair (1912)
Lois Weber: Suspense (1913), Discontent (1916), The Blot (1921)
Mabel Normand: Mabel's Strange Predicament (1914)
Madeline Brandeis: The Star Prince (1918)
Germaine Dulac: La Cigarette (1919), La Souriante Mme. Beudet (1922)
Olga Preobrazhenskaia: The Peasant Women of Ryazan (1927)
Marie-Louise Iribe: Le Roi des Aulnes (1929)
Lotte Reiniger: Harlequin (1931), The Stolen Heart (1934), Papageno (1935)
Claire Parker: A Night on Bald Mountain (1933)
Mrs. Wallace Reid (Dorothy Davenport): The Woman Condemned (1934)
Leni Riefenstahl: Day of Freedom (1935)
Mary Ellen Bute: Parabola (1937), Spook Sport (1939)
Dorothy Arzner: Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) (excerpt)
Maya Deren: Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

 

Extras

Audio Commentary - For Lois Weber's The Blot by author of Lois Weber in Early Hollywood, and Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History, professor, and expert on women and early film culture Shelley Stamp, courtesy of Milestone Film and Video
Booklet Essay - By film historian and Women Film Pioneers Project Manager Kate Saccone

3 DVDs of the BD content

 

Chapters: 38 + 37 + 45

Blu-ray Release Date: May 26th, 2017

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: Flicker Alley - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (May 2017):  We were extremely excited about this release as soon as it was announced. We have 14 early female directors with a, broad, selection of their works in 1080P. It amounts to over 11 hours of film content - spread over 3 dual-layered Blu-rays. We have many Silent Era works, foreign films, 'silhouette' animation, talkies, shorts with psychological symbolism, a propaganda film directed by Leni Riefenstahl and so much more. They range from 1902 - 1943, from a few minutes to 1.5 hour features.

 

There is a brief text screen description, providing background, of each director followed by a description of each film with the music/composer utilized (see samples below). Obviously, the quality varies with mild to moderate damage in most of the very early films. We accept this as appreciating the ability to be able to see the film, in these conditions, or not at all. The damage for some can have segments of being quite extensive but I found them all watchable without undue effort to determine what was transpiring in the plot of dialogue (there are, mostly original, intertitles for the silents - with English subtitles for the foreign films - this covers signs, letters text etc.). The higher resolution tends to being out more detail - even in light marks or scratches. The quality will be indicative of the captures posted below. Some silent films have tints, one of the animations is in color... overall I was thrilled with my viewing. Unique, poetic, brilliantly realized cinema from an across-the-board variety of themes, storylines, emotions, adventures etc. Many of these films have magical qualities and deserve a modern audience.

 

NOTE: Yes, that is Chaplin, as a derivation of 'The Little Tramp' from 1914... and Lucille Ball, being slapped from behind in, an excerpt from, Dorothy Arzner's Dance, Girl, Dance.

 

The audio is just as varying with new, and old, scores, singing - transferred in linear PCM. Some imperfections, but acceptable and the later films sound quite clean and even. The subtitles only seem to be for foreign language scenes, and the discs are coded region 'A' (that is stated on the disc labels.)

 

Extras include an audio commentary for Lois Weber's, 1.5 hour, The Blot by Shelley Stamp, author of Lois Weber in Early Hollywood, and Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History. Its extremely detailed - a pleasure to listen to someone who really knows their topic. The package has two transparent keep cases inside a cardboard box - each case has 3 discs (one with 3 Blu-rays, the other 3 DVDs with the same content as the BDs) and there is a liner notes booklet with photos and an essay by film historian and Women Film Pioneers Project Manager Kate Saccone.

This is, obviously, unconventional cinema and not for all tastes but for those keen on the historical significance and who are open to unique film expressions - relevant beyond their era, this set has immense value. To the right individuals this is a 'must-own' but to everyone else it is still strongly recommended! A set to keep, and watch the rest of your lives, I guarantee you'll find something appealing and new here... go for it!

 Gary W. Tooze


Menus

Blu-ray One

 

Blu-ray Two

 

 

Blu-ray Three

 

 

Disc One Titles

Disc Two Titles

Disc Three Titles (NOTE: Only an excerpt, no titles, for Dorothy Arzner's Dance, Girl, Dance)


Sample - Description Filmmaker

 

 

Sample - Description Film

 

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Flicker Alley - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Flicker Alley Blu-rays Reviewed at DVDBeaver:





 

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Gary Tooze