ALICE GUY’ S DAUGHTERS
Reimagining a history of film
3/26 NOV, Antiguo Hospital de Santa María la Rica (C/Santa María la Rica, 3)
The history of film is a story like so many others of sexual discrimination. Since the birth of cinema, the pioneering filmmaker Alice Guy Blaché (1873-1968) was a victim of that omission perpetrated against the artistic work of women. Guy was a contemporary of major figures such as the Lumière brothers and George Méliès, and filmed the first fictional narrative in history in 1896, before all of them. However, despite founding various production companies and directing more than 1,000 short films -she was a decisive influence on renowned directors such as Alfred Hitchcock-, most of her work disappeared and her name was deleted from the official history, almost to this day.
Her case could apply to many other women directors, producers, scriptwriters and editors, who began to work from the birth of this new art form without their efforts even being given their due: from the classicism of Dorothy Azner or the film noir of Ida Lupino in Hollywood, through the French fantastique of Musidora, to the avant-garde viewpoint of Aleksandra Khokhlova in Russia, the scripts of Pu Shunqing in China and, to return to Spain, the films of Helena Cortesina and Rosario Pi.
At alcine, we have decided to join the fight to recover the legacy of all those women, and to return them to their rightful place. In cooperation with a group of film illustrators and writers, we have set out to imagine what the history of film would have been like if women such as Guy and her contemporaries had had the influence they deserved in an industry in which women and men worked on a level playing field.
What would the great classics have been? How would today’s star system look? What about blockbusters and action movies? How would movements and generational currents such as the nouvelle vague look to us? We have prepared an entertaining series of illustrated posters and fictitious critiques for those alternative films, a halfway house between championing their cause and a speculative ‘herstory’, the aim being to critically interpret our past and to establish a ‘collective reimagination’, which surely, also speaks of our present.