Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers (Blu-ray)
In the early decades of cinema, some of the most innovative and celebrated filmmakers in America were women. Alice Guy-Blaché helped establish the basics of cinematic language, while others boldly continued its development: slapstick queen Mabel Normand (who taught Charlie Chaplin the craft of directing), action star Grace Cunard, and LGBTQ icon Alla Nazimova. Unafraid of controversy, filmmakers such as Lois Weber and Dorothy Davenport Reid tackled explosive issues such as birth control, abortion, and prostitution. This crucial chapter of film history comes alive through the presentation of a wide assortment of films, carefully curated, meticulously restored in 2K and 4K from archival sources, and presented with new musical scores.
Watch curator Shelley Stamp and producer Bret Wood discuss the box set on YouTube.
Contents Below (* Blu-ray Only)
DISC ONE: ALICE GUY-BLACHE
Mixed Pets [AM], Alice Guy Blaché, 1911, 14.1 min.
Tramp Strategy [AM], Alice Guy Blaché, 1911, 12 min.
Greater Love Hath No Man [AM], Alice Guy Blaché, 1911, 16.25 min.
Algie the Miner [AM], Alice Guy Blaché, 1912, 10 min.
Falling Leaves, Alice Guy Blaché, 1912, 11.75 min.
Little Rangers, The, Alice Guy Blaché, 1912, 11.5 min.
Canned Harmony, Alice Guy Blaché, 1912, 16 min.
Fool and His Money, A, Alice Guy Blaché, 1912, 10.75 min.
High Cost of Living, The, Alice Guy Blaché, 1912, 14.5 min.
* Coming of Sunbeam, The [AM], Alice Guy Blaché, 1913, 11.25 min.
* Burstup Homes' Murder Case, Alice Guy Blaché, 1913, 14.75 min.
* A House Divided, Alice Guy Blaché, 1913, 13.2 min.
Matrimony's Speed Limit / NYWIFT, Alice Guy Blaché, 1913, 14 min.
Ocean Waif, The, Alice Guy Blaché, 1916, 36.3 min.
Colleen Bawn, The, Gauntier, Gene (sc), 1911, 35 min.
On the Brink, Lois Weber, 1911, 12.5 min.
* Cricket, The, Wilson, Elsie Jane, 1917, 12 min.
Introduction to Series, approx 13 min.
Alice Guy-Blache documentary, approx 10 min.
About the Restorations, approx 7 min.
DISC TWO: LOIS WEBER
From Death to Life, Lois Weber, 1912, 13.75 min.
Fine Feathers, Lois Weber, 1912, 15 min.
Rosary, The, Lois Weber, 1913, 14.5 min.
Suspense, Lois Weber, 1913, 11.25 min.
Lost By a Hair, Lois Weber, 1914, 4 min.
Hypocrites, Lois Weber, 1915, 51.5 min.
Sunshine Molly, Lois Weber, 1915, 31.5 min.
Idle Wives, Lois Weber, 1916, 23.5 min.
* Too Wise Wives, Lois Weber, 1921, 69.5 min.
What Do Men Want?, Lois Weber, 1921, 40.75 min.
Lois Weber documentary, approx 12 min.
DISC 3: GENRE PIONEERS
* Hazards of Helen Ep. 09: Leap From the Water Tower, Helen Holmes, 1915, 11 min.
Hazards of Helen Ep.13: The Escape on the Fast Freight*, Helen Holmes, 1915, 11.25 min.
Hazards of Helen Ep. 26: Wild Engine, The, Helen Holmes, 1915, 10.5 min.
* Purple Mask, The; Episode 5, Part 1, Grace Cunard, 1917, 13 min.
Purple Mask, The: Episode 12 (Vault of Mystery), Grace Cunard, 1917, 19.5 min.
Purple Mask, The; Episode 13, Part 1 (The Leap), Grace Cunard, 1917, 10.5 min.
A Daughter of "The Law", Grace Cunard, 1921, 21.75 min.
Eleanor's Catch, Madison, Cleo, 1916, 13.25 min.
49 - '17, Baldwin, Ruth Ann, 1917, 70.25 min.
Caught in a Cabaret, Mabel Normand, 1914, 23.5 min.
Mabel's Blunder, Mabel Normand, 1914, 16.5 min.
Mabel and Fatty's Wash Day, Mabel Normand, 1916, 13 min.
* Mabel Lost and Won, Mabel Normand, 1915, 13.5 min.
That Ice Ticket, Gibson, Angela Murray, 1923, 10 min.
Ethnographic Films, Hurston, Zora Neale, 1929, 12.5 min.
Mabel Normand documentary, approx 7 min.
Serial Queens documentary, approx 7 min.
DISC 4: SOCIAL COMMENTARY 1
Where Are My Children?, Lois Weber, 1916, 65 min.
Her Defiance, Madison, Cleo, 1916, 21 min.
When Little Lindy Sang, Warrenton, Lule, 1916, 10.25 min.
Curse of Quon Gwon: When the Far East Mingle with the West, Wong, Marion E., 1916, 35 min.
Scandal (aka Scandal Mongers), Lois Weber, 1916, 35.5 min.
Dream Lady, The, Wilson, Elsie Jane, 1918, 53.75 min.
* Something New, Shipman, Nell, 1920, 56.75 min.
Social Commentary, approx 12 min.
DISC 5: SOCIAL COMMENTARY 2
Risky Road, The, Park, Ida May, 1918, 2 min.
Bread, Park, Ida May, 1918, 16 min.
Salome, Nazimova, Alla, 1923, 71.5 min.
Red Kimona , Davenport Reid, Dorothy, 1925, 77 min.
* Motherhood: Life's Greatest Miracle, Lawrence, Lita, 1925, 59.25 min.
Linda, Davenport Reid, Dorothy, 1929, 73.25 min.
DISC 6: THE FEATURE FILM
Call of the Cumberlands, The, Ivers, Julia Crawford, 1916, 64 min.
* Broadway Love, Park, Ida May, 1918, 61 min.
Back to God's Country, Shipman, Nell, 1919, 73.5 min.
Song of Love, The, Marion, Frances, 1923, 81 min.
The End of an Era, approx 10 min.
Total running time 1,710 minutes.
Region 1/A protected for USA/Canada.
* Expanded edition from DVD
* Features, shorts, fragments.
* Mastered from 2K & 4K restorations of more than 50 films.
* 80-page booklet with essays and photos
* Musical scores by Renee C. Baker, The Berklee Silent Film Orchestra, Makia Matsumura, Maud Nelissen, Dana Reason, Aleksandra Vrebalov, and others.
- Alice Guy-Blaché - Director
- Lois Weber - Director
- Helen Holmes - Director
- Mabel Normand - Director
- Grace Cunard - Director
- Dorothy Davenport Reid - Director
"A corrective to our collective amnesia. A thrilling look at the variety of films made by women, most before they won the right to vote."
"Provides a rare opportunity to see some of the greatest films helmed by early Hollywood’s intrepid women... filling in the blanks of the past and reclaiming the medium’s forgotten stories."
"One of this year’s most essential archival box sets."
"This is nirvana for keen purchasers ready to immerse themselves in a blossoming new expression started over 100 years ago. To those even remotely interested - Kino's 6 Blu-ray package is strongly recommended!"
"...an essential piece of film history, and engaging viewing besides."
"Film fans, rejoice! The true history of the motion picture industry just got a bit more complete."
"This wonderful box set would make a perfect gift for anyone interested in women in film or in film history."
"...one of the most important disc sets of 2018, and it's the perfect gift for the serious cinephile."