Thursday, June 30, 2011

Alice Guy: Programme 5: Independent Features

Alice Guy: Programma 5: Produzioni indipendenti. Thursday, 30 June 2011 at 10.00, Cinema Lumière - Sala Officinema / Mastroianni (Bologna, Il Cinema Ritrovato). Earphone commentary in Italian. Grand piano: Günter Buchwald. Presenta Kim Tomadjoglou.

Catalogue: "The Western genre provided the opportunity for female actresses to display their physical agility and skill at a range of stunt work in action-packed narratives of adventure. In Two Little Rangers, Guy’s protégé, Vinnie Burns and her younger counterpart take up a lasso and a sixshooter to carry out a daring rescue of their father and a young male hero who have been protecting a battered woman from her villainous husband. The film’s finale features the two sisters setting the villain’s cabin on fire."

"After closing Solax, Guy worked as an independent director on a number of photoplays centered on stories of naïve young women who discover that love and romance often involves untrustworthy suitors. Based on the short story The Painted Scene by Henry Kitchell Webster (in The Painted Scene, and Other Stories of the Theater, 1916), The Great Adventure finds a young provincial girl, Millie, traveling with her aunt to the big city in search of stardom and fame. While Millie’s tender age and innocence place her in a compromising situation with the older leading male star, Sheen, she turns his attentive advances and desire to please her to her advantage. Sheen winds up a fool beat at his own game."

TWO LITTLE RANGERS. US 1913. D: Alice Guy Blaché. Cast: Vinnie Burns, Darwin Karr, Blanche Cornwall; P: Solax. 35 mm. 281.4 m. 13’ a 18 fps. B&w. [not English intertitles, but:] Nederlandse tussentitels with no translation. From: EYE Film Instituut Nederland. - AA: A Western, a solid Western but with a female viewpoint. I did not understand everything since there was no translation (but see synopsis above). A fine print with a good tinting effect.

THE GREAT ADVENTURE / [the title of the print:] Her Great Adventure. US 1918. D: Alice Blaché. T. alt.: Spring of the Year; SC: Agnes C. Johnston, inspired by the story The Painted Scene by Henry Kitchell Webster (1916); Op.: George K. Hollister, John G. Haas; Cast: Bessie Love, Flora Finch, Donald Hall, Chester Barnett, Florence Short; P: Pathé Exchange, Inc. 35 mm. 40’ a 20 fps. English intertitles. From: BFI National Archive. - AA: Drama / romance / comedy. Theatre milieu. The departing star's line of dialogue: "I have had enough of this beastly play. I'm going to Cinema where true talent is appreciated" got one of the biggest laughs of the festival, also resonating with Carole Lombard in Twentieth Century. A moving, sensitive performance by Bessie Love in the leading role (Bessie Love, what a remarkable career starting in 1915 and continuing until 1983). Sheen lures Milly to an excursion and want them to stay at an inn, but Milly wants to the zoo, and soon exhausts Sheen. Sheen falls into the water, Harry rescues Milly, and the end of the great adventure is marriage. There is a duped quality in the print, struck from a source full of signs of wear and tear.

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