Lois Weber, the first woman who ran a feature

Lois Weber, the first woman who directed a film

With all you got, it would be unforgivable to continue ignoring Lois Weber, one of the pioneer women in film directing. Us know it.

In a world that hinders and often prevents women perform and fulfill their potential in interesting activities, there is always pioneers who break molds and pave the way for coming back . Alice Guy was the first woman who directed films in France, and the US Lois Weber, who first performed at the theater for a short Guy husband, Herbert Blache was meanwhile the first who directed a feature film. This is his story and his work .

A religious woman and restless

There is more to know the biography of Lois Weber and watch your movies to realize that it was a person with concerns. He was born in 1879 in Pittsburgh and his was a devout Christian middle class family , who noticed that the girl was a prodigy and ended up revealing himself as a talented pianist. He left his family home and lived in poverty, dedicating itself to evangelize the streets in New York and his hometown and social activism as a member of the Church Army Workers, singing hymns and playing the organ mission of salvation, until the group disbanded in 1900. This experience left a mark that shows in his films.

He returned to the house of his parents, studied music and, in 1903, began his career as soprano and concert pianist , which lasted until an accident with a broken key unnerved him and ended his recitals. This entered showbusiness following his desire to make religious proselytism circumstances and the advice of an uncle of Chicago decided to go to New York to carve out an acting career : “As I was convinced of the theatrical profession needed a missionary, suggested that the best way to reach them was me to become one of them, so I went to the stage filled with a great desire to convert my neighbor, “he told. After a series of evangelistic disappointments, performances and tours for which he received praise, for example, The Boston Globe , married in 1904 to actor and manager of your company Phillips Smalley, that codirigiría a number of his films .

In 1908, the two began working for historical producer Gaumont, she first recording fonoescenas, and then writing scripts, and debuted before the cameras in Hypocrites , Blaché Herbert’s short film for which he wrote the script. But from 1911, both directed lots of movies, not just for Gaumont, but for New York Motion Picture Co., Reliance Studio, Rex Motion Picture Company, Bosworth, the Paramount and what later became the Universal Studios . His first short film was A Heroine of ’76 , who co-directed by Edwin S. Porter, author of the important Assault and robbery of a train ( 1903).

Between the controversy and moralizing film

lois weber

Frame of ‘Thriller’ by Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley (1913)

According to Philip C. wrote DiMare and Daniel Eagan, Weber thought the film could be “a vehicle for evangelization,” “an opportunity to preach to the masses. ” The truth is that I am not very fond of religious ideas, ideological propaganda and hate in art but at the same time, try to separate the analysis of thought that follows a work and its proper aesthetic values ​​. In the case of movies Your Hypocrites contains the first female nudity non pornographic film Weber, there is no doubt that transmit Christian morality was one of its objectives, but also sincere social concerns: against the death penalty in The People vs. John Doe (1916) or drug addiction and alcoholism in Hop, the Devil’s Brew (1916).

From movies Weber in this line I I have seen, Hypocrites (1915) is a new version of which was written for Blaché, an allegory on the winding road to the truth that criticizes the hypocrisy and dishonest desires for money, sex and power , which showed the first female nudity of pornographic film not containing a formidable sequence with an amazing traveling on teaching “the naked truth”, which caused riots in New York and still banned in Ohio. Moreover, Where Are My Children? (1916) is a controversial feature, functional and quite competent, defense of eugenics and birth control and abortion on , in which a group of women appears It has taken the lead in decisions about childbearing, a fact that would cause fainting among the most conservative. But I’m not so sure the pro-choice perspective that some have seen in this film; in fact I can not explain because I rather seems that Weber raw contraception and not abortion , which actually considered a murder as a good Christian. As for href=”https://www.ovguide.com/the-blot-9202a8c04000641f8000000000bf88d2″ The Blot (1921), which many consider his best work, it is not usual bumping into Despite his piety, was libertarian and was against censorship silent film with a cast coral for a dozen non-stereotyped characters, without extremes, which are noticed as flesh and blood and able to evolve ; and as this stage of the film was much given to falling in tremebundo and tragically dramatized when issues such as poverty are addressed, this film is a bright exception. And I must say that not only the three films were a box office success, but also Weber pulls no little girls to show social proposals that interest: despite their religiosity, was libertarian and was against censorship, who noticed her for his controversial films.

lois weber

Frame of ‘Hypocrites’ by Lois Weber (1915)

But among its dozens of films, of which, unfortunately, have retained only twenty, there are also lighter, but no less elaborate: I have seen the short film How Men Propose href=”http://vk.com/video90691247_164215337″ (1913) , which highlights a sly and sarcastic protagonist playing with three men and I do not remember any related in the cinema of the time, well few in road so far, and Thriller (1913), pioneered the use of the split screen to show simultaneous actions , which really gets us nervous before the danger of the situation that counts and which it has been considered by some, erroneously, the first thriller of history, being that DW Griffith was released The Musketeers of Pig Alley a year earlier. But what can be attributed to Weber is being the first woman to direct a feature film, an adaptation of The Merchant of Venice An adaptation of The Merchant of Venice was the first feature film directed by a woman’s own Weber Shakespeare, in 1914, lost today, the first director to have his own movie studio , Lois Weber Productions, since 1917, and the first, with Smalley in making sound films in the United States .

was highest paid director in 1916 of the Universal , and the only woman with a guaranteed place in the Motion Picture Directors Association. The highly acclaimed director John Ford ( Stagecoach , 1939 How Green It Was My Valley , 1941 The Quiet Man , 1952) was assistant Weber before carrying out their own productions. And in 1927, she filmed without the credited Topsy and Eva o fildelidad a slave with the Lord, one of the leaders of The Three Stooges (1922-1970 .) and said DW Griffith, author of the capital The Birth of a Nation (1915)

But began IRLE bad in the 20s: he divorced Smalley in 1922 He lost his producer, suffered a nervous breakdown in 1923, was removed from public life until 1925 and other films he directed for Universal and United Artists were not too relevant. And this despite the fact that during the time I was not put behind the camera, Film Mercury said it was a crime that were idle “while productions of third flooded the screens your trash “

He died bankrupt in 1939 because a bleeding stomach ulcer, a fact lost on most of the press: Variety published an obituary of two paragraphs, Los Angeles Examiner the mentioned briefly; but it had to be the gossip Hedda Hopper who would devote a tribute to Los Angeles Times . He had to wait to 1960 to grant him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Boulevard, and had written a Anthony Slide: “It is the most important director that the American film industry has known” memory, The final circle , which could not be published despite the efforts of his sister Ethel, and that were stolen mysteriously in the 70s.

film historian Anthony Slide, the rediscovered in the same years of the last century, Lois Weber said that “the most important director of the American film industry has known” and that “ along with DW Griffith was the first genuine author of American cinema a filmmaker involved in all aspects of production and use film to make it their own ideas and philosophy. ” So much so that she, referring to control over their work, said: “If my message does not reach someone, I can only blame myself.” So would be nice moviegoers the world we could start to remember Lois Weber, we saw his films and reconociésemos their work. Time would


Lois Weber, the first woman who ran a feature
Source: english  
May 31, 2015

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