The Heurich House Museum will present the works of four influential early female filmmakers in their series, Women Behind the Lens, on Wednesday evenings from July 18th until August 8th. Focusing on the work of one filmmaker each week, the museum’s Carriage House Gallery will be turned into a screening room for the best early females behind the camera. Including works from directors, writers, and producers, these films transport you back to the early era of the film industry from the eyes of the females who powered the art.
On Wednesday, July 18th from 6-8pm, Women Behind the Lens will highlight the work of Alice Guy-Blaché. This French-born director is considered to be the first female filmmaker. Beginning her career with the 1896 narrative film La Fée aux Choux (The Fairy of the Cabbages), Guy-Blaché went on to direct over 1,000 films between 1896 and 1920. While many of these films no longer exist, Women Behind the Lens will present a selection of her surviving short works.
On Wednesday, July 25th from 6-8pm, Women Behind the Lens will present works of writer, director, and producer Mabel Normand. Working as an actress from the age of 16, in 1909, Mabel began to write and direct films in 1914. She would eventually form a film partnership with Charlie Chaplin, directing the first turn as his famous “Tramp” character. During this event, a selection of Mabel Normand and Charlie Chaplin films will be shown, including Mabel’s Strange Predicament and Mabel’s Busy Day.
On Wednesday, August 1st from 6-8pm, Women Behind the Lens will show selected works by German filmmaker Lotte Reiniger. A foremost pioneer of silhouette animation, her works include retellings of famous fairy tales including Hansel and Gretel and Cinderella. Preceding Walt Disney by over a decade, her work utilized a multiplane camera system to achieve a layered effect in her films. During this event, a series of short films by Reiniger will be presented.
On Wednesday, August 8th from 6-8pm, Women Behind the Lens will present “The Hitch-Hiker” by Ida Lupino. The first female-directed film noir, “The Hitch-Hiker” was released in 1953 and is based on the true-life story of Billy Cook. Lupino, who founded the independent film studio The Filmakers, often focused on issue-oriented films created with a low-budget and incorporated aspects of Billy Cook’s life into this film. This work is also her first film to feature an all-male cast.
Food and drinks will be available for purchase during each event.
Click here to purchase tickets in advance for $5. Price increases to $7.50 at the door.