Reel Women: Pioneers of the Cinema, 1896 to the Present

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9780826404992: Reel Women: Pioneers of the Cinema, 1896 to the Present

An unconventional look at the women directors, producers, technicians, editors, writers and stunt women who have helped shape the history of the movies, from 1896 to the present day. There were more women working in creative and influential positions before 1920 than at any other time in movie history. Today, the second wave of women pioneers is carving a new niche - Susan Seidelman, Diane Kurys and Gillian Armstrong. The author is a filmmaker an writer who has also worked as a director, producer and writer in American film, television and radio. This book is designed to be of interest to those involved in film, reference, women's studies and history.

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Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Anita Loos's prolific contribution to the world of film is undeniable. She turned out 105 scripts between 1912 and 1915, only 4 of which went unproduced. She was the first to turn "title writing" on the silent screen into a wisecracking art form. Between 1919 and 1921 everyone tried to copy her wit, making the reading of screen titles nearly unbearable, for no one could quite match her humor. By the time her smash hit Gentlemen Prefer Blonds was adapted for the screen from her novel, the New York Times commented that Anita Loo's big triumph was to bring an element of maturity to an art form that was in danger of becoming infantile.

She's the woman who beat out Walt Disney by ten years. Lotte Reiniger was the first person to create, and produce a fully animated feature from 1923 to 1926, using a technique that she pioneered known as "silhouette" animation.

Review:

Here is a comprehensively researched encyclopedia of women in every area of the film industry: writers, editors, directors, producers, animators and stunt women. A brief biography of each woman is followed by a complete listing of her work. Would it surprise you to know that one of the earliest film companies was owned by Helen Keller, and she produced and starred in Deliverance, a 1918 production about her life. This book is not only packed with the contributions women have made to cinema, it is also an excellent resource for discovering the many films created and shaped by women (you can rent many of them at your local video store). You will no doubt be surprised at the number of well-known film classics you recognize. -- From The WomanSource Catalog & Review: Tools for Connecting the Community for Women; review by Ilene Rosoff

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