Alice Guy in America – 1

Falling Leaves
R: Alice Guy. Set: Henri Ménessier. D: Mace Greenleaf, Blanche Cornwall, Marian Swayne. P: Solax Film Company. USA 1912
Print: Library of Congress

“In 1907 Alice Guy married Herbert Blaché who was soon appointed the production manager for Gaumont’s operations in the United States.
After working with her husband for Gaumont in the USA, the two struck out on their own in 1910, partnering with George A. Magie in the formation of The Solax Company, the largest pre-Hollywood studio in America. With production facilities for their new company in Flushing, New York, her husband served as production manager as well as cinematographer and Alice Guy-Blaché worked as the artistic director, directing many of its releases. Within two years they had become so successful that they were able to invest more than $100,000 into new and technologically advanced production facilities in Fort Lee, New Jersey, when many early film studios in America’s first motion picture industry were based there at the beginning of the 20th century.”

The Girl in the Armchair
R: Alice Guy. D: Blanche Cornwall, Darwin Karr, Lee Beggs, Mace Greenleave. P: Solax Film Company. USA 1912

“Visions and dreams continued to appear in occasional films throught the primitive period and early teens: in The Girl in the Armchair (1912, Solax) a young man dreams of his gambling debts, and superimposed cards whirl around his bed. But the compressed structure of the one- or two-reeler was perhaps an inhibiting factor in the use of subjective effects. They tend to appear either when the subjectivity is the basis for the whole film (The Somnambulist, Dream of a Rarebit Fiend) or when the narrative absolutely depends on showing the character’s inner state. (In The Girl in the Armchair, the hero must undergo a considerable change of character as a result of his gambling experiences.)”
David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, Kristin Thompson: The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960. Routledge 2003, p. 15

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