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서울국제여성영화제

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ARCHIVE

18th(2016)



Midwife to the Upper Classes

Alice GUY-BLACHÉ

  • France
  • 1902
  • 4min
  • HD
  • black and white
  • Fiction

Body SF Fantasy Classic

SYNOPSIS

A wonderful midwife helps a rich couple pick out a baby from her cabbage patch.

ⓒ\"Midwife to the Upper Classes\", a film by Alice Guy. Gaumont Production (1902). D.R.


Program Note

A kind of sequel to GUY-BLACHÉ’s first film Cabbage
 Fairy
, this film depicts a deal with the cabbage fairy, who bring up and
 allocate babies, and young couples from the upper classes, who comes to buy a
 baby. What makes this film radical is the viewpoint that babies can be selected
 and bought and that the imprinting upon the upper-class appears to attractively
 compress themes of modern SF works. However, it also reveals the limited view
 of GUY-BLACHÉ on the racism exposed in the process of child selection. [CHO
 HeyYoung]

Director

  • Alice GUY-BLACHÉAlice GUY-BLACHÉ

    "Born in 1873 in Paris, France, Alice GUY-BLACHÉ was a pioneer of both French and American film. She first started out as the secretary to Léon GAUMONT, unknowingly stepping into the vortex from which cinema would be born. She, who was at the Lumière Brothers' first screening in 1895, realized that movies could do more than document workers leaving a factory. She asked her boss, GAUMONT, for permission to do something better: to tell a story. Despite her youth and inexperience, she wrote her own script and succeeded in making one of the first narrative films, The Cabbage Fairy, in 1896, which preceded the story films of Georges MÉLIÈS. She worked as head of film production for the Gaumont Film Company in Paris until 1907 when she moved to the United States. Three years later, she created her own company, Solax, and set up a studio in 1912, becoming the first woman to own and run a studio plant. Her innovative filmmaking career in France (1896-1907) and the United States (1910-1920), in which she employed color tinting, 'trick' photography, interracial casting, and synchronized sound, is comprised of more than a thousand films which she wrote, produced, or directed. Despite the depth of her work, her contribution in shaping early cinematic history has been overlooked, and she is often revered as a lost great visionary of cinema.

Credit