|Be Natural: the work in progress documentary about one of our |
Anyone who visits this page and gives it more than a cursory glance is, like myself, a true lover of cinema. Our appreciation and utmost respect for it transcends the general, universal desire for plain entertainment. We believe in it. We see it for all its magic. We are moved by its ability to portray the best, worst, most honest, and most hoped for facets and illusions of ourselves. Movies are moving. They penetrate the mind, the heart, the soul, and therefore are the only reminder that many of us have in a world gone haywire that we in fact have these things. Films inspire, bolster, and feed our inner Scarecrows, Tin Men, and Cowardly Lions.
You visit L.A. La Land, most likely, because film is your favorite artistic medium. It means more to you than can be expressed. It enchants you and takes you places both personal and foreign, the same way some worship opera, others dance. You are also here because your fascination for the flickering majesty you witness on the silver screen, your television, your laptop, or your iPad, goes beyond what you merely see. You are drawn not only to the messages film gives but to the people who made it possible. Those who gave it its genesis and have given of themselves to both birth it and keep it alive for well over a hundred years. You want to pull back the curtain and ask: Who are they? How did they exist? How did they know how to puncture a hole in the universe and pull out a totally new medium, bring it to life, and then use it to take our breath away?
This page has tried and is still trying to showcase the people on the screen behind the scenes-- those fortunate and unfortunate souls who were slaves to their passion, the studio system, the uncertainties of celebrity, and the great fall that comes in a land where ,"you're only as good as your last movie." Our need to know more about the people, who somehow seemed to know so much about us, demands satiation. Therefore, to cleanse your pallet, I offer you a new name to add to your list of cinematic idols: Alice Guy-Blache.
This name was vaguely familiar to me when it was said/read a few days ago, but still it was foreign. Now, I am so, so ashamed that I knew so little about Alice. A woman who holds the title of being cinema's first narrative director, and a female at that, has somehow been buried beneath the more behemoth names of industry innovators like Lumiere, Melies, Griffith, and Sennett. Why is this? Why has a woman so ahead of her time been lost between the pages of it-- her brilliant story untold and unseen as if she had not so clearly and publicly written it in celluloid?
This is a question that the film Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache attempts to both answer and correct. When watching the trailer and promotional video for this still-in-production documentary, I was brought to tears, and I'm not ashamed. Alice is truly one of the most powerful and influential voices in the history of film and one of the pioneers who viscerally helped to bring the movies to life. She is a very important stepping stone among all the others that has lead to the industry we have today-- which sadly so often seems to have lost the style, wit, foresight, and integrity that made Alice's work so compelling in her time, as it remains today. Modern filmmakers should study this woman.
Please, please, pretty please, contribute to the Kickstarter campaign filmmakers that Pamela Green and Jarik van Sluijs are waging to finance and bring their documentary to completion. Let's prove our deep love and gratitude to Alice and give her back her place in the continually growing and ever-intricate puzzle that makes up our cinematic history. It is a worthy cause for a worthy art that continues to struggle against adversity, superficiality, and short-sightedness in order to give us a richer portrait of our world and ourselves. Take part in the war on "blah, blah, blah," and with your contribution earn your own place as one of moviedom's fierce warriors.
Find out more about the project here. ONLY FOUR DAYS LEFT!!!!
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Pam and Jarik, you have all my love, sincere appreciation, and warmest wishes.