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Harriet Bloch

Granhøj, Birgit; Redvall, Eva N.

Harriet Bloch is regarded as the first professional female screenwriter in Denmark (Sundholm et al. 2012, 405) and as one of the most successful Danish screenwriters to this day (Schröder 2011). She had no formal training in writing, but picked up knowledge of films at the cinema where she could watch up to three films a day (Bloch 1962, n.p.). The idea of writing screenplays of her own came from watching Urban Gad’s classic silent film Afgrunden/The Abyss (1910) starring Asta Nielsen. Bloch figured that she would be able to write something of a similar quality, and she thus sent an unsolicited screenplay to the cinema owner and film producer Constantin Philipsen, who had opened Denmark’s first cinema, Kosmorama, in 1904. According to Bloch, Philipsen was not interested in her story because he only wanted films that were either really vulgar or really exciting and this was a romantic melodrama (1962, n.p.). However, Nordisk Film took an interest in the story, which became August Blom’s Hendes Ære/Lady Mary’s Love (1911). The film was presented as a play in fifty sections by “Mrs. Harriet Bloch” on the cover of the printed programme, which labelled it as part of an “art film series” (Redvall 2015, 268).

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Academic Units
Film
Libraries
Series
Women Film Pioneers Project
Published Here
October 15, 2019