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Alice and the Too Many Mattresses

Gaines, Jane

With the release of the documentary Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (Pamela Green, 2018), it is certain that Alice Guy Blaché will now be heralded as the motion picture innovator that we in the field have always known her to have been. But the claim that the documentary makes—to Alice’s originality and imaginativeness—should please us and then immediately worry us as historians of the first decade of cinema. For the claim that Be Natural makes to Alice’s originality is made at the expense of the resourcefulness of that moment. For example, one of the titles that has been singled out for acclaim—even before Alice’s memorialization in the documentary—is Le Matelas épileptique/The Drunken Mattress, a film that she has been credited with having produced and directed at Gaumont in 1906.

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Academic Units
Film
Libraries
Series
Women Film Pioneers Project
Published Here
February 24, 2020