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Essays

Madeline Brandeis

Radha Vatsa

Despite subheadings that highlight Madeline Brandeis’s success and expertise in film production (“Finds Ready Market for Her Cinema Features” or “Writes Own Continuity and Attends to Details”), a 1926 Los Angeles Times article titled “Woman Makes Films for Fun,” depicts Madeline Brandeis as a wealthy hobbyist: “Will the producing of motion pictures ever become the plaything—the pastime—of the rich? This question recurred mentally again and again in the course of a conversation with Madeline Brandeis in the delightful patio of her hillside home in Hollywood.” Brandeis herself appears to be complicit with the portrayal of her work as an activity she undertakes primarily for its personal satisfactions. She is quoted saying: “‘In a sense, this picture-making is only a pastime. Perhaps I shouldn’t say just that—it was a pastime in the beginning, but the success I have had and the financial returns have been so gratifying that I know I shall make pictures from time to time as long as I live. It is fascinating and keeps one occupied’” (“Woman Makes Films” C30)

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