About Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché

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A true pioneer, at age 21, Alice Guy-Blaché started her movie career in 1894 and was a contemporary of Thomas Edison, George Méliès, and the Lumière brothers. Two years after joining the French movie house Gaumont, she was made head of production and began making movies. In her films, Guy-Blaché explored synchronized sound, inventive editing, and color tinting, among many other innovations, and she made films across all genres, including comedies, westerns, and social-issue dramas dealing with topics such as child abuse, feminism, and immigration. She also made the earliest known surviving narrative film with an all-Black cast, A Fool and His Money. In 1910, Guy-Blaché and her husband moved to the U.S., and she founded her own company, Solax Studios, making as many as three films a week in the early years. Yet, by 1919, Guy-Blaché’s career came to an abrupt end, and she and the hundreds of films that bore her name were largely forgotten by the industry she helped to create. Narrated by Jodie Foster, Be Natural is an energetic documentary interwoven with a fascinating— and sometimes infuriating—detective story, tracing the circumstances by which this extraordinary artist was largely forgotten before now. In English and French with English subtitles.

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