Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology
The Peasant Women of Ryazan
Directed by Olga Preobrazhenskaya and Ivan Pravov • 1927 • Soviet Union
Starring Kuzma Yastrebitsky, Olga Narbekova, Yelena Maksimova
Returning to a pre–Russian Revolution mode of narrative storytelling, this melodrama focuses on two peasant women—one the victim to an abusive father-in-law and the other emancipated. Actor turned director Olga Preobrazhenskaia takes her time, repeating shots of objects in action, hands at work, and the dizzying movements that comprise the rituals of rural life, before ending on a hopeful note that celebrates the self-sufficient new (Soviet) woman.
Up Next in Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology
The Erl King
Directed by Marie-Louise Iribe • 1931 • France
Starring Mary Costes, Joë Hamman, Otto Gebühr
This early sound drama was Iribe’s second directorial effort and uses cinematic techniques to visualize Goethe’s 1782 ballad “Erlkönig” and Schubert’s later musical adaptation. Produced by Iribe’s Les Ar...
The Woman Condemned
Directed by Dorothy Davenport • 1934 • United States
Starring Claudia Dell, Lola Lane, Richard Hemingway
When a radio star (Lola Lane) is murdered, a mysterious young woman (Claudia Dell) is accused of the crime. Can a wisecracking reporter (Richard Hemingway), who finds himself captivated by th...
Miss Dundee and Her Performing Dogs
Directed by Alice Guy Blaché • 1902 • France
Typical of Gaumont’s output at the time and an example of cinema’s early presentational style, this humorous “demonstration” film showcases a vaudeville act featuring a Miss Dundee and her trained performing dogs.