Classical reconstructions of the history of film theories have allowed very little room, if any, for women’s discursive contribution to the investigation on cinema. From the beginning, film theory has been perceived as an intellectual practice basically reserved to men – that is, an homosocial discursive sphere. With the emergence, from the late Nineties, of a second, international wave of historically oriented feminist film studies, a new attention to the traces of female agency in all fields of film culture and production of the early decades has brought to light what already appears to be an impressive amount of evidence that women’s contribution to the film industry did not restrict itself neither to the sphere of acting nor to minor professional roles – like that, for instance, of the continuity girl – but embraced instead all the diverse creative, managerial, technical and cultural functions that are involved in the institution of cinema as a whole. All around the world women were directors, screenwriters, producers, distributors, editors, theatrical managers and sometimes even camera operators. Moreover, as Antonia Lant and Ingrid Perez have widely documented in their seminal *The Red Velvet Seat* anthology, they wrote articles and reviews, essays, declarations of poetics. Some of them had regular film columns in different kinds of periodicals, others even wrote entire volumes quite rich in scholarly research. Yet, with just a few exceptions, the names of these women still remain mostly unknown. For instance, how many of us would be able to link the once famous name of Georgette Leblanc to what undoubtedly appears to be one of the most interesting and engaging essays on cinema issued in France during the 1910s? The present article is an attempt to recover and appreciate Leblanc’s unjustly forgotten text, published in 1919 on the pages of a prestigious journal like Le "Mercure de France" and never reprinted ever since, remaining mysteriously unnoticed both in the frame of the contemporary French debate on film, and in subsequent reconstructions of the history of film theories.

A Theory on Its Own: Georgette Leblanc's "Propos sur le cinéma"

DALL'ASTA, MONICA
2010

Abstract

Classical reconstructions of the history of film theories have allowed very little room, if any, for women’s discursive contribution to the investigation on cinema. From the beginning, film theory has been perceived as an intellectual practice basically reserved to men – that is, an homosocial discursive sphere. With the emergence, from the late Nineties, of a second, international wave of historically oriented feminist film studies, a new attention to the traces of female agency in all fields of film culture and production of the early decades has brought to light what already appears to be an impressive amount of evidence that women’s contribution to the film industry did not restrict itself neither to the sphere of acting nor to minor professional roles – like that, for instance, of the continuity girl – but embraced instead all the diverse creative, managerial, technical and cultural functions that are involved in the institution of cinema as a whole. All around the world women were directors, screenwriters, producers, distributors, editors, theatrical managers and sometimes even camera operators. Moreover, as Antonia Lant and Ingrid Perez have widely documented in their seminal *The Red Velvet Seat* anthology, they wrote articles and reviews, essays, declarations of poetics. Some of them had regular film columns in different kinds of periodicals, others even wrote entire volumes quite rich in scholarly research. Yet, with just a few exceptions, the names of these women still remain mostly unknown. For instance, how many of us would be able to link the once famous name of Georgette Leblanc to what undoubtedly appears to be one of the most interesting and engaging essays on cinema issued in France during the 1910s? The present article is an attempt to recover and appreciate Leblanc’s unjustly forgotten text, published in 1919 on the pages of a prestigious journal like Le "Mercure de France" and never reprinted ever since, remaining mysteriously unnoticed both in the frame of the contemporary French debate on film, and in subsequent reconstructions of the history of film theories.
In the Very Beginning, at the Very End. Film Theories in Perspective
69
82
M. Dall'Asta
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/89752
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