Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché | Chicago Reader

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché

In case you were interested in hearing Green Book director Peter Farrelly’s thoughts on Alice Guy-Blaché—the first-ever female filmmaker, thought to be the only woman making films between 1896 and 1906—then this documentary is for you. That’s not to say the director, Pamela B. Green, a seemingly well-connected producer and film title and motion graphics designer, doesn’t take the subject matter seriously; it’s well-researched and contains many interesting tidbits about Guy-Blaché’s life and career, including a rather illuminating connection to Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein, who, it’s discovered, was likely inspired by one of her films. Also engaging is footage from interviews with Guy-Blaché later in her life: the film is at its best when she’s speaking for herself. It’s the awkward editing, superfluous celebrity interviews, and an emphasis on the search for inconsequential facts that obscure what should be its focus—Guy-Blaché’s formidable talent.

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