Monday, June 17, 2024
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Cinema’s First Nasty Women doco coming to home video

Kino Lorber has announced its home video releases for September, including the 14-hour 4-disc set of pioneering feminist celluloid.

In the pioneering days of silent cinema, when the medium of film was still new and production codes and censorship had not yet set, moviemaking in America and Europe could hold certain freedoms for women behind and in front of the camera, creating spectacles that were entertaining and socially subversive.

Cinema’s First Nasty Women is a four-disc set containing more than 14 hours of rarely-seen silent films that showcase themes of feminist protest, slapstick rebellion, and suggestive gender play. These women create unusual upheaval in screen scenarios such as organizing labor strikes, electrocuting the police force, and rebel against traditional gender norms and sexual roles.

The films span a variety of genres that were popular at the time such as slapstick, farce, the trick film, cowboy melodrama, and adventure thriller with women playing central roles the types of which were suppressed by later film genres once a “studio system” set in.

Cinema’s First Nasty Women includes 99 European and American silent films, produced from 1898 to 1926, sourced from 13 international film archives and libraries, with all-new musical scores, video introductions, commentary tracks, and a lavishly illustrated booklet. Curated by Maggie Hennefeld, Laura Horak, and Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi, and produced for video by Bret Wood, Cinema’s First Nasty Women is a partnership of Kino Lorber, Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Women Film Pioneers Project, Eye Filmmuseum, FIC-Silente, and Carleton University.

Bonus Features:

  • “What Is a Nasty Woman?” – Video introduction to the collection, featuring series curators Laura Horak, Maggie Hennefeld, Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi, and music supervisor Dana Reason
  • Eleven short documentaries focused on specific films and performers, including interviews with Liza Black, Thirza Cuthand, Maggie Hennefeld, Laura Horak, Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi, Dana Reason, Arigon Starr, Susan Stryker, and Kyla Wazana Tompkins
  • 120-page booklet with essays, interviews, photos, and detailed film notes (print copies only available in the Blu-ray Deluxe First Edition; DVD and subsequent Blu-ray editions will feature a QR code for the full booklet contents online)
  • Audio commentaries for select films by: Jennifer Bean (University of Washington), Liza Black, Enrique Moreno Ceballos (Festival Internacional de Cine Silente México), Liz Clarke (Brock University), Bryony Dixon (British Film Institute), Jane Gaines (Columbia University), Rosa María Licea Garibay (Festival Internacional de Cine Silente México), Joanna Hearne (University of Oklahoma), Maggie Hennefeld (University of Minnesota), Laura Horak (Carleton University), Pamela Hutchinson (Silent London), Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi (Eye Filmmuseum), Mariann Lewinsky (Cineteca di Bologna), Katharina Loew (University of Massachusetts Boston), Cecilia Ramírez Morales (Festival Internacional de Cine Silente México), Ana Belén Recoder (Festival Internacional de Cine Silente México), Lluvia Soto Rodríguez (Festival Internacional de Cine Silente México), Aurore Spiers, Shelley Stamp (University of California, Santa Cruz), Alejandra Calleja Toxqui (Festival Internacional de Cine Silente México), Kristen Anderson Wagner (University of Southern California), Laetitia Vigneron (Festival Internacional de Cine Silente México), and Yiman Wang (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Check out this title and more at Kino Lorber.

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