Book launch at Le Giornate del Cinema Muto
Well, here I am with 3 of my 4 'blurbers': Ian Christie, Richard Abel and Tami Williams. It was so terrific to be able to launch my new University of California Press book at the very forum that enabled it, surrounded by the scholars, archivists and programmers who ensure that I can access the film, materials, and research I need to get words onto a page.
What does this meant to me? So much. I first attended this festival as a graduate student from UCLA in America, in 1995. The community of friends I have built up over almost 30 years at this Festival sustains me, and is something that I genuinely missed during the long covid years. 2023 was my return, after 4 years, to Pordenone. I was so fortunate to present my book, see old friends, and celebrate Heide Schlüpmann and Natasha Noussinova win the Jean Mitry Award. At the same time, thanks to my book launch, I was able to celebrate my 3 fabulous pioneering women- Sarah Bernhardt, Gabrielle Réjane and Mistinguett–who now circulate into international teaching curricula, are introduced to emerging scholars, and possibly seep their way into horizons of other books.
My hope? That one day we take for granted a very simple fact: women were at the forefront of the entertainment industries and driving entrepreneurial change from the very outset. At the technological dawn of the cinematic century. Right there.