The list has been generated by Cinema Femme contributors, and the titles are listed chronologically on our Letterboxd HQ account, here we highlight some of these films breaking them down by theme. Today we feature Part One, highlighting films from 1906 – 1972 titled “The Silent Era”, “The Experimental”, and “The Early Auteurs (Agnès Varda, Ida Lupino, and Elaine May)”.
Letterboxd summaries below
The Silent Era
A Sticky Woman – Alice Guy Blaché (1906)
A lady uses her maid to lick her stamps, when an overtly excited man notices the maid, forcibly kisses her, and they wind up stuck to each other.
Mabel’s Blunder – Mabel Normand (1914)
Mabel is pursued by her boss, despite being engaged to his son, in this gender-bending comedy of errors and mistaken identities.
Shoes – Lois Weber (1916)
A young working girl must support her family on only five dollars a week. The strain of trying to feed, house and clothe her mother, her father and three sisters finally gets to be too much, and she winds up selling her body for a pair of shoes.
The Adventures of Prince Achmed – Lotte Reiniger (1926)
Based on stories from “The Arabian Nights”. A wicked sorcerer tricks Prince Achmed into riding a magical flying horse. The heroic prince is able to subdue the magical horse, which he uses to fly off to many adventures. While travelling, he falls in love with the beautiful Princess Peri Banu, and must defeat an army of demons to win her heart. The film is animated using the silhouette technique.
Meshes of the Afternoon – Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid (1943)
A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.
The Connection – Shirley Clarke (1961)
A title card announces that the film is a result of found footage assembled by cameraman J.J. Burden working for the acclaimed documentary filmmaker Jim Dunn, who has disappeared. Leach, a heroin addict, introduces the audience to his apartment where other heroin addicts, a mix of current and former jazz musicians, are waiting for Cowboy, their drug connection, to appear. Things go out of control as the men grow increasingly nervous and the cameraman keeps recording.
Daisies – Věra Chytilová (1966)
Two teenage girls, both named Marie, decide that since the world is spoiled they will be spoiled as well; accordingly they embark on a series of destructive pranks in which they consume and destroy the world about them. This freewheeling, madcap feminist farce was immediately banned by the government.
The Early Auteurs (Agnès Varda, Ida Lupino, and Elaine May)
Agnès Varda – we recommend:
Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), Le Bonheur (1965), One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (1977), Vagabond (1985), The Beaches of Agnès (2008)
Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962)
Agnès Varda eloquently captures Paris in the sixties with this real-time portrait of a singer set adrift in the city as she awaits test results of a biopsy. A chronicle of the minutes of one woman’s life, Cléo from 5 to 7 is a spirited mix of vivid vérité and melodrama, featuring a score by Michel Legrand and cameos by Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina.
Ida Lupino – we recommend:
Outrage (1950), The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
A young woman who has just become engaged has her life completely shattered when she is raped while on her way home from work.
Watch on YouTube, TCM
Elaine May – we recommend:
A New Leaf (1971), The Heartbreak Kid (1972), Mikey and Nicky (1976)
The Heartbreak Kid (1972)
Three days into his Miami honeymoon, Lenny meets tall, blonde Kelly. This confirms him in his opinion that he has made a serious mistake and he decides he wants Kelly instead.
Watch on DVD, also film is available to watch for free on YouTube.