Directed by Women: A Brief History

    – posted by Ellen

In the early years of motion pictures – from the 1890s to the 1930s – women were major players behind the scenes on movie sets in Hollywood and around the world. Here are a few who made their mark back in the day.

Visionary French director Alice Guy-Blaché is credited as the first woman director with her 1896 film La Fée aux Choux, the story of a woman who cannot have children so she creates some in a cabbage patch. More than 700 films made in France and the U.S. followed, from melodramas to gangster films, horror films to fairy tales. See a collection of her films on the dvd Gaumont Treasures

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Directed by Women, Northwest edition.

    – posted by Ellen F.

This September, Seattle Public Library will be joining in a global celebration of women directors with a series of free film screenings around the city. A US News and World Reports study estimated that women made up only 7% of Hollywood directors in 2014, but in Seattle the industry is dominated by women who have broken through the celluloid ceiling. These directors often work collaboratively on their films, and the following is only a shortlist of the directors making movies in the Northwest.

Seattle Women in Film is a collection of the best short films by 21 Seattle women filmmakers in the indie film scene.

Director/writer/producer/actor Lynn Shelton’s latest movie Laggies was filmed in Seattle and stars Keira Knightley and Sam Rockwell. Shelton previously directed the awarding-winning Hump Day and Your Sister’s Sister. She wrote and directed her first film We Go Way Back way back in 2004. Continue reading “Directed by Women, Northwest edition.”

Novels tough as nails

These are some of my favorite novels because they feature brave, foolish and lucky characters that know how to persevere in the face of adversity. Rain, wind and cold are facts of life for them. They lead a gritty life with adversity around every corner. Not surprisingly, the writing in these novels is often as spare and hard as the landscape. Continue reading “Novels tough as nails”

Let us now praise famous fish

I commercial fished in Alaska for a few years in the late 1980s, and never really got over it. It was an exciting and humbling experience – at the mercy of tides and weather, floating islands of seaweed, rain by the foot, sleep deprivation, wet socks, constant gear repairs, other fishermen, bears. Here are a few tales of the salty sea and the fish within that give a taste of the occupation.

red summerRed Summer: The Danger, Excitement, and Exaltation of Salmon Fishing in a Remote Alaskan Village by Bill Carter
Set-net fishing is one of the most exhilarating and dangerous jobs in the world. Deadliest Catch takes a back seat to this ancient, back-breaking work. Author Bill Carter tells the story of his four glorious summers in Egegik on Bristol Bay.

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