First Lady of Film
- Publication Date: August 16, 2022
- Imprint: SelfMadeHero
- Trim Size: 6 3⁄4 x 9 1⁄2
- ISBN: 9781914224034
- Page Count: 400
- Illustrations: Black-and-white illustrations throughout
- Rights: North America, LAMC
The inspiring story of Alice Guy, the first female movie director in film history, chronicles her contribution to the birth of cinema in France in the late 19th century
In 1895 the Lumière brothers invented the cinematograph. Less than a year later, 23-year-old Alice Guy, the first female filmmaker in cinema history, made The Cabbage Fairy, a 60-second movie, for Léon Gaumont, and would go on to direct more than 300 films before 1922. Her life is a shadow history of early cinema, the chronicle of an art form coming into its own. A free and independent woman who rubbed shoulders with masters such as Georges Méliès and the Lumières, she was the first to define the professions of screenwriter and producer. She directed the first feminist satire, then the first sword-and-sandal epic, before crossing the Atlantic in 1907 to the United States and becoming the first woman to found her own production company. Guy died in 1969, excluded from the annals of film history. In 2011 Martin Scorsese honored this cinematic visionary, “forgotten by the industry she had helped create,” describing her as “a filmmaker of rare sensitivity, with a remarkable poetic eye and an extraordinary feel for locations.” The same can be said of Catel and Bocquet’s luminous account of her life.
“An under-recognized genius of silent film returns to life in this spirited graphic biography from French comics duo Catel & Bocquet (Josephine Baker) . . . The ebullient art, subtly tinted in sepia tones, is packed with detail, including full-page spreads of patisseries, Parisian streets, and makeshift movie sets.”Publishers Weekly, Publishers Weekly —
About the author
Catel Muller, a graduate of Strasbourg’s distinguished College of Art, specializes in graphic novels that portray remarkable women. Her account of the life of the writer and feminist pioneer Benoite Groult (2013) received the Artemisia prize for a graphic narrative by a female artist. Since then, her "bio-graphical" depictions of history's forgotten women – Kiki de Montparnasse, Olympe de Gouges, and Josephine Baker – have been published and translated around the world. Awarded the prestigious Prix Diagonale Jury Prize in 2018 for her sustained achievement, Catel has established herself as one of the finest graphic novelists of our time.
José-Louis Bocquet has published eight crime novels, and is also the biographer of Asterix author Rene Goscinny, film director Henri-Georges Clouzot, and Belgian comics artist Andre Franquin. His work as a screenwriter has involved collaborations with film directors Georges Lautner, Pierre Jolivet, and Patrick Grandperret, and the artist Herve Di Rosa. The graphic novels to which he has also contributed include work by Serge Clerc, Steve Cuzor, Stanislas, and Philippe Berthet. Between 2006 and 2020, he ran the Aire Libre imprint for the French publishing house Dupuis.