Before 1920 there were more women working in the film industry in the United States, in all areas of production, than at any other time in history, including the present. In Hollywood, women, in addition to being the most popular stars, occupied prominent creative positions and great responsibility, amassing more power than any other industry. However, only a few of these pioneers managed to resist the progressive disappearance of women that took place in the 20s with the development of the studio system and the corporate reorganization that it entailed. Those that managed to remain left an indelible mark on the history of American cinema.
This free public film series, presented by the American Space Madrid and American Cultural Studies programs, aims to shed some light on the crucial role played by these exceptional women, in front of and behind the camera, in the golden age of Hollywood in the 30s and 40s. The cycle is made up of a small selection of films that gives us the opportunity to better understand the genealogy of Hollywood and how the film industry, at a given time, offered tremendous professional opportunities to women , as well as enjoying some of the best movies ever produced.
Dorothy Arzner was one of the few film directors who stayed behind the camera with the arrival of the Studio System. She began her prolific career working as a screenwriter and editor before demonstrating her great talent as a director. She played an important role in the careers of many classic Hollywood stars, including Rosalind Russell and Katharine Hepburn. She, the latter, obtained her first leading role in the cinema from the hand of Arzner when, according to legend, the director saw in the young actress the modern look and spirit that she was looking for for the central character of her new film. .
The movie in question was to the heights (1933, Christopher Strong), a screenplay written by Pulitzer Prize winner Zoe Akins based on the novel by Gilbert Frankau and whose protagonist, a fearless and independent aviator in love with a married parliamentarian, exuded modernity and intelligence. Katharine Hepburn gives a superb performance. The result is a melodrama in which there are no good or bad guys, which tells us the story of sophisticated, complex characters who own their actions and decisions.
Cultural manager, expert in cinema and doctor in Humanities from the Carlos III University of Madrid. his thesis From Waste to Worth: Recycling Moving Images as a Means for Historical Inquiry focuses on the notion of the moving image as a critical thinking tool, specifically in cases that use historical events and their audiovisual records.
As a cultural manager, she has developed and produced various programs and events for institutions such as Medialab-Prado and ARCO. She coordinated the Retiro Experimenta citizen laboratory, part of the pioneering Experimenta Distrito program, in collaboration with the Madrid City Council. As an independent curator she was responsible for the exhibition Kill the father. He has published articles in specialized journals and has participated in conferences organized by institutions such as APME, CENDEAC, the Julio Caro Baroja Institute of Historiography and the Carlos III University of Madrid.
He is currently a member of the Research Group, financed by the Ministry of Education, Subjects, emotions and structures. For a critical social theory project, from the Department of Humanities: Philosophy, Language and Literary Theory of the Carlos III University of Madrid.