Great Actresses of the Past (16mm Film Screening)

The film Great Actresses of the Past, compiled by MOMA Film Library in 1938, offers four legendary theatre actresses of the Belle Époque in their most famous roles.

To quote Arthur Symons, legendary English drama critic, “Only three actresses in our generation possessed that supreme quality, Genius: Eleanora Duse, Sarah Bernhardt and Réjane.”
Great Actresses of the Past showcases:
• Sarah Bernhardt in La Dame aux Camélias from the 1912 Film d’Art production
• Réjane in the title role in Madame Sans-Gêne from a 1911 film
• Minnie Maddern Fiske in Vanity Fair from the 1915 Edison-Kleine film
• Eleanora Duse in Cenere, a 1916 Ambrosio-Caesar film

After the screening, Ilana Turner (Founder of The Réjane Project and playwright of the upcoming O Réjane) will further discuss Réjane, a remarkable French actress and theater impresario who changed French culture, fashion and socio-politics as the 19th century morphed into the 20th. World famous in her time, Réjane’s story has been all-but-lost. As a longtime friend of Réjane’s descendants, Turner founded the Réjane Project, which is dedicated to telling the story of this groundbreaking, indomitable woman of strength and passion. Based on the clip of Réjane from Great Actresses of the Past, Turner co-wrote the paper “Madame Sans Genre: A Collaboration in the Process of Theatre and Documentation,” for the Theatre Library Association (Annual Conference Plenary Session, 2010) with Tonia N. Sutherland, PhD Information Studies.

This free program is presented by the Fiction & Literature Department and the Photo Collection Department, sponsored by Photo Friends LAPL.