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Rediscover the First Woman of Film History: Alice Guy

Movies thewire.in

The pioneer filmmaker was behind many groundbreaking achievements even before the beginning of the 20th century.
'With a growing awareness of gender equality in film, a forgotten pioneer of cinema is coming back into the limelight: Alice Guy (1873-1968) is being celebrated at Germany’s most important silent film festival held in Bonn from August 15-25. Accompanied by live music, a selection of the French filmmaker’s works are screened there. “Following the #MeToo movement and discussions of gender equality, new research dedicated to Alice Guy shows that she directed more films than previously thought, films that had been attributed to her male colleagues in the early days of cinema,” says Stefan Drössler, director of the Munich Film Museum. One of the world’s first filmmakers: Alice Guy Late recognition Drössler has been curating the renowned International Silent Film Festival in Bonn for a number of years. He has also organized screenings of films by Alice Guy at Bonn University — in some cases not even realizing that she was the director. Stefan Drössler, curator of the Silent Film Festival Drössler mentions for example  The Fairy of Cabbages  (original French title:  La Fée aux Choux ), part of the festival’s 2019 program. “We showed it in Bonn last year, but it was not registered as an Alice Guy film.” Now digitally restored,  The Fairy of Cabbages  is on the festival programme – this time with the proper credit. In the early years of cinema, films didn’t have proper credits, explains Drössler; they typically only had a title. The pioneering filmmakers produced works very quickly, like on an assembly line. It’s only later that experts tried to determine their authors. And they were almost exclusively men. Through digitising, in-depth research and a different awareness for the role of women in early filmmaking, some works are now being reattributed. A leading female film veteran The story of Alice Guy as a pioneer of cinema has been well documented. Born in 1873 in the east of Paris, she first worked as a secretary for a camera and photography factory before discovering a completely new medium: film. On location for the first screenings of the Lumière brothers in Paris, Guy started working for a new employer, the Gaumont Film Company, and was allowed to direct there. Apparently with success: Some film historians argue that she was the first director of a narrative fiction film, but the claim remains disputed. Alice Guy went on to become the head of production of the Gaumont film studio. Serving in that capacity from 1897 to 1907, she established her reputation through her films. Typical of the time, she directed short films of different genres: action films, westerns and comedies. In 1906, she directed the ambitious production  Life of Christ  ( La vie du Christ ), with hundreds of extras. She also tackled the Western genre. An early feminist Guy experimented early on with colour and sound. She also reflected on gender equity: “There is nothing connected with the staging of a motion picture that a woman cannot do as easily as a man,” she wrote in the US magazine  Moving Picture World  in 1914. By then she was working in the United States. As a director and producer, she worked on several hundred films. In 1907, she married cameraman Herbert Blaché and moved with him to the US. She went down in film history as Alice Guy-Blaché. In 1910, the French filmmaker established Solax, her own production company. For several decades, she was one of the very few women at the head of a US film studio, along with Lois Weber. At the beginning of the 1920s, she left the film industry after a series of failures. She divorced and returned to France with her two children. Long forgotten in film history books For many years, Alice Guy’s name disappeared from most film histories. Over 90% of film historians were men, points out Stefan Drössler, “and most of them paid little attention to women’s contributions to the art.” The gradual rediscovery of her work came through a French film festival focusing on female filmmakers in the 1970s. The director wasn’t there to witness it. Alice Guy died in 1968 at age 95. Her memoirs were published only after her death. Since then, there have been various documentaries on her work, and festivals have organised retrospectives of her films. Women with guns in Two Little Rangers Leading female characters She had her own style, and “now that we know more about Alice Guy, it is easier to recognise certain motifs in her films,” says Drössler – enabling researchers to identify works such as  The Fairy of Cabbages  as hers. Other works celebrated on the big screen in Bonn demonstrate how she introduced feminine themes into early film. They include the silent Western  Two Little Rangers , in which armed women hunt down a villain. In  Madame’s Cravings , a pregnant woman has such strong cravings that she steals other people’s food. Women put their feet up while men do all the house chores in The Consequences of Feminism “ In  The Consequences of Feminism, she  tackled the gender issue in a particularly original way: “The film shows scenes in which gender roles are reversed,” says Drössler. Men are shown sewing clothes, ironing and taking care of children, while women are smoking cigars, reading the newspaper and being served. And on the streets it’s the women who are seducing men – who run away in fear when women approach them. This article was published on DW . Read the original here .'

Chennai corporation takes steps to maintain Iyyappa Nagar Lake

Business News Today

To stop people from dumping garbage on the bunds of Iyyappa Nagar lake, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has put up notice boards stating that disposal of garbage along the periphery of the lake is prohibited.
'Chennai: To stop people from dumping garbage on the bunds of Iyyappa Nagar lake, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has put up notice boards stating that disposal of garbage along the periphery of the lake is prohibited.Only a few weeks ago, dustbins that were kept in the streets of Madipakkam were removed by the GCC in order to replace them with separate bins for degradable and non-degradable waste but the bins were not replaced and the neighbourhood is facing a tough time in disposing of everyday domestic waste.This problem had a major impact on Iyyappa Nagar Lake, said residents.People who visit the place tend to eat food items that are sold by the eateries located nearby.The plastic wrappers and the food containers are thrown on the bund and the road, as there is no garbage bin, they added.Those who take a walk, including a number of elderly people, find it extremely difficult to walk on the footpath built on the bund as the garbage gets scattered, raising an eye sore, opined many.To maintain cleanliness and hygiene near the waterbody, the GCC has put up notice boards saying people are not supposed to dump garbage in and around the waterbody.GCC officials have stated that after putting up notice boards, it is expected that people will act more responsibly and not dump their domestic waste and other plastic waste in and around the water body and help in maintaining the cleanliness of the area.Officials also said it is not fair to shutdown the eateries and stated that instead they can take better steps like installing more dustbins, using grid table material for packaging so that the degree of pollution can be brought down to a greater extent.Seeni Sethuraman, a socially active resident of Karthikeyapuram, said, “A couple of weeks ago, GCC cleaned canals and inlets that lead to Iyyappa Nagar lake, thereby making a way to store more water in the lake and prevent flooding in the roads of the locality, during rainy season.We are glad that they are taking steps to protect the lake.” . The post Chennai corporation takes steps to maintain Iyyappa Nagar Lake appeared first on News Today | First with the news .'

#RightSideUp: One Kashmir, Two Narratives; Modi's 'Vann Ki Baat'

News thewire.in

A weekly round-up of voices from the right.
'New Delhi: A dark cloud hung over Eid celebrations in the country this week with parts of Jammu and Kashmir still under lockdown under the watchful eye of the armed forces deployed by the Central government. Yet stories upon stories of human suffering emerging from the state – of medical emergencies , protests and pellet victims and of families being unable to contact one another – did not pierce the harsh ecosystem of the right wing on social media where revelry over the move continued. Also read:  Fired at For Assembling After Prayers: How Srinagar Spent Its Eid On such stories published by The Wire , comments have varied from how Union home minister Amit Shah has delivered the correct dose for the ailment that is Kashmir; how the Kashmiris deserve this turn of events for what happened with Kashmiri Pandits nearly three decades ago; and how this move, much like demonetisation, will help in rooting out terror from the country. Other parts of India have been equally stricken by floods with hundreds dead and lakhs displaced. Large parts of Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and even Goa lie inundated even as rescue efforts are on to prevent more deaths, and to evacuate and airlift supplies to those who have been stranded. But through all this chaos across India, what truly caught social media’s fancy this week was the episode of Discovery Channel’s Man Vs Wild show featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the host and noted adventurer Bear Grylls which was aired on Monday night. The episode has, as expected become fodder for meme makers . From Modi’s monologues in Hindi, to host Grylls nodding at every word, to questions about whether this was just an episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ in disguise, nothing was deemed sacred online. ‘The untying of the Kashmir’s Gordian Knot’ Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh mouthpiece Organiser continued to on its roll of writing reams upon reams on Amit Shah’s “masterstroke” in parliament on August 5. In an article aimed at explaining just how the government’s move to abolish Article 370 and 35A is legal and constitutional, Ishkaran Singh Bhandari, an advocate in the Supreme Court of India, writes: “A Himalayan wrong has been righted by a brilliant stroke of the fearless Modi government that dared to think the unthinkable: cut Kashmir’s Gordian Knot at one fell swoop that bound the poor minority under unbearable misery Article 370 and special rights of Jammu and Kashmir were tied up in a Gordian knot by those who have always furthered the separatist agenda but PM Modi by using the law has cut the Knot and once it is cut it cannot be undone and will not be undone.” In another article , Jammu-based political commentator Brig Anil Gupta chooses to celebrate Amit Shah’s “political surgical strike” in Kashmir by warning those who stand against the move: “To all those who are crying foul and trying to incite communal passions in order to ensure the continuation of their hegemony, it would be suffice to say that the days of their feudal attitude and open loot are over. The master surgeons have done the surgery. It was done with precision and perfection expected of master surgeons. Recovery and recuperation take time after major surgery… ‘Acche Din’ (good days) have arrived for the vast majority and those destined to sulk will also one day realise their folly and join the march towards modernisation, development and peace.” ‘Vann Ki Baat’; Pakistan media leads the way News Bharati , a portal which describes itself as “Nationalist News, Unbiased Views, Journalism With Righteousness, News Portal With Most Authentic News”, fawned over PM Modi’s ‘Vann Ki Baat’,  claiming it has undeniably “created awareness about environmental changes and wildlife conservation”. The portal also tried to paint an image of a peaceful Kashmir while tearing into “erroneous propaganda of anti-nationals”. “Seven days after revoking the special status on Jammu and Kashmir, the streets in Valley are calm and normal. Celebrating Eid, people have shown how happy and satisfying the decision is and how they are accepting the decision with ‘open arms.’ Promising development, the streets in the Valley signify normalcy and happy faces. People are once again getting accustomed to their routine and the children are back to school and colleges.” According to the article, “following Pakistan’s lead, some international media have also propagated that Kashmir is not what it looks like”. Rajasthan’s anti-lynching law Amid the storm that has been swirling over Kashmir, Rajasthan passed an anti-lynching law on August 5 , making Rajasthan the second state after Manipur to pass an anti-lynching law. The passage of the bill was fiercely contested by the BJP-led opposition in the state, despite the fact that even the Supreme Court has felt the need for a separate law against lynching . Right-wing media organisations such as Swarajya magazine published arguments vehemently opposing the law. Arihant Pawariya, a senior editor, noted several reasons why the right believes the passage of such a bill is “draconian in nature” and why it “must be amended or repealed immediately”. He begins by quoting Thomas Sewell’s infamous line: “Liberalism is totalitarianism with a human face.” “Whenever and wherever Congress governments come to power, they push laws which are totalitarian in nature but are deftly presented as harbinger of justice for the powerless and cunningly wrapped up in the sophisticated language of liberalism.” According to Pawariya, the new law is a “clever way of curtailing liberties of citizens by the government in the name of opposing lynchings”. A look at his author page shows that he had no such compunction to write about liberties being curtailed when it came to the amendment of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the NIA Act which give the central government a wide arm to declare citizens terrorists while holding the reigns of India’s premiere investigation agency. Pawariya takes great umbrage at the definition of lynching under the new law, with an argument that aims to protect perpetrators of such crimes. “It defines lynching as ‘any act or series of acts of violence or aiding, abetting or attempting an act of violence, whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnicity”. But lynching in original use of the word means extrajudicial killing of a perpetrator of a crime (alleged or convicted) by a group. Lynching is essentially killing. It is not merely an act of violence and certainly not attempting an act of violence as the law has stated it to mean.” The harsh punishments prescribed under the law “won’t lead to reduction in crime as long as there is no swiftness in delivering justice,” he says. After making several more complaints against the bill known, including the clause where hospitals have been directed to provide “first aid or medical treatment free of cost to victim”, he concludes: “This so-called anti-lynching act is totalitarian in nature, subjective and ambiguous, gives arbitrary powers to police and politicians to target citizens and communities, is unnecessary and defies common sense.” Another piece , also by Pawariya, attacked the festival of Eid over the slaughter of animals. He dutifully parrots WhatsApp forwards by asking why a “festival is celebrated only by killing”, adding that there is “a grave issue of children being exposed to blood-curdling sights of mass animal slaughter, which can be traumatising”. “The Indian State is finally waking up to the challenges posed by Bakrid celebrations,” he writes, before launching into how India must “get its act together and learn to not just make laws that prohibit slaughter in open and have stringent punishments in place for offenders, but also make sure that it has enough resolve as well as state capacity to ensure that those regulations are implemented in letter and spirit”. A question for Kashmiri Hindus After a group of Kashmiri Pandits, Dogras and Sikhs signed a petition opposing the reading down of Article 370 and 35A in parliament, the team at PGurus published a story a story questioning “such loonies”. The article then jumps to how black people who worked inside the homes of their white slave owners felt superior to those who worked in the fields. “It is for the sociologists and historians to study whether Hindus and Blacks developed these gradations to clutch at something psychological in a position of total and abject helplessness, or they had these gradations that is why they became slaves,” it reads, before going into a convoluted explanation of why any “psychic illusion” of these Hindus feeling superior to other Hindus is “beyond stupidity”. “This is something de-evolution. A regression of species. And the phenomenon is not restricted to Hindus of Kashmir but is common across all linguistic groups of Hindus. It is sad, and it is tragic, that such loonies exist. But it is outright dangerous for all of us Hindus that such loonies more often than not hold power, as politicians, bureaucrats, and businessmen. And decide, destroy, lives of all of us.”'

Spreading awareness on animal cruelty, speciesism

Community Telangana Today

'Hyderabad : To highlight the exploitation of animals, a group of animal rights volunteers took to the streets wearing Guy Fawkes masks and caught the attention of people.Near Prasad’s multiplex, the volunteers with masks held the ‘Cube of Truth’ and sought to spread awareness on how animals are brutally exploited for avoidable human wants.Using laptops, they screened footage offering glimpses into the suffering and cruel deaths caused from exploitation of animals for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation and labour. ‘Cube of Truth’ happens to be an annual event originally conceived by Anonymous for the Voiceless with activists donning the iconic Guy Fawkes masks.Volunteers interact with people and discuss discuss how to avoid animal-based choices which is not just ethical, but also easy and healthy.Animal activists donning Guy Fawkes masks protest the exploitation of animals at Prasad’s Multiplex in the city on Saturday. ‘Anonymous for the Voiceless’, the international group, invites people to join the global movement that involves practising and promoting anti-speciesism and veganism.The animal liberation movement has already spread rapidly in India over the last decade and is poised to become much bigger, the volunteers said.A software engineer, Sandeep Kumar said, “I was raised non-vegetarian, but after watching the documentary ‘Earthlings’ and other videos that brought out the animal suffering that our choices are responsible for, I went vegan right away”. A doctoral student, Pulkit P said, “We should also reject and fight ‘speciesism’, the discrimination causing the exploitation of innocent sentient beings merely because they belong to non-human species.Animals may not talk or reason like us, but that is not relevant here at all.What matters ethically is their capacity to suffer.Hence, it is our responsibility to make choices that do not make them suffer.”     . The post Spreading awareness on animal cruelty, speciesism appeared first on Telangana Today .'

Mauricio Macri Vs Alberto Fernandez: Presidential Primaries Take Off in Argentina

Politics thewire.in

The primary election serves as the first concrete measure of voter sentiment after a slew of opinion polls.
'Buenos Aires: Argentines have their first chance on Sunday to head to the ballot boxes in a high-stakes presidential race in which they must choose between staying the course of painful austerity measures or a return to interventionist economics. The country’s main political parties have already chosen their nominees, so the primary election, known locally as the PASO, serves as the first concrete measure of voter sentiment after a slew of opinion polls showed a narrow margin between President Mauricio Macri and main challenger Alberto Fernandez. Business-friendly Macri is hoping some recent glimmers of economic revival are enough to encourage voters to stick with him despite the current recession and biting inflation. Argentina’s country risk fell 20 basis points on Friday and local Merval index rose 7%. For voters, sticking with him would mean seeing through painful cuts in public spending as part of the $57 billion standby agreement he negotiated with the International Monetary Fund last year. Peronist candidate Fernandez, who has firebrand former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as his running mate, has promised access to free medicines for retirees and better wages for workers while hammering Macri for the uptick in poverty and unemployment as the country grapples with recession and 55% inflation. Also read |  Lessons from Argentina: How to Prevent Financial Crises in Emerging Markets “I don’t think that in the face of another Macri triumph, things will improve. On the contrary, they will get worse,” said Pablo Vazquez, 48, adding that he is worried about losing his job and has noticed more homeless people on the streets. Investors, though, see Fernandez and Kirchner as a riskier prospect than sticking with free-markets advocate Macri. As recent polls show the pair with a narrow lead, markets are bracing for the Fernandez ticket to come out ahead of Macri in Sunday’s primary, said Credit Suisse analyst Casey Reckman. The severity of market reaction could depend on the margin of victory between Fernandez and Macri, and whether or not the winner netted enough votes to indicate a potential win in the first round of the presidential election in October, Reckman said. In order to win the presidency outright in October, a candidate needs at least 45% of the vote or 40% and a difference of 10 percentage points over the second-place runner. If there’s no clear winner, voters will return for a run-off on November 24. A widened gap between Fernandez and Macri on Sunday could spook markets, prompting a new wave of volatility that sends the peso spiralling, further dimming Macri’s chances of re-election. “It’s a question of whether Macri can continue to build support. The backdrop for his momentum has been the absence of financial volatility, the decline in inflation, improving confidence and some signs of economic recovery. This event could influence sentiment around that question,” Reckman said. (Reuters)'

Chennaiites want SWDs declogged before monsoon

Weather News Today

Residents of the various parts of Madipakkam, including, Rajaji Nagar, Sadasivam Nagar and Ram Nagar want the storm water drains (SWDs) that run on either side of the streets before the monsoon starts.
'Chennai: Residents of the various parts of Madipakkam, including, Rajaji Nagar, Sadasivam Nagar and Ram Nagar want the storm water drains (SWDs) that run on either side of the streets before the monsoon starts.Anbalagan, president of Madipakkam North East Residents Welfare Association (MANERWA), said, “We have storm water drains in most parts of the locality.But, these drains are now clogged with construction debris and other garbage.Especially the drainage in Ram Nagar Ninth Street, the pavement on top of the storm water drain is broken and the cement blocks have fallen into the same.The street was flooded with stagnant water after it rained for hardly a couple of hours or even less.” Maheshwari, a resident of Rajaji Nagar, said, “We have seen the 2015 floods and we know the difficulties and problems that arise during the monsoon downpour.Corporation officials should take necessary actions and de-clog the drains, so tht we can avoid unfortunate situations in the future.” Anbalagan opined, “There are many water bodies in our locality and they are mostly dry.The officials can implement plans that will channel rainwater that stagnates in the street and let it flow into the water bodies.This will help us store more water, so that water scarcity and flooding can be avoided.” . The post Chennaiites want SWDs declogged before monsoon appeared first on News Today | First with the news .'

Amazon starts deploying cute delivery robots in US

Trade and Industry Telangana Today

After testing the robots near the company headquarters located in Seattle, Amazon is letting its little blue Scout robot stroll across the streets of Irvine with 'Prime' printed on its side, web ported Big Think reported on Saturday.
'San Francisco: Cute six-wheeled delivery robots from e-commerce giant Amazon are now gradually rolling their way into the Californian neighbourhood.After testing the robots near the company headquarters located in Seattle, Amazon is letting its little blue Scout robot stroll across the streets of Irvine with “Prime” printed on its side, web ported Big Think reported on Saturday.Currently, only a small number of the all-electric robots have been rolled out.For Irvine’s test programme, Amazon is handing out delivery assignments on a random basis, regardless of the delivery option a customer selects at purchase.For now, they are accompanied by humans designated as “Amazon Scout Ambassadors” who not only are responsible for keeping an an eye on the bots but are also supposed to answer customers’ inevitable questions.The e-commerce giant also coined a term for its delivery robots —  “adora-bots” — which are the online retailer’s first foray into real-world deployment of a robotic delivery system.Depending on how effective they are – and how Amazon customers perceive them – these little autonomous droids could represent the leading edge of nationwide robotic delivery, the report said.Amazon Scouts were developed Amazon’s Seattle labs and had been under test since January 2019.Six of the robots have been delivering packages in Washington’s Snohomish County in daylight hours and all sorts of weather as part of the test.Being similar in size to largish rolling ice-chests, they are capable of delivering any package fit, the report noted. . The post Amazon starts deploying cute delivery robots in US appeared first on Telangana Today .'