Happy Birthday, Lois Weber – America’s 1st Female Filmmaker

Born on this day in 1879, Lois Weber was a child prodigy pianist and silent film pioneer – an actress, screenwriter, producer, and director (the 1st woman as such in the United States) of over 100 known films. As a progressive activist, Weber’s movies often contained her ideals of social justice, which included support for women’s rights and birth control, as well as opposition towards censorship and the death penalty.

Her films are also known for being technically and narratively advanced for the time, groundbreaking in their usage and advancement of existing film language. One such example is the pre-Hitchcockian Suspense, directed in 1913 by Weber, below with a piano score by the lovely and talented Robbie Kaye from Beauty and Wisdom.

That Weber has been largely forgotten with the passage of time is as much a tragedy as the final years in her own life. I hope this changes and she begins to receive a more recognized and deserving place in history.

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Happy Birthday, Hubble Space Telescope!

The Hubble Telescope launched 22 years ago today, and the entire collection of Hubble pictures is available online and well worth your time. The video below contains 1 selected image from each year.

Happy Birthday, Sir Charles “Charlie” Chaplin!

This video gives me chills. Every…single…time:

Happy 150th Birthday, Georges Melies!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Mini-Giddy!