Lois Weber gave many speeches during her career as a film writer-director, but until now our knowledge of them has been limited to journalistic summaries and brief quoted excerpts. The current article advances our understanding of this dimension of Weber's career (and helps restore her “voice,” in a sense) by providing the text of an entire speech, reconstructed from five primary sources. Weber discussed a wide range of film topics in this public talk, which she delivered to the Los Angeles Woman's Club in July 1913. They included censorship issues, film's educational possibilities, her interest in greater authenticity in films, and her desire to uplift films and to correct the misinformation surrounding what she called “the glamour and danger of motion picture work.” It typifies the many speeches she gave to audiences made up of women who shared her interest in raising the standards of Hollywood and its products.
“We Are Coming Out to the Light”: A Reconstruction of Lois Weber's 1913 Speech to the Los Angeles Woman's Club
Martin F. Norden teaches film history and screenwriting as a professor of communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has more than one hundred publications to his credit and has presented his film research at numerous professional conferences across North America and Europe. He served as a consultant on the forthcoming documentary film Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché and is at work on Lois Weber: Interviews, an anthology to be published by the University Press of Mississippi.
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Martin F. Norden; “We Are Coming Out to the Light”: A Reconstruction of Lois Weber's 1913 Speech to the Los Angeles Woman's Club. Feminist Media Histories 1 October 2017; 3 (4): 195–203. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2017.3.4.195
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