Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology – Take One

Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology

Take One

You can order the set directly from Flicker Alley HERE!

I have received the most recently Flicker Alley release, Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology. So far, in 2017, this is one of the releases which has piqued my excitement. Partly because of the inevitable slug-fest between this release and Kino’s second set in their Pioneers series, First Women Filmmakers. I suspect there may be some crossover between the two but I am afraid that Kino’s brand recognition may help fuel their fire.

That aside I am always excited to see curated collections of oft-forgotten films; one of Flicker Alley’s strengths. Their set, Masterworks of American Avant-garde Experimental Film 1920-1970 remains one of my favorite modern set. Will Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology take that spot? It is too soon to say.

This set clocks in just shy of eleven hours. As a preemptive attack I watched an available, and kind of crummy, version of Olga Preobrazhenskaia’s 1927 film The Peasant Women of Ryazan. I wanted to be able to have a reference to which a comparison can be made.

My socks were immediately knocked off. On the left is a screen capture of the version I previously watched, the right from the DVD (I cannot capture screens from blu-rays at this time).


The detail levels in the DVD version are quite apparent due to the scan on the left being so washed out. This also helped my find the Flicker Alley’s presentation enjoyable. Left is the previous version, Russian intertitles with burned in Dutch translation. I had to refer to a pdf translation I found online. In the right, crisp and clean English intertitles.


I know, there are purists who will take offence to a film distributer editing a film rather than just subtitling the intertitles, but I am not one of them. Thanks Flicker Alley!

Finally, and I cannot give you screen captures for it but the score for the FA edition is much more engaging, and fitting, than the other edition.

So overall I am very pleased with this version of (Peasant) Women of Ryazan. I am also fairly confident that I can recommend this set to collectors without a full viewing. Only ten hours remain after this film. If you like film history then you need to add this to your set. In due time I will have a full review of the whole enchilada. Please be patient.