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Watch Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché

(535) 7.7 103 min 2018

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché is a movie starring Alice Guy, Richard Abel, and Marc Abraham. Pamela B. Green's energetic film about pioneer filmmaker Alice Guy-Blaché is both a tribute and a detective story,...

Starring
Alice Guy, Richard Abel, Stephanie Allain, Marc Abraham
Genres
Documentary
Director
Pamela B. Green

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Product details

Audio English  Deutsch  Italiano  Español  Français  Gaeilge  Svenska  Nederlands
Subtitles 日本語  Čeština  Português  Australia  한국어  Filipino  Tiếng Việt  हिन्दी 
Quality 480p, 720p, 1080p, 2K, 4K
Genres Documentary
Director Pamela B. Green
Writer Joan Simon, Pamela B. Green
Stars Alice Guy, Richard Abel, Stephanie Allain, Marc Abraham
Country USA
Also Known As Be Natural: A História não Contada da Primeira Cineasta do Mundo, Sé Natural: La vida de Alice Guy-Blaché - La primer cineasta del mundo, Be Natural, l'histoire inédite d'Alice Guy-Blaché, Ensimmäinen nainen: Alice Guy-Blaché, Bądź sobą, czyli nieopowiedziana historia Alice Guy-Blaché, Sé natural: la historia no explicada de Alice Guy-Blaché, Första kvinnan: Alice Guy-Blaché
Runtime 1H 43M
Description Pamela B. Green's energetic film about pioneer filmmaker Alice Guy-Blaché is both a tribute and a detective story, tracing the circumstances by which this extraordinary artist faded from memory and the path toward her reclamation.

Top reviews

Saturday, 18 Jul 2020 02:44

It's unfortunate that so much positive attention has been given to the unfortunate plight of a dying British women (she was the first person in the world to give birth by artificial insemination). Even more unfortunate is that so much attention has been given to the results of the operation, which supposedly performed on her, and which were seen by the audience only. I saw the movie on a rainy Sunday afternoon (a bit late, I realize, but after all this has been going on for months, and I'll be outside most of the time). I really felt for the actor involved, and the mother, who had to work so hard to keep this amazing, joyous, joyous child alive. When I went to see this film, I was hoping to hear from someone who was aware of her story. I think I probably learned more about her than I would have otherwise. That said, the film is very important to the story it is telling. Unfortunately, I didn't learn anything new. Just as I think I learned nothing from the documentary which tells the story of the Tillie and Willie Weeks, the film with the same name is just as meaningless. That's not to say the Tillie and Willie stories are entirely good stories. Neither were they so very bad that I couldn't give them credit, or praise them (though I will admit that the Tillie story is only now reaching a higher grade of acceptability with the movie). It is, however, my impression that they are similar in the way that two kids in the same household will react to the same situations, whether to be alone or to be with other people. I don't think there was really anything new about this story. You saw the father (Bill Nighy, who you have probably seen in films before) happy to see his wife again, and anxious to get on with his life. He played a kind of psychologist, saying in effect, "I want you to live your life to the fullest. I want you to play your parts as you were born to play them. If you want to spend more time with your daughter, make it more of an activity than a routine, so she is the center of your life." The mother is very much like that. She's anxious to get back to work, anxious to get her daughter back. And, as if all that weren't hard enough, the doctor's family wants to take the baby. The doctors are worried that the child will have epileptic fits if not placed with them. The mother is concerned about what the doctors will say to the child if she is placed with them. And the father, when he sees the children on TV in the morning, says to himself, "Well, they're free to go wherever they want to go. I'm going to get on with my life, and they're free to go wherever they want to go." Then, in the night time, he's woken up in the middle of the night, by a lady knocking on the door of his house. The doctor says she's been waiting for him all day, and they go to his house. The father says, "I've had my mother with me all day. I didn't know what to expect." He finally gets what he expected: He becomes anxious and worried that he won't see his wife again. When I read this story in High School, I must admit that it's hard to believe that such a happy and involved couple could possibly be so totally incapable of communicating. I mean, I don't know that I would have thought of that husband as incapable of communicating. But even if I did, I probably wouldn't have thought of it so casually. I don't think he would have been so concerned about the status of his marriage that he would have been so disorganized when he wasn't about to get his wife back. He probably would have done some preparations for the reunion, and he probably would have said some things he would have needed to say to her that might have made things better. This isn't to say that the parents should have made things worse. One could hardly blame them for that. I have a feeling that they would have made things worse had it not been for their child, and how they would have reacted to her arrival at their home. The doctors could have told the father to go out and start planning. The mother could have said, "OK, I'm going to see a doctor tonight and get myself checked out." We could have had a scene like the one in the film between the parents and the doctor. And the baby could have said, "No, you don't have to do this. I can go where ever
Thursday, 16 Jul 2020 19:17

Alice Guy-Blaché was an English drug dealer, and member of the U.S. mob, who in the 1950s traveled the world to enrich herself, while embezzling millions. In 1972, after the Chicago Hearst murders, she was sentenced to prison for life in 1973. She was released in 1975, after serving just over five years of her sentence. In the meantime, she married a very successful businessman, Francis Coppola. Both of them were supporting heavy personalities, and they lost their fortune by a brilliant U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1976. Even before the robbery of $13 million, Alice Guy-Blaché was famous for the 'Paulie' lifestyle. She was an avid user of the cocaine that was worth billions, and she was an incredibly rich drug user. Her wealth added to the need for someone to steal it, and then to exchange the cash for drugs. The movie shows us Alice Guy-Blaché as a person that is willing to steal millions of dollars, and try to make even more. Despite the fact that she was a drug addict, and apparently addicted to cocaine, the movie shows us how dedicated she was to her family. It also shows us how ill-equipped she was to have enough money to make the investments that she had done, if she had been on the road on drugs. Another reason why this movie is so enjoyable is the strong performance by Amy Smart as Alice Guy-Blaché. Although her character is very flawed, she is an amazing character, and a great actress. In many scenes, she shows us the qualities that you don't see on a lot of characters. The most beautiful example of this is during the murder scene, which is perhaps the most disturbing scene I have seen in a movie in a long time. Alice's character is so horrible, that the viewer can't help but be disgusted with her actions. The message of the movie is that no matter what happens to you, you will always have love in your heart, and that everyone is really a loser. That is what the movie is saying.
Tuesday, 14 Jul 2020 04:32

I'm writing this review as a submission to the Biographical Documentary Contest, which was run in 1998 in connection with the 10th anniversary of the release of Alice Guy-Blaché's beloved movie "The Mother". This is a well-done, thought-provoking documentary that chronicles the art and life of Alice Guy-Blaché (born June 22, 1919), the most famous French artist of the 20th century, who died from lung cancer at the age of 83 in July 2006. The film covers her birth, upbringing, family life, childhood, adolescence, and finally death. The format of the documentary is well crafted and the cast and crew have done a great job in crafting a narrative that encompasses the entire life of the artist. The film does a good job of reflecting the "unnatural" aspects of her life such as illness, alcoholism, and an unstable marriage. However, we see some shots that clearly show a portion of her life that is unreal and seemingly unnecessary. The film does a good job of showing a small portion of the family and her paintings. However, it does not do a good job of showing her family life. In addition, the footage shot of her childhood, adolescence, and death is often obscured by the music, which seems to take up the majority of the footage. Finally, the film does not focus on some of the highlights of her life. In particular, there are no shots showing her artwork, other than a few sections that are well-intentioned and shared with the public. However, this is a minor detail and does not detract from the film's overall value. The documentary is well made, with excellent production values and a good assortment of people from her family, to her art friends, and people who know her. The authenticity of the documentary is quite remarkable. The biographical material tells the story of the artist. It tells the story of the person's relationship with her parents, and her relationship with her sisters. It tells her tragic and joyful birth, childhood, adolescence, and death. It tells her fatal illness and her end. It shows her appreciation and respect for the art of her mother, and how she developed her art in a very private way.
Monday, 13 Jul 2020 22:35

As a licensed counsellor, I am delighted to see that Canada has recently adopted the Ministry of Health's position on the treatment of children with mental illness, and I wish that other countries were doing the same. The difficulties in dealing with psychiatric disorders are immense, and they are not the result of medical advances, but instead of the moral bankruptcy and indifference that result from these types of conditions. To the extent that the accused is a child, a pre-teen, or an adolescent, he or she has the right to expect a fair and impartial treatment. We must stop assuming that the mentally ill child has the same interests as a normal child. They do not. Some of the children that are committed to hospital must have mental illness that is equivalent to a mental illness for which someone might be charged criminally. However, there are a few that are found incompetent and do not have sufficient capacity to comprehend the instructions from the court that may involve a judge's involvement in the sentence. In such cases, children are also not entitled to a fair trial. We should make efforts to alleviate the suffering of those children who do not get proper treatment or who are later found incompetent or not mentally competent. There is no question that there are many children in hospital and many in prison for inappropriate treatment and/or mental health issues, and we cannot argue about the legality of the conditions on an individual basis. These conditions should be the subject of public debate, and they should be known by the public. This film, by examining various cases, provides an interesting overview of the ongoing problems faced by these children and the state that they are being treated by in most countries, with the apparent reason being that they have a mental illness that should be better addressed by the healthcare system. It should not be viewed as a commentary on the treatment of individuals with mental illness. It should be seen as an example of the inadequate approach to children with mental illness that has resulted in many unjustified trials. Hopefully, more countries will adopt the approach that the federal government and the Canadian government have taken. The U.S. State Department has already done this, and many states have followed their lead. "Take Your Children to Court", and a similar movie on child abuse were released in 2014. They were very effective in changing the system. The only question that still remains is how will the children be treated with their parents? Hopefully this film will contribute to changing that.
Wednesday, 08 Jul 2020 05:11

As mentioned in the opening of this film, one of the things that had me interested in the movie was the fact that it was shot in real life locations, a very telling contrast to the television coverage that so many of us are forced to sit through. As I listened to the acting of the actors, I was surprised to find that most of the actors seemed to have been involved in the same profession, and many had a particular subject to comment on. I found that both women and men seemed to be in agreement that if you do not want your friends to see you naked, that you must tell them you are ill, or something like that. This is true whether the victim of sexual assault is male or female. In the case of Alice Guy-Blaché, she had to tell her friends and family that she was paralyzed in a car accident. Several of her friends commented on how ridiculous this was, and she said, "How can you say you are paralyzed and then say that you are feeling better." This was an example of what I saw as the disconnect between these two points of view, and while the acting did not strike me as lacking any artistic merit, it left me with the impression that the actors may have been thinking of their career goals and in trying to be honest, that they were, in effect, trying to deflect the story of their behavior. However, this line of thought must be tempered with what I saw as a lack of true artistic value. It seems that many of the issues that people with disabilities face are not being explored in a respectful and enlightening manner. For example, as a female sexual assault victim myself, I can understand how one might feel uneasy when watching this film. However, I would ask that everyone considering watching this film to remember that this is a subject that has become more prevalent, and that it is not a matter of whether one will or will not talk about it, but rather, what you will do about it.
Saturday, 04 Jul 2020 12:55

I just saw the film yesterday evening and for one of the first times ever, I was genuinely impressed with what I saw. Yes, the film was crude, gratuitous, just about every bad thing you can think of. But I left the cinema feeling refreshed about the world we live in. But, the point of this film is to highlight a great nation and the role that nature played in our past. Simply put, it shows how nature is a source of beauty for everyone of us and a source of threat. Throughout this film, we are shown pictures of wildlife throughout. One image that is haunting is a scene with a white wolf in a field. As soon as they go through the fence, there is no question that they are having a great time. From that moment on, they let their guard down, letting their aggression show. But, the scene is simply beautiful and moving. They turn around to run, only to have the wolf take them off their feet by pouncing on them. This is what nature is like, when it appears to be harmless and let's a few individuals have a little fun. Nature is doing the right thing. I also felt a lot of compassion for the animals that make up this land and just for their sake. That energy of natural beauty can be overlooked. Some of us have embraced this beauty in our everyday lives. But others of us have never taken the time to appreciate it. Why? Because it is only a symbol of what nature does and a side of our selves that we deny. The world doesn't need more movies like this. They can be boring, they can be flat, they can be harsh, but they can at least make a point. I hope that they encourage people to love and appreciate the natural world, because nature is beautiful and that it is our responsibility to protect it.
Saturday, 13 Jun 2020 02:32

Alice is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen, because it's more than a film about Alice: it is about the struggle for acceptance, how a gay woman can express her sexuality and how society and the media at large don't allow her to achieve her goals. The problem is that this is so strong an important story it's hard to discuss. You have to see it to understand it. But you see it anyway, because you want to know what happened, you want to be able to relate to it and you want to be the first to tell someone about it. This is the power of this movie: it touches you, it causes you to question everything and to ask: "What is truth, justice and beauty?" If you take it as a movie, you're lucky. But if you take it as a documentary, this is more powerful: this is not your average Hollywood documentary, it's one of the rare documentaries that so strongly engages you, even if you know how this story will end, you feel how much it hurts to live life without acceptance and you feel the need to speak up about it. I've never seen anything like it, and if this doesn't inspire you to do something for your community, to make this issue a conversation in your society, then nothing will. If this doesn't inspire you to do something for your community, then nothing will. This is the story of how Alice Guy-Blaché became the iconic transgender woman we know today. This is the story of how an immigrant family makes it, how a person of colour and a Jew from Algeria got accepted and celebrated in New York City, and how they continue to make their way despite the bigotry that they face daily, and how you can not only be trans but to also be gay, bisexual and a woman, and how much harder is it to be accepted in the world. I want everyone to see this, be proud and be inspired.
Thursday, 11 Jun 2020 13:17

I am a huge fan of the real life 'Alice Guy-Blaché' and I watched this documentary as part of an upcoming project to further my understanding of the fascinating woman who went into hiding after her husband (who she often considered her only living relative) was accused of murdering their daughter. The documentary wasn't completely all about her, but more of the investigation that was conducted in the days after the murders, especially the police efforts to find the person responsible. Most of the time the focus is on the three witnesses to the murders and the friends they made during their search for her. One of those witnesses was Roxy Dunbar (played by Melanie Griffith), who is now an acclaimed actress and a filmmaker. When the 'Zeroes' documentary was released, she did an interview with Alice Guy-Blaché (she had died of cancer prior to this), and she told how tough it was to find a job at the time and that she was concerned about getting too old and too sick for her son to go on a date with her daughter. The other witness (played by Patrick Stewart), was a lawyer who even went to jail for the murder of his wife, but didn't go to trial (which is not a surprise considering he was a strong defense attorney in the case). The third witness (played by the great Oscar-winner Jude Law), was a homeless woman who was found with an escape hatch from her apartment. She wasn't allowed to have contact with the outside world until her death, and ended up dying from pneumonia shortly after the case was solved. It was during these interviews that the documentary kept exploring the medical aspects of Alice's illness and that it was a nervous disorder (like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). There was also a lot of talk about how she wasn't crazy (at least she was until the real-life 'Alice Guy-Blaché' called in her sister in a desperate attempt to end her suffering) and was able to muster up the strength to leave her mental disorder behind for at least a little while. I have been a big fan of her since the early '80s, and watched the documentary to learn more about her. It was a good documentary, but it wasn't completely all about her, and it didn't completely cover the true story of her case.
Sunday, 07 Jun 2020 21:01

It is one of the most critically acclaimed documentaries on the Discovery Channel, but Alice has been dismissed by the average viewer because the doc is a bit too focused on her clinical ambitions and her personal problems. But does it make it a bad documentary? Not really. There is no commentaries and no interviews with Alice's original doctors and other colleagues, they just say the facts about her story and that's it. Why does she have to be in such a documentary? Because it's part of her inner transformation, right? So, you're going to find it difficult to hold your tears when you see the documentary, but if you're a fan of Alice, this is definitely a good idea for you to watch this film. It is not a film that will bring you down with its content, but it is a good film for those who want to learn more about what makes a person who she is, especially the first time around. I think she is one of the most interesting person in our society, because she chose the way of her life that suits her, and what matters to her is not money, it's not fame, but she has lots of hope in life and she is not being criticized because of her health. Maybe, it is a good idea for a woman who has suffered from this diagnosis to see this doc, because she might be more inspired and inspired by her own personal journey. And for those who don't have the connection to this topic, I think it is a good idea to watch this doc and at least know that she didn't die of an illness, she died of a breakdown.
Saturday, 30 May 2020 12:42

I always wondered about the woman who became famous as a teenager, and never knew of her connection with a pop star. In the documentary that follows the life of Alice, the documentary maker Catherine Lacy appears and tells us that the film was made by a female filmmaker because it doesn't have any male actors in it. The documentary itself is highly enjoyable, but also it has some questionable subjects. As an American, I find it hard to accept the fact that a country where only two women have ever been elected President, and most of the music is produced by men is controlled by a man. I also find it very hard to accept that a country whose annual gross domestic product is the fourth highest in the world, and where the ratio of women to men is the lowest in the world, has a woman as President of the US. Of course, they need a woman to say "Women are welcome in the military!" I don't know if the country we live in is the right place to evaluate the way in which women are treated in the United States, but I guess that to this country we are better than to let things get out of hand. Catherine Lacy is an actor, and she uses her art to comment on some issues that I personally don't like. She has a very strong voice, but she doesn't reveal too much in her comments. She is also a good dancer, and she showed us that in this documentary. It was hard for me to accept that she has become famous not by her acting, but by her dance work. Anyway, I guess this is a very interesting documentary. Catherine Lacy, and Catherine Lacy, the director of Alice Lacy, was a very good choice for the movie.
Saturday, 16 May 2020 03:19

Two things make this movie so very interesting. One, is the director, Joshua Bloom, who is clearly using his creative genius to tell a story, not a biography. And two, is the project, as an excellent set of photos on a famous school, including that of a famous cat. I think all those things are very important for telling a story and they make this movie very interesting. Mr. Bloom gives us so many different sources of inspiration from not just other photographers, but also from the four founders of the School: Glenn Gould, who created the iconic album cover for Nena, John Lennon, Gershwin and Robert Rauschenberg, and the students themselves. The photography, which is mostly hand-held, which would've been very difficult, but the actors and the actors giving their lines are able to make this film a more genuine, more reality based film. And when the film ends, the viewer is also able to see something the film has not told us: that there was a hidden meaning in the photography of the four founders. In fact, this is a very intriguing film, in the sense of what a filmmaker does to tell a story, but in the sense that the filmmaker, Joshua Bloom, who did it for his art, and not as a journalism job, has told a story which is interesting, powerful and revealing. And this is all thanks to the photographs in the film, which are so extraordinary that they are always interesting, and thus, useful, and so is the performance of the actors. Everyone, be it the first and second generations, will want to see this film, and I'm sure, this is one of the most important films of 2012. But be warned: It is worth it.


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