Nearly two years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to join a panel at the then upcoming SCMS (Society of Cinema and Media Studies) conference set for Seattle. As you know that was canceled due to Covid with the hopes of reconvening in Colorado in 2021. That became a virtual conference but our group decided to reapply our panel and we four were able to ‘meet’ on Zoom on Sunday and present: Writing Between the Lines: Feminist Strategies for Historical Absences, Cliché, and the Unreliable Narrator.
Here you can watch a clip from my part of the presentation,
“When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues in Oral Histories”
Joan Harrison as we think about Alfred Hitchcock and we’re gonna hear all more about her later. So I won’t go into it but let’s remember that we call them Hitchcock films but they were written by other people. Hitchcock is not a writer all right. she wrote Rebecca which got the academy award nomination and there’s also in the corner here just a little bit on John Michael Hayes who wrote several other Hitchcock films. I really hate the fact that directors get authorship but that’s another story. Look at this picture. Almost everybody can name Cecil B. DeMille whether you recognize him or not. If I say his name you’ve heard it a million times in film history. So you know Jeannie Mcpherson? Jeannie Mcpherson wrote almost all of the films that Cecil B. DeMille made that made money and when they stopped working together his films stopped making money but when he was giving an oral history later in life, she had already died. He said “She was not a good writer. She would bring in wonderful ideas but she could not carry a story all the way through. I carried the story” and his word is the last word we have on her career because she died too young for people to start doing oral histories and by the way she was a pilot too. That’s not from her acting. She was actually a pilot. She was his private pilot.
Watch this entire presentation
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