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Dorothy Arzner: A Prolific Hollywood Director

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Dorothy Arzner wasn’t the first woman to direct films in Hollywood, but she was one of the few who endured. A female director who managed to succeed, for a time, in a man’s world. She worked her way through the studio system, first as a typist, then an editor, until she was trusted as a director. Between the silent era of the twenties and the early forties she made 16 films, and pioneered the use of the boom mic in the process. 

Then, stay for a discussion on the difficulties that still exist for women in the film industry with Sonejuhi Sinha, who recently directed her first film after working for years as an editor, just like Dorothy.  

Main Sources

  1. Directed by Dorothy Arzner - by Judith Mayne
  2. An extensive Interview with Dorothy Arzner conducted by Karyn Kay and Gerald Peary in 1974 - published first by ‘Cinema’ and then by ‘The British Film Institute’ in 1975.
  3. What Women Want: The Complex World of Dorothy Arzner and Her Cinematic Women by Donna R. Casella - Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media, vol. 50 no. 1-2, 2009, p. 235-270. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/frm.0.0033.
  4. Kate: The life of Katharine Hepburn - by Charles Higham published in 1975
  5. Me: Stories of my Life - by Katharine Hepburn published in 1991

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