The birth of the motion picture coincided with the Progressive Era in the US, and many early films deal with social and political themes that are still pertinent today—the rights of women, income inequality, workplace safety, prison reform, trust-busting, child care, and so on. The pioneer filmmaker Edwin S. Porter, best known for Edison’s Great Train Robbery of 1903, is here represented by two stark dramas centered on class distinctions: The Ex-Convict and The Kleptomaniac. Ashley Miller’s Children Who Labor and The Man He Might Have Been look at the abuse of children in New York’s manufacturing districts. Piano accompaniment by Ben Model (September 11), Donald Sosin (September 22).
Program approx. 60 min.
The Ex-Convict. 1904. USA. Directed by Edwin S. Porter.
Children Who Labor. 1912. USA. Directed by Ashley Miller.
The Kleptomaniac. 1905. USA. Directed by Edwin S. Porter.
The Man He Might Have Been. 1913. USA. Directed by Ashley Miller.
The Public and Private Care of Infants. 1912. USA. Directed by Charles M. Seay.