Who was Léontine? One of the most popular international comedians of the silent film era, this unidentified French persona appeared in dozens of films from 1910-1912—and then vanished from the face of the earth and from cultural memory. Where did she go? Who was Léontine really? And why are her surviving films so irresistibly hilarious?
Join us for a special programme of short slapstick comedies from the Léontine series curated and introduced by Dr Maggie Hennefeld, Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota. In conversation with Dr Alix Beeston, Senior Lecturer in English at Cardiff University, Maggie will guide us in exploring what it means to resurrect Léontine in the context of contemporary politics, media culture, and feminist comedy.
This event will launch an essential new collection of essays about lost and unfinished films by women, Incomplete: The Feminist Possibilities of the Unfinished Film (University of California Press, 2023). Incomplete was coedited by Alix and it includes an essay by Maggie about her search for Léontine. Copies will be available to purchase at a special rate on the night, as will a new DVD/Blu-ray set featuring Léontine, Cinema's First Nasty Women (Kino Lorber, 2022).