Lois Weber was the leading female director-screenwriter in early Hollywood. She began her career alongside her husband, Phillips Smalley, after the two had worked together in the theatre. They began working in motion pictures around 1907, often billed under the collective title 'The Smalleys'.
For a succession of small production companies - Gaumont, Reliance, Rex, and Bosworth - Weber and her husband turned out dozens of short and feature films. She wrote scenarios and subtitles, acted, directed, designed sets and costumes, edited, and even developed negatives. The couple also worked in an experimental form of sound films, with dialogue recorded on synchronized phonograph records. In 1915 they joined Universal Pictures, and in 1917 Weber established Lois Weber Productions, whose films were released through Universal. Except for a brief association with DeMille Pictures, she remained with Universal for the rest of her Hollywood career.
Weber, like her contemporary female colleagues, realized that film provided an opportunity to advance personal attitudes and agendas. She instinctively understood film's unique power to reach out to and influence a large audience. As such, she took advantage of her role to make personal films about social issues close to her heart.
Favorite themes included women's role in society, marriage, social disparity, hypocrisy and the corruption that infests business, politics and religion.
One of the most energetic, aesthetically ambitious, and technically well-grounded filmmakers in the industry, Weber wrote, produced, and directed such films as HYPOCRITES (1914), SCANDAL (1915), FORBIDDEN (1920), WHAT DO MEN WANT? (1921).
1913 / 35mm / b&w / sound / single screen / 10' 32 / 40 €
distribution: Digital file on server