Paris Was A Woman

A fascinating lesbian literary guide to Americans in Paris during the first decades of the 20th century, with particular emphasis on the salons, long-term romances, and careers of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier, Janet Flanner, Natalie Barney, Colette, and Djuna Barnes. Included are precious glimpses of Germaine Dulac’s seldom seen L’Invitation aux Voyages (1927), home-movie and archival footage, as well as many audio recordings and still photographs. There’s more high-level gossip here than literary history and analysis, and I would have liked some discussion of Paris’s special brand of conservative tolerance for lesbians. But this 1995 documentary is a welcome survey of an important and neglected subject. Greta Schiller directed a script by Andrea Weiss, author of a book on the subject. 75 min. (JR)

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