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The New York Hat (1912): what women want 

February 11, 2016

Silent London

This is a very slightly fleshed-out transcript of an introduction I gave to The New York Hat at the Kennington Bioscope as part of an evening dedicated to women in silent film.

It’s quite old, and very short, but The New York Hat(DW Griffith, 1912) is one of my favourite films, and I’d really like to explain why. As with Shoes (Lois Weber, 1916), this film looks at the lives of women and their finances through the lens of consumerism, but the ramifications run deeper than the shop window.

The first reason that I loveThe New York Hat is that it is an early woman’s picture and I mean that in a fully feminist sense.Today we talk a lot about theBechdel Test, which is basically a test to ascertain whether the womenina filmare fully realised characters and not just appendages to the blokes. Topass theBechdel…

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