Wed

29/06

Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 14:30

Mode uit Parijs 2–1/PORTRAIT-PROFILE LITTLE CHRYSIA

Introduced by

Elif Rongen-Kaynakçı (EYE Filmmuseum)

Piano accompaniment by

Maud Nelissen, drums accompaniment by Frank Bockius

PORTRAIT-PROFILE LITTLE CHRYSIA
Until recently Little Chrysia was completely unknown and we only knew her as the actress playing Cunégonde in the Lux comedies. As there are no credits, neither on the films nor in the numerous paper documents, it is only through recognising her on the screen that we can attempt to reconstruct her biography and filmography. Luckily, her physical appearance and expressions are unmistakable.
By 2022 we know of 15 films with her that exist, five of which are unrelated to Cunégonde. It is also confirmed that she appeared at least in 52 films between 1911-1915, all proven by the paper trail. Her name is written as Little Chrysia, Little Chrysias, Miss Chyrisia(s), M.lle Little Chrysia, in different language sources. We first see it appear in the French newspapers from 1906 onwards, related to her work at Théâtre de Cluny. Then follows her transition to cinema; by 1911 she has her own comedy series produced by Société Lux, as Cunégonde. Around 1912, her appearance in other films by Lux proves that she was simultaneously appearing in unnamed supporting roles. In early 1913, Little Chrysia moves to Pathé Comica, to appear in the shortlived Zoé series. A brief but accredited appearance follows in the Italian Ambrosio films in 1914, next to Marcel Perez (Robinet), where she is advertised as “on retrouve Cunégonde, l’artiste bien connue du sourire”. Next, we find her in a 1915 issue of “Pictures and the Picturegoer”, where she is reported as having signed a contract with the British Phoenix-Comedio: “Another new Phoenix artiste is Little Chrysia, familiar but a short time ago with most picture-goers as Arabella of Lux Films. After a sojourn on the Continent she has returned to England”. So far, only one episode of an Arabella film is found to have survived, at the BFI. But what did Little Chrysia do before her “sojourn on the Continent”? According to “The Bioscope” (17 June 1915) “many circus people have attached themselves to the newer business (‘the pictures’), amongst them ‘Little Chrysia’ (widely known as Arabella). At one time, Miss Calcott as she is in private life, owned a thriving circus, now she appears exclusively in films.” After 1916 all leads go cold and she disappears. However, the research continues – and we hope for more discoveries in the future.

Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi

 

To follow:
Presentation of Cinema’s First Nasty Women dvd/blu-ray box, curated by Maggie Hennefeld, Laura Horak and Elif Rongen-Kaynakçı 

Projection
Info

Wednesday 29/06/2022
14:30

Subtitle

Original version with subtitles

Book

MODE UIT PARIJS 2 part 1

Year: 1911-1925
Country: Francia
Running time: 6'
Film Version

Dutch intertitles

Sound
Mute
Edition
2022

CUNÉGONDE REÇOIT SA FAMILLE

Year: 1912
Country: Francia
Running time: 6'
Film Version

Dutch intertitles

Sound
Mute
Edition
2022

CUNÉGONDE FEMME CRAMPON

Year: 1912
Country: Francia
Running time: 9'
Film Version

Dutch intertitles

Sound
Mute
Edition
2022

GISÈLE A MANQUÉ LE TRAIN

Year: 1912
Country: Francia
Running time: 9'
Film Version

French intertitles

Sound
Mute
Edition
2022

ZOÉ ET LE PARAPLUIE MIRACULEUX

Director: Roméo Bosetti
Year: 1913
Country: Francia
Running time: 4'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2022