Film professor speaks at Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood


UC Santa Cruz Film and Digital Media Professor Shelley Stamp spoke about her new book, Lois Weber in Early Hollywood, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' Linwood Dunn Theater on Dec. 3. (Photos by Phil McCarten / ©A.M.P.A.S.)

UC Santa Cruz Film and Digital Media Professor Shelley Stamp

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented a lecture by UC Santa Cruz film and digital media professor Shelley Stamp on December 3, at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Los Angeles.

The Academy Scholars presentation by Stamp--about her recently published book, Lois Weber in Early Hollywood--was followed by a screening of Weber’s 1916 film Shoes, with live musical accompaniment, from a print recently restored by the EYE Film Museum in Amsterdam.

Based on a short story by Stella Wynne Herron, Shoes tells the plight of a young girl whose financial desperation leads her to prostitution.

Stamp’s book about Weber was published in April, and was recently included in a Huffington Post article about the best film books of 2015.

One of the most prolific directors of the silent film era, Weber was also a writer, producer, actress, and head of her own production company, who paved the way for filmmakers who envisioned film as an opportunity to inject their own ideas and philosophies into a rapidly growing entertainment industry. 

“Her work is incredibly interesting because she wrote and directed popular narratives in the 1910s that took on controversial subjects of the day--poverty, addiction, capital punishment, and the fight to legalize birth control,” said Stamp. “She believed cinema was a ‘voiceless language’ capable of presenting these issues for a mass audience, a new medium on par with a newspaper's editorial page.”

Stamp’s talk was the 13th in a series of lectures spotlighting recipients of the Academy Film Scholars grant.