1916, USA, English intertitles (60’); Screening: 09.05, 17.00, Toldi Cinema, Kisterem

It is somewhat symbolic that the print of the silent film Shoes turned up in the Netherlands because the film is closely related to the painting by Van Gogh depicting shabby boots. Here, too, the focus is on a pair of shoes, worn out and increasingly ragged high ankle footwear, just like in the famous picture. In the film by Lois Weber, one of the first female directors who can be considered a pioneer of women’s rights and creator of socially sensitive works, the heroine supports her family from a pittance of an income and thus she cannot afford a new pair of shoes. This film, in which the purchase of the new pair of shoes could be considered a happy end, might even rank as a neorealist movie, except for the fact that it was made much earlier than that great era of Italian filmmaking, in 1916. The performance by the lead actor Mary McLaren is remarkable because of the association of poverty and dignity and strength of character, lifting this movie onto a plane alongside Van Gogh.

Directed by: Lois Weber
Written by: Jane Addams (novel)
Screenplay by: Lois Weber
Director of photography: King D. Gray, Stephen S. Norton , Allen G. Siegler
Cast: Mary MacLaren, Harry Griffith, Mattie Witting, Jessie Arnold, William V. Mong
Genre: drama
Production: Universal Film Manufacturing Company
Format: silent, black and white, 1.33:1 

With an introduction by Mark Paul Meyer (EYE)