Little Women (2019) | Mechanics' Institute

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Little Women (2019)
CinemaLit June 2023: – Novel Ideas on Film

June 23 – Little Women  (2019), 135 minutes, directed by Greta Gerwig, starring Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamat, and Florence Pugh.

Little Women has been adapted to the screen many times. It's even appeared as a television series and Japanese anime. Even so, director-screenwriter Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) found new ways to tell Louisa May Alcott's beloved tale of the four young March sisters. Under her guidance, the characters have additional depth and the feminism is more explicit, while the Civil War looms as a thing of dread that transforms their lives. Gerwig's assembled cast of Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamat, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, and Chris Cooper could hardly be improved. (Image used with permission from Columbia Pictures, Inc.)

Co-hosted by Lara Gabrielle

Lara Gabrielle is a film writer and researcher whose work has been featured in the Missouri Review and on PBS's American Experience. Gabrielle lives in Oakland.



June 2023 at CinemaLit – Novel Ideas on Film

June at CinemaLit features three 21st Century films adapted by women screenwriters from novels by women. All three are period pieces. All include aspirants as central characters – two writers and a photographer. And all are impeccably cast, with Oscar nominees as both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Join us as we explore the challenges and rewards of turning novels about women's lives into motion pictures.


Matthew Kennedy, CinemaLit’s curator, has written biographies of Marie Dressler, Joan Blondell, and Edmund Goulding. His book Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, was the basis of a film series on Turner Classic Movies.

I don't have a favorite film,” Matthew says. "I find that my relationships to films, actors, genres, and directors change as I change over the years. Some don't hold up. Some look more profound, as though I've caught up with their artistry. I feel that way about Garbo, Cary Grant, director John Cassavetes, and others."

Classic films have historical context, something only time can provide,” Matt observes. “They become these great cultural artifacts, so revealing of tastes, attitudes, and assumptions.”


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CinemaLit: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
May 2024 CinemaLit - Elizabeth Taylor: Actress and Superstar

May 10 - 6:00 pm

CinemaLit: A Place in the Sun (1951)
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May 17 - 6:00 pm

CinemaLit: National Velvet (1944)
May 2024 CinemaLit - Elizabeth Taylor: Actress and Superstar

May 31 - 6:00 pm

CinemaLit: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
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