A little girl named Trixie gets an idea and sneaks out of her bed– She goes outside with some string to tie the leaves back onto the trees. Earlier that day, her mother told her that the doctor said her sister who was sick in bed with consumption, wouldn’t live to see “the last leaves fall from the trees.” So Trixie tries to keep the leaves from falling off the trees with string to save her sister. This is the plot of Falling Leaves – a 1912 film created by Alice Guy Blanche – the first female director – pretty poetic stuff for a 1912 film. In fact, she was one of the first directors, male or female, to use film in a narrative form. She made over 300 films in her career and made great contributions to the language and syntax of narrative film.
Here’s an excerpt of my favorite scene from Falling Leaves. Orson Welles must have been thinking of this scene when he filmed the Rosebud scene through the window.