Obsessed with Light is a feature-length documentary film about performer and inventor Loïe Fuller (1862-1928). The American creator of modern dance, Fuller revolutionized the visual culture of the early 20th century and was a pioneer in the use of electricity for performance, even building a glass floor so that she could be lit from below. Fuller launched Isadora Duncan’s career, promoted Auguste Rodin’s sculpture in the U.S. and consulted Marie Curie and Thomas Edison to make her costumes glow. She inspired artists and filmmakers of her day such as Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec and Alice Guy Blaché and more recently, some of the most celebrated performers and artists of our time. Anyone who has been to a rock concert has seen a modern version of Fuller's patented inventions in costuming, lighting design and stage design. Our film pulls back the curtain on this forgotten modernist through her impact on our current cultural landscape.
Obsessed with Light is a film about transformation. It's about a Midwestern vaudeville performer, born during the Civil War, who became a world-famous star of Belle Époque Paris with her elaborate productions of ephemeral, shape-shifting abstractions. It's about a woman, described by contemporaries as "odd and badly dressed," who transformed herself into the "Fairy of Light" onstage. It's about a visionary who disrupted the prevailing notions of dance and the imagined limits of the human body. And it is about a driven perfectionist who was unapologetic about her appearance, sexuality, ambition, personal limitations and humble beginnings.