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Amy! and Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti
Two films by Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen
Color/BW, DVD
Order No. W07918
WMM is pleased to release two early works by renowned film scholar Laura Mulvey, co-written and co-directed with Peter Wollen. Mulvey came to prominence in the early 1970s with her seminal essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema. One of the most widely cited and anthologized articles in the field of contemporary film theory, this groundbreaking work investigated questions of spectatorial identification and its relationship to the male gaze. With this essay and other articles, Mulvey helped establish feminist film theory as a legitimate field of study.

AMY! (1980, 30 minutes) Amy Johnson was the first woman to fly solo from Great Britain to Australia. Mulvey and Wollen’s experimental documentary combines newsreel footage of the aviator’s arrival, dramatic recreations of events from her life and contemporary discussions by feminist groups on the subject of heroism in this most unconventional biopic.

FRIDA KAHLO AND TINA MODOTTI (1983, 29 minutes) Originally commissioned for an international art exhibition this short film is an unconventional portrait of painter Frida Kahlo and photographer Tina Modotti. Simple in style but complex in its analysis,FRIDA KAHLO AND TINA MODOTTI explores the divergent themes and styles of two contemporary and radical women artists working in the upheaval of the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution.


  • Ladyfest, Chicago, IL

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    “AMY! and FRIDA KHALO AND TINA MODOTTI are fascinating and accessible hybrids of biography and critical essay written in images and sounds. They exemplify the ‘passionate detachment’ Mulvey advocated- their modernist heroines are as texts and presented as women with whom younger feminist generations will connect. The rediscovery of these films will energize discussions of feminist film theory by illustrating the stakes of film practice.”
    Patricia White
    Chair, Film and Media Studies, Swarthmore College

    “A fascinating recasting of documentary film as a hybrid of performance art, home movies and animation infused by a postpunk sensibility. The films turn Mulvey’s off-cited ‘gaze’ inside out with powerful subjects…who demand active spectatorship.”
    Ted Barron
    Senior Programmer, Harvard Film Archive

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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us