Marceline. A Woman. A Century

MARCELINE. A WOMAN. A CENTURY is a fascinating portrait of the persevering French filmmaker, writer, and Holocaust survivor Marceline Loridan-Ivens (1928-2018). Marceline was only 15 when both she and her father, a Polish Jew from Lódź, were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. She survived but her father didn’t, and Marceline had to find radical and unconventional ways to heal after the tragedies of the war. In 1961, she appeared in Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s landmark film Chronicle of a Summer, which gave birth to the term cinema verité. Later she married the legendary Dutch documentary director Joris Ivens, traveled with him to Vietnam, and co-directed films such as 17th Parallel: Vietnam in War (1968) and How Yukong Moved the Mountains (1976). Filmed as she was nearing 90 years old and living in Paris, MARCELINE. A WOMAN. A CENTURY spans the broad arc of her life from Holocaust survivor to political activist to combatively critical filmmaker. Looking back on the momentous events she experienced and filmed such as the Algerian and Vietnam Wars and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, MARCELINE is a thought-provoking chronicle of a remarkable witness of the 20th century.
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Girl From God’s Country: The History of Women in Film and Other War Stories

GIRL FROM GOD'S COUNTRY is the untold story of the first female independent filmmaker and action-adventure heroine, Nell Shipman (1892-1970), who left Hollywood to make her films in Idaho. An unadulterated, undiscovered adventure tale of a pioneering woman who rewrote the rules of filmmaking, and, in so doing, paved the way for independent voices–especially prominent female voices in today’s film industry. Her storylines of self-reliant women overcoming physical challenges in the wilderness and often, rescuing the male lead, shattered the predictable cinematic formulas of large studio productions. Featuring rare archival footage by early pioneers, including minority filmmakers, Zora Neale Hurston and Miriam Wong, the first Chinese-American filmmaker in 1914 and present day interviews with Geena Davis and the Director of Women in Film, GIRL FROM GOD’S COUNTRY discuss how gender-inequities that Shipman and her counterparts faced perpetuate in today's film industry. Emblematic of an entire lost generation of female producers and directors in silent film, Nell Shipman’s legacy has remained a buried treasure in film history for nearly 100 years. Required viewing for Women’s and Cinema Studies.
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Golden Gate Girls

In GOLDEN GATE GIRLS author and professor S. Louisa Wei tells the story of filmmaker Esther Eng, the first woman to direct Chinese-language film in the US, and the most prominent woman director in Hong Kong in the 1930’s. A San Francisco native and open lesbian, her contribution to film history is sadly overlooked – her 11 feature films mostly lost. After the retirement of director Dorothy Arzner in 1943 and before Ida Lupino began directing in 1949, Eng was the only woman directing feature length films in the US. Wei’s documentary paints a fascinating picture of how Eng’s career in filmmaking broke through gender and racial boundaries in Hollywood and Hong Kong, at a time when opportunities for Chinese women in the industry were few and far between. With a captivating archive of newly discovered images and interviews with those who knew her, Wei uncovers a rich chapter of film history that challenges both gender hierarchies and national narratives. Essential viewing for Cinema Studies and Asian American Studies.
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Ulrike Ottinger - Nomad from the Lake

This intimate personal portrait of Ulrike Ottinger, a unique, influential voice in women’s cinema for over four decades, begins at the lakeside city of Constance, where she was born and started her career. Describing key moments in her life, including the impact of student protests in Paris and her move from painting to filmmaking, Kramer traces Ottinger’s artistic development. Excerpts from her films, notably Madame X; Dorian Gray in the Mirror of the Yellow Press; Johana d’Arc of Mongolia; and documentaries shot in Asia (recently released by WMM), explore her luxuriant cinematic style combining fact and fiction in opulent, idiosyncratic images. Interviews with collaborators and friends offer further insights into Ottinger’s singular body of work. A richly rewarding close-up of the woman director who, along with Margarethe von Trotta and Helke Sander, helped launch New German Cinema on world screens, ULRIKE OTTINGER—NOMAD FROM THE LAKE is an indispensable companion for any Ottinger film.
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Slaying the Dragon and Slaying the Dragon: Reloaded

SLAYING THE DRAGON is a comprehensive look at media stereotypes of Asian and Asian American women since the silent era. From the racist use of white actors to portray Asians in early Hollywood films, through the success of Anna May Wong’s sinister dragon lady, to Suzie Wong and the ’50s geisha girls, to the Asian-American anchorwoman of today, this fascinating film shows how stereotypes of exoticism and docility have affected the perception of Asian-American women. Produced by Asian Women United, this invaluable resource has been widely used by universities and libraries. SLAYING THE DRAGON: RELOADED is a 30-minute sequel to SLAYING THE DRAGON. RELOADED looks at the past 25 years of representation of Asian and Asian American women in U.S. visual media — from blockbuster films and network television to Asian American cinema and YouTube — to explore what’s changed, what’s been recycled, and what we can hope for in the future.
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Shooting Women

Featuring more than 50 camerawomen from around the world, and shot over a period of six years, SHOOTING WOMEN, by pioneering filmmaker and cinema studies professor Alexis Krasilovsky, celebrates the amazing talent and unflinching spirit of image-making women from the sets of Hollywood and Bollywood to the war zones of Afghanistan. This internationally-acclaimed documentary, based on Krasilovsky’s book Women Behind the Camera, broaches the persistent issues of the glass ceiling, sexual harassment, and childcare for professional camerawomen around the globe—working from environments where raising such issues is seen as “unprofessional.” Krasilovsky and Harriet Margolis have also co-authored the book, Shooting Women: Behind the Camera, Around the World with Julia Stein. With wide-ranging access and rich diversity, SHOOTING WOMEN offers insight from top directors of photography like Ellen Kuras (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND) and Sandi Sissel (SALAAM BOMBAY), while giving voice to stories of groundbreaking women like African-American Jessie Maple Patton, who sued the American union and networks for the right to work. From historic footage of Mao’s travels from China’s first camerawoman, to the secretly filmed beatings of women in Afghanistan, viewers are offered a glimpse of how women behind the camera are changing the world.
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Suffragettes in the Silent Cinema

In the days before movies could talk, silent films spoke clearly of sexual politics, and in Suffragettes in the Silent Cinema, historian and writer Kay Sloan has assembled rare and wonderful footage that opens a historic window onto how women’s suffrage was represented in early American cinema. Taking advantage of the powerful new medium, early filmmakers on both sides of the contentious issue of suffrage used film to create powerful propaganda and images about women. Suffragettes in the Silent Cinema contains clips from many films from the era, including: A Lively Affair (1912); A Busy Day (1914), which stars a young Charlie Chaplin in drag portraying a suffragist; and the pro-suffragist film, What 80 Million Women Want (1913), which includes an eloquent speech from president of the Women’s Political Union, Harriet Stanton Blatch. Silent films may have passed into history, and their representations of feminists abandoning babies or stealing bicycles to attend suffragette meetings may now seem outrageous, but the struggle for gender equality and the issues surrounding representations of women in the media remain as fascinating, engaging, and relevant as ever.
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Sisters of the Screen

Exploring the extraordinary contributions of women filmmakers from Africa and the diaspora, Beti Ellerson’s engaging debut intersperses interviews with such acclaimed women directors as Safi Faye, Sarah Maldoror, Anne Mungai, Fanta Régina Nacro and Ngozi Onwurah with footage from their seminal work. With power and nuance, Ellerson also confronts the thorny question of cultural authenticity by revisiting the legendary 1991 FESPACO (Pan-African Festival of Cinema and Television of Ouagadougou), in which diasporian women were asked to leave a meeting intended for African woman only. This film is both a valuable anthology and a fitting homage to the pioneers and new talents of African cinema.
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Reconstruction

Filmmaker Irene Lusztig unearths a dark family secret in search of answers and reconciliation in her breakthrough feature documentary, RECONSTRUCTION. In communist Romania 1959, Lusztig’s maternal grandmother, Monica Sevianu, took part in a failed bank robbery (known as the Ioanid Gang bank heist) and was condemned to life in prison. Forty years later, the filmmaker returns to Bucharest to reassemble the pieces of her shocking story and construct a portrait of her estranged and enigmatic grandmother. The title of the documentary derives from a bizarre government propaganda film that reenacts the crime and trial of the robbery and shockingly stars the actual members of the Ioanid Gang – including Monica Sevianu. This surreal docu-drama incorporates interviews, contemporary footage shot in Bucharest and rare archival images, Lusztig reveals a mesmerizing family story spanning three generations about the subversive crime of six Jewish intellectuals, while presenting a compelling and complex examination of modern-day Romania.
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Filming Desire:

“In this bold documentary Marie Mandy asks the question: how do women directors film love, desire, and, especially, sexuality? In rare interviews with many of the leading women directors working in the world today – including Sally Potter, Agnès Varda, Catherine Breillat, Doris Dörrie, Deepa Mehta, Moufida Tlatli, Safi Faye, and Jane Campion – FILMING DESIRE: A JOURNEY THROUGH WOMEN'S CINEMA directly engages the sexual politics of cinematographic choice. Powerfully illustrated with film clips from their own work, the directors discuss the reality of an explicit women’s point of view, the possibility of a women’s cinematic language, and the desire in their films to ‘fantasize and dream a new image of themselves’. While discussing how their depictions of sexuality and relationships are correctives, they also reflect on the sexual differences in selection of image, shot, and story. The film also provides a virtual anthology of the debates about the body, sexuality, power, and passion one sees in contemporary feminist and film theory: the body in representation and image; as a subject of censorship; as the vehicle of desire and love; as the contested ground of cinematic production; and as part of women’s identity and voice. Explicit, funny and beautifully edited, FILMING DESIRE weaves an intriguing essay that is international in scope and reflective of the great diversity of women filmmakers. Essential viewing for classes in women’s studies, film studies, sexuality, body image, and feminist theory.” – Joseph Boles, Visiting Scholar, Center for Visual Culture, Bryn Mawr
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Lip

It is Hollywood’s favorite role for black women: the maid. Sassy or sweet, snickeringly attentive or flippantly dismissive, the performers who play them steal every scene they are in, and Tracy Moffatt’s entertaining video collage reveals the narrow margin Hollywood has allowed black actresses to shine in. But shine they do. Giving lip is proven an art form in these scenes from 1930’s cinema to present-day movies featuring a remarkable roster of undervalued actresses and their more celebrated white costars. Moffatt and Hillberg’s rough, no-budget assembly effectively highlights with familiarity and humor the disturbing realization of how black characters and white characters still interact on screen, under Hollywood’s eternally backwards eye.
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Up in the Sky: Tracey Moffatt in New York

"UP IN THE SKY scans the universe created by the provocative and talented photographer and filmmaker Tracey Moffatt, Australia's answer to Cindy Sherman and with even more of an edge, if that's possible. An important figure in the Australian postcolonial avant-garde, Moffatt started out with visually compelling (and often disturbing) photographs and films such as NICE COLOURED GIRLS, NIGHT CRIES, and BEDEVIL that explore her own Aboriginal heritage and the complex ways that power, race and gender intersect, often violently, in everyday life. More recently, her work draws on sources as diverse as Pasolini and Mad Max films, or Victorian photography. Jane Cole's documentary is an insightful portrait of Moffatt and her work, and an invaluable framework for anyone interested in the work of this cutting edge artist." Faye Ginsburg, Director, The Center for Media, Culture, and History, New York University
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Tender Fictions

Innovative, funny, and historic, TENDER FICTIONS is an autobiographical exploration of the search for and meaning of gay community. From a childhood spent being groomed as the next Shirley Temple to her current work as an activist and maker of over 70 films and videos, groundbreaking filmmaker Barbara Hammer casts a wry eye on her life and changing world. In a rich montage of home movies, experimental films, news footage, and personal photographs, Hammer charts her growth from 1950's child star "wannabe" to 1960's straight earth mother to 1990's lesbian artist and activist. Documenting how Hammer's personal and artistic development grew out of and became a part of the feminist, gay, and AIDS activist movements, TENDER FICTIONS is both the story of an extraordinary filmmaker and a compelling portrait of the changes wrought by a generation of women. "As Hammer examines her emergence, her struggle becomes symbolic of all those who have rejected the ideals by which they were raised...A moving and provocative look at the role of community in an artist's life and the role of the artist in her community." —Lisanne Skyler, Sundance Film Festival
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Women Who Made the Movies

From the very beginnings of motion picture history, women have played prominent roles in front of the camera. But little is known about the major roles women played behind the camera as directors, writers, editors and other creative roles. Women were making films of great importance at the same time that better known male directors such as Edwin S. Porter and D.W. Griffith were monopolizing cinema history. Until recently, many of their contributions have been forgotten or ignored. WOMEN WHO MADE THE MOVIES traces the careers and films of directors such as Alice Guy Blaché, arguably the first person to direct a film with a plot in 1896, "La Fée Aux Choux," who also experimented with color, synchronized sound, and films that gradually became more and more ambitious in length and subject matter. Others documented in this film include Ida Lupino, who also had a long career as an actor; Ruth Ann Baldwin, who directed numerous early westerns; Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's film propagandist; as well as Dorothy Davenport Reid, Lois Weber, Kathlyn Williams, Germaine Dulac, Cleo Madison and many other women who made a lasting contribution to film history. WOMEN WHO MADE THE MOVIES features film clips, stills and other archival materials, bringing to life the work of these essential and often neglected filmmakers.
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The Cinematic Jazz of Julie Dash

From her innovative short works to her critically acclaimed feature debut DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST, the films of Julie Dash have broken new cinematic ground and redefined black women's images on screen. In this wide-ranging interview, Dash talks about her background, development and approach to movie making, as well as the struggles, victories and interdependence of African American women filmmakers. Excerpts from early films and DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST, the dramatic feature about different generations of South Carolina sea islanders which has thrilled audiences across the nation, underscore the originality of this immensely gifted artist.
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Meeting of Two Queens

In this witty, luminous film, Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich star in the roles of their lives—cast as lovers by Chilean video artist Barriga. Queen Christina meets the Scarlet Empress; Anna Karenina and Blonde Venus transcend tragedy. This beguiling film links the queens of the silver screen through motifs such as the cigarette and a circuitry of meaningful gazes and gestures. Clips from their signature roles are remounted in silent film style vignettes to tell a burgeoning tale of desire and destiny.
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My Filmmaking, My Life

Matilde Landeta entered the flourishing Mexican film industry in the 1930s, working her way up from script girl to direct 110 shorts and, in the late 40s, to produce and direct three features, including LA NEGRA ANGUSTIAS. In this engrossing documentary filmed in Mexico City, a vibrant Landeta, now in her 70s, recalls those years. Interviews with Mexican directors Marcela Fernandez-Violante and Maria Novaro enrich this illuminating tribute. Produced by Jane Ryder.
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Women Filmmakers in Russia

Since Lenin's fervent embrace of cinema in the 1920s, more women have worked in the film industry in Russia than in the West. This fascinating documentary - produced during glasnost and prior to the dissolution of the USSR - includes interviews with actresses, critics, technicians and leading directors Kira Muratova and Lana Gogoberidze. Clips from films such as Larissa Shepitko's WINGS are contrasted with more traditional representations of women in "Soviet" cinema. WOMEN FILMMAKERS IN RUSSIA (aka I AM AN OX, I AM A HORSE, I AM A MAN, I AM A WOMAN) was directed by Sally Potter (ORLANDO). A Triple Vision Production.
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Invocation

Maya Deren is a legend of avant-garde cinema. This authoritative biography of the charismatic filmmaker, poet and anthropologist features excerpts from her pioneering Meshes of the Afternoon and her unfinished documentary on Haiti, interviews with Stan Brakhage and Jonas Mekas, and recordings of her lectures. Narrated by actress Helen Mirren, this definitive documentary offers startling insights into one of the most intriguing, accomplished figures in cinema history.
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Artist on Fire

A pioneer of feminist avant-garde cinema, Joyce Wieland has explored the crux of nationalism, feminine sexuality and ecology for more than thirty years in films such as her influential RAT LIFE AND DIET AND REASON OVER PASSION. This richly suggestive portrait surveys Wieland's involvement in structural filmmaking with Michael Snow and Hollis Frampton in the 1960s and her reinvention of women's crafts in her artwork.
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The Gold Diggers

THE GOLD DIGGERS is the ground-breaking, exquisitely photographed early feminist film by Sally Potter, director of ORLANDO and THE TANGO LESSON. "Drawing from the same well of avant-garde anti-structure as enfant terrible Jean-Luc Godard and playwright Bertolt Brecht, Sally Potter’s whip-smart THE GOLD DIGGERS is brimming with cultural and political signifiers that combine to form a singular work in the feminist counter cinema space. Employing an all-female crew to shoot, compose, and design this proto-Lynchian world of romantic surrealism, the British filmmaker establishes herself as a trailblazer in this “search for the secret of [her] own transformation.” Babette Mangolte’s career-best cinematography elucidates a visual and thematic sendup of silent comedies, Depression-era musicals, and European arthouse cinema in an elegant, non-narrative ode to — and critique of — traditional Hollywood moviemaking."- UCLA Film & Television Archive
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Illusions

The time is 1942, a year after Pearl Harbor; the place is National Studios, a fictitious Hollywood motion picture studio. Mignon Duprée, a Black woman studio executive who appears to be white and Ester Jeeter, an African American woman who is the singing voice for a white Hollywood star are forced to come to grips with a society that perpetuates false images as status quo. This highly-acclaimed drama by one of the leading African American women directors follows Mignon's dilemma, Ester's struggle and the use of cinema in wartime Hollywood: three illusions in conflict with reality. From the director of the critically acclaimed DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST.
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Thriller

Since its release in 1980, Sally Potter's rewriting of Puccini's opera, La Boheme, has become a classic in feminist film theory. A model for the deconstruction of the Hollywood film, THRILLER turns the conventional role of women as romantic victims in fiction on its head. Mimi, the seamstress heroine of the opera who must die before the curtain goes down, decides to investigate the reasons for her death. In doing so, she begins to explore the dichotomy which separates her from the opera's other female character, the "bad girl" Musetta. As rich in sounds and imagery as it is theoretically compelling, THRILLER provides the female spectator with a long-awaited recognition of her version of the story.
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