Lives: Visible/Leftovers

Lesbians in a box…two thousand private snapshots hidden away for over fifty years reveal the rich history of Chicago’s working class butch/fem life in the pre-Stonewall era.
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What Happened to Her

WHAT HAPPENED TO HER is a forensic exploration of our cultural obsession with images of the dead woman on screen. Interspersing found footage from films and police procedural television shows and one actor’s experience of playing the part of a corpse, the film offers a meditative critique on the trope of the dead female body. The visual narrative of the genre, one reinforced through its intense and pervasive repetition, is revealed as a highly structured pageant. The experience of physical invasion and exploitation voiced by the actor pierce the fabric of the screened fantasy. The result is recurring and magnetic film cliché laid bare. Essential viewing for Pop Culture, Women’s and Cinema Studies classes.
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The Same Difference

THE SAME DIFFERENCE is a compelling documentary about lesbians who discriminate against other lesbians based on gender roles. Director Nneka Onuorah takes an in-depth look at the internalized hetero-normative gender roles that have become all too familiar within the African American lesbian and bisexual community. Onuorah shows how these behaviors reproduce the homophobic oppression and masculine privilege of the straight world, while looking for solutions in compelling discussions with community members. Self-identified studs—and the women who love them—discuss hypocrisy in terms of gender roles, performative expectations, and the silent disciplining that occurs between community members. This film features many queer celebrities, including actress Felicia “Snoop” Pearson from the critically acclaimed HBO drama The Wire, and Lea DeLaria from Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, living daily with opinions about how identity should be portrayed. Onuorah's engaging documentary shines a light on the relationships and experiences within the queer black female community, intersecting race, gender and sexuality. Required viewing for Women’s, Gender and Queer Studies.
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Love Between the Covers

LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS was selected as the #1 choice of all 2015 videos by the American Library Association's Booklist Review. Romance fiction outsells all other genres of writing, from crime to science fiction, combined. So why is the genre so often dismissed as frivolous "scribble"? Could it be that it's because the overwhelming majority of writers and readers are women? This funny and inspiring look into a billion dollar industry turns up trailblazers who push the discussion on gender, race, sexuality and diversity at the front lines of the biggest power shift in publishing. In LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS Emmy Award® Winning director Laurie Kahn (TUPPERWARE!, A MIDWIFE'S TALE) turns her insightful eye towards another American pop culture phenomenon: the romance industry. Creating online empires and inventing new markets are authors like Beverly Jenkins, a pioneer of African American romance, Len Barot (aka Radclyffe, L.L. Raand), a surgeon and lesbian-romance legend who started her own publishing house, and the incomparable Nora Roberts. This documentary offers fascinating insights into the history and popularity of this female-centric literary world.

Book LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS filmmaker Laurie Kahn to speak at your university
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On Beauty

From Emmy®-nominated IN THE FAMILY filmmaker Joanna Rudnick and Chicago’s Kartemquin Films comes a story about challenging norms and redefining beauty. ON BEAUTY follows fashion photographer Rick Guidotti, who left the fashion world when he grew frustrated with having to work within the restrictive parameters of the industry’s standard of beauty. After a chance encounter with a young woman who had the genetic condition albinism, Rick re-focused his lens on those too often relegated to the shadows to change the way we see and experience beauty. At the center of ON BEAUTY are two of Rick's photo subjects: Sarah and Jayne. In eighth grade Sarah left public school because she was bullied so harshly for the birthmark on her face and brain. Jayne lives with albinism in Eastern Africa where society is blind to her unique health and safety needs and where witch doctors hunt people with her condition to sell their body parts. We follow Rick as he uses his lens to challenge convention and media’s narrow scope of with the help of two extraordinary women.
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The Righteous Babes

In this accomplished documentary, acclaimed filmmaker Pratibha Parmar (A PLACE OF RAGE, WARRIOR MARKS) explores the intersection of feminism with popular music, focusing on the role of female recording artists in the 1990s and their influence on modern women. Parmar argues that, far from being dead, feminism has thrived and expanded its reach through the direct, aggressive, and revolutionary medium of rock music, and through the role models of performers like Madonna and Ani DiFranco. Intercutting performance footage with interviews, Parmar explores her thesis with some of the most outspoken female musicians, feminist theorists, and journalists of the UK and US, including Sinead O’Connor, Skin (Skunk Anansie), Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders), Tori Amos, Ani DiFranco, Camille Paglia, and Gloria Steinem. THE RIGHTEOUS BABES offers a searing and timely critique of the commercialization of feminism through 'Girl Power' Spice Girls style, ditzy Ally McBeal and her trans-Atlantic counterpart, Bridget Jones. With critical insight and candidness, this powerful and timely documentary demonstrates the vibrancy and relevance of feminism to women and young girls today. Essential viewing for feminists, post-feminists and anti-feminists alike.
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Jodie: An Icon

Jodie is a fast paced, breezy look at the transatlantic phenomenon that has made Hollywood actress Jodie Foster an icon for lesbians who identify with, adore and celebrate the screen personas of her remarkable career. Fans and queer cultural critics share their favorite ‘iconic’ moments giving illuminating lesbian readings of Foster’s key films which trace the charismatic actor’s progression from early tomboy parts as a child star to mature performances depicting active, strong willed women with attitude. Die hard Foster fans like comedienne Lea de Laria’s comment that “If I was Hannibal Lecter, it wouldn’t be her liver I’d want to eat,” express the desire and lust shared by Foster’s lesbian fans around the world. The film captures the Jodie Foster look alike contest in San Francisco and a visually slick montage of views on Foster’s butch femme indeterminacy all help to confirm Foster’s status as a dyke icon.
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Inside Her Sex

While we live in a highly sexualized society, the messaging around female sexuality is distorted and rife with shame. What women should look like, who women should want, what women should desire...in fact, who women should be, is dictated to us from screens and pages and people. INSIDE HER SEX is a thought-provoking, feature-length documentary that explores female sexuality and shame through the eyes and experiences of three women from different walks of life, each brave enough to chart her own course of sexual discovery: Elle Chase, a popular sex blogger, Candida Royalle, the creator of Femme Productions Inc., a feminist, adult film company designed to speak with a woman’s voice and Samantha Allen, the ex-devout Mormon and current gender, sex, and tech writer for The Daily Beast. Through varied, candid and intensely personal interviews, INSIDE HER SEX will delve to the core of these three women and their sexuality, beginning a much needed conversation around female sexuality and shame. Essential viewing for Gender and Sexuality Studies.
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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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Miss America

Tracking the country’s oldest beauty contest—from its inception in 1921 as a local seaside pageant to its heyday as one of the country’s most popular events—MISS AMERICA paints a vivid picture of an institution that has come to reveal much about a changing nation. The pageant is about commercialism and sexual politics, about big business and small towns. But beyond the symbolism lies a human story—at once moving, inspiring, infuriating, funny, and poignant. Combining rare archival footage, with a host of intimate interviews with distinguished commentators including Gloria Steinem, Margaret Cho, Isaac Mizrahi, former contestants and behind–the–scenes footage and photographs, the film reveals why some women took part in the fledgling event and why others briefly rejected it - how the pageant became a battle ground and a barometer for the changing position of women in society.
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Derby Crazy Love

The latest documentary from Toronto filmmakers Maya Gallus and Justine Pimlott takes viewers inside the adrenaline-fueled phenomenon of women’s roller derby. With over 1,400 leagues worldwide, it is now the fastest growing women’s sport. DERBY CRAZY LOVE accompanies Montreal’s top team, New Skids on the Block, on its exhilarating journey to regional championships, where they face off in a pitched battle against U.K. powerhouse, London Rollergirls, and reigning world champions, New York’s Gotham Girls. New Skids players and their British and U.S. rivals share stories of being powerful women in traditional sports, along with insights about derby’s recent rebirth, after decades of decline, as a vibrant, original expression of third wave feminism and Amazon-like physicality rooted in punk’s colorful DIY counterculture. Deftly tackling issues of masculinity, femininity, aggression, body image, queer identity and gender norms, this fast-paced yet reflective film captures the spirit of community, inclusiveness, and sisterhood at roller derby’s core today.
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Kismet

Wildly popular at home, Turkish soap operas have taken the world by storm with more than 300 million viewers in 80 countries across the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans, and Asia. With unprecedented access, KISMET delves into this phenomenon, weaving together excerpts from the major shows including interviews with their talent and the writers, producers and directors behind the scenes—primarily made up of women—and portraits of the everyday viewers in Turkey, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, and Greece. Exploring how the serials captivate, inspire and empower women, the film reveals how the soaps impact and break down negative stereotypes and traditional taboos. The soaps openly discuss rape, sexual and domestic violence, child and arranged marriages, and honor killings while also sparking change in gender relationships, activism against sexual abuse, and a wave of divorce across the Middle East. Invaluable for studies in media and popular culture, KISMET discloses how profoundly Turkish soaps penetrate viewers’ social and religious realities while empowering and helping women to transform their lives and strengthen the debate about women’s rights across the region.
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How to Lose Your Virginity

Female virginity. The US government has spent 1.5 billion dollars promoting it. It has fetched $750,000 at auction. There is no official medical definition for it. And 50 years after the sexual revolution, it continues to define young women’s morality and self-worth. This hilarious, eye-opening, occasionally alarming documentary uses the filmmaker’s own path out of virginity to explore its continuing value in our otherwise hypersexualized society. Layering vérité interviews and vintage sex-ed films with candid self-reflection and wry narration, Shechter reveals myths, dogmas and misconceptions behind this "precious gift." Sex educators, porn producers, abstinence advocates, and outspoken teens share their own stories of having - or not having - sex. In a culture where "Be sexy, but don’t have sex" is the overwhelming message to young women, the film goes through the looking glass to understand a milestone almost everyone thinks about but no one actually understands.
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Forbidden Voices: How to Start a Revolution with a Computer

Their voices are suppressed, prohibited and censored. But world-famous bloggers Yoani Sánchez, Zeng Jinyan and Farnaz Seifi are unafraid of their dictatorial regimes. These fearless women represent a new, networked generation of modern rebels. In Cuba, China and Iran their blogs shake the foundations of the state information monopoly, putting them at great risk. This film accompanies these brave young cyberfeminists on perilous journeys. Eyewitness reports and clandestine footage show Sánchez's brutal beating by Cuban police for criticizing her country's regime; Chinese human rights activist Jinyan under house arrest for four years; and Iranian journalist and women's advocate Seifi forced into exile, where she blogs under a pseudonym. Tracing each woman's use of social media to denounce and combat violations of human rights and free speech in her home country, FORBIDDEN VOICES attests to the Internet's potential for building international awareness and political pressure.
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Jasad & The Queen of Contradictions

Lebanese poet and writer Joumana Haddad has stirred controversy in the Middle East for having founded Jasad (the Body), an erotic quarterly Arabic-language magazine. Dedicated to the body’s art, science and literature, Jasad is one of the first of its kind in the Arab world and has caused a big debate in the Arabic region not only for its explicit images, erotic articles and essays on sex in Arabic but also for the fact that an Arab woman is behind it all. Despite Beirut’s external appearance of freedom portrayed through its infamous nightlife and women’s stylish and open revealing fashion sense, this is all still taboo. JASAD & THE QUEEN OF CONTRADICTIONS, by Lebanese director Amanda Homsi-Ottosson, tackles the subject of sexuality in Lebanon, giving insight on the rare use of the Arabic language to discuss sex and erotica. Different views regarding the magazine and sexuality are also given by the head of a women’s rights organization, a sexual health educator and a doctor who performs hymen reconstruction surgeries. Despite the debates, the threats and the lack of funds, one passionate woman shows no sign of slowing down her small steps towards a “sexual revolution” in the Arab world.
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Grrrl Love and Revolution: Riot Grrrl NYC

Fed up with the calcification of punk into a male-dominated, misogynistic and increasingly mainstream movement, the birth of Riot Grrrl inthe late 1980s brought together feminism and pop culture in an empowering, noisy union. The angry music of Riot Grrrl bands such as Bikini Kill and Bratmobile became a creative outlet to confront issues too often silenced in the media: rape, domestic abuse, sexuality, racism and female empowerment. Riot Grrrl created a feminist subculture which made its members active, front and center participants in the alternative punk scene. Filmmaker Abby Moser was at the heart of the NYC Riot Grrrl movement, filming them between 1993 and 1996, creating an invaluable archive for students learning the history of feminism. She captured the excitement of the times, and the articulate self-awareness of its members. She also documents their frustration with a mainstream media which dismissed feminism as a hobby, and the group’s own difficulties respecting the race and class divisions amongst themselves. Interweaving contemporary interviews with archival footage, this documentary examines the role of Riot Grrrl in launching third-wave feminism, and changing the face of women in music for future generations.
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The Fat Body (In)Visible

"While I have all the confidence in the world, I’m told every day that my body is revolting." Jessica turns heads in the street—for both her striking fashion, and larger than average body. She has learned to ignore the frequent insults which come her way, but it has not been an easy journey. Keena is the heaviest she has ever been—and the happiest. Confident and attractive, she decided long ago that dieting is not for her. Keena and Jessica—and filmmaker Margitte Kristjansson—are body acceptance activists, working to celebrate body diversity and the right to be happy whatever your body size. Brought together by social media, they use the blogosphere strategically to make their bodies visible in a world that still thinks that fat women should hide away. In this insightful short documentary, Keena and Jessica speak candidly about growing up overweight, and the size discrimination they have faced. Their stories detail the intricacies of identity and the intersection of race and gender with fatness— and how social media has helped this community enact visibility on their own terms.
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Girl Power: All Dolled Up

This thought-provoking short film examines the notion that “girl power” has been co opted by commerce to create a feminist construct that is ultimately damaging to girls’ identity and development. In a range of diverse, revealing interviews with girls as young as seven, we witness the power of the popular media in developing brand loyalty and image self-consciousness. Complementing the girls’ testimony are numerous pop culture examples, as well as academics illuminating how the concept of girl power has been used to bring in big money by focusing on appearance. From Dora the Explorer’s grooming aids to Disney’s Princesses line to the highly sexualized Bratz dolls, the message is clear: girl power means being attractive. As one particularly astute young interviewee puts it, “Somewhere along the way girls get the idea ‘okay, I’m supposed to look hot every time I leave my house.’” GIRL POWER is critical viewing for women’s studies, advertising and mass communications courses, educators or anyone who works with young girls.
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Dish

Why do women bring your food at local diners, while in high-end establishments waiters are almost always men? DISH, by Maya Gallus, whose acclaimed GIRL INSIDE (2007) won Canada’s Gemini Award for documentary directing, answers this question in a delicious, well-crafted deconstruction of waitressing and our collective fascination with an enduring popular icon. Digging beyond the obvious, Gallus, who waited tables in her teens, explores diverse dynamics between food servers and customers, as well as cultural biases and attitudes they convey. Her feminist analysis climbs the socio-economic ladder—from the bustling world of lower-end eateries, where women prevail as wait staff, to the more genteel male-dominated sphere of haute cuisine. Astute, amusing observations from women on the job in Ontario’s truck stop diners, Montreal’s topless"sexy restos," a Parisian super-luxe restaurant, and Tokyo’s fantasy "maid cafés", as well as male customers’ telling comments, disclose how gender, social standing, earning opportunities, and working conditions intersect in the food service industry.
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THE HERETICS

Tracing the influence of the Women’s Movement’s Second Wave on art and life, THE HERETICS is the exhilarating inside story of the New York feminist art collective that produced “Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics” (1977-92). In this feature-length documentary, cutting-edge video artist/writer/director Joan Braderman, who joined the group in 1975 as an aspiring filmmaker, charts the collective’s challenges to terms of gender and power and its history as a microcosm of the period’s broader transformations. On the road with her camera crew from New Mexico to Italy, Braderman reconnects with 28 other group members, including writer/critic Lucy Lippard, architect Susanna Torre, filmmaker Su Friedrich, and artists Ida Applebroog, Mary Miss, Miriam Schapiro, and Cecilia Vicuña. Still funny, smart and sexy, the geographically dispersed participants revisit how and why they came together and the extraordinary times they shared—supporting and exploring women’s art and demanding the right to be heard. Enlivened by striking digital motion graphics, THE HERETICS intercuts interviews with archival film clips, video and stills from the period, texts and images from “Heresies” magazines, and footage of completed artworks and works-in-progress. An exuberant, multi-layered collage, the film brings the Heresies collective—and its strategies for unlocking the potential in women’s lives—vividly to the screen.
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Wired for Sex, Lies and Power Trips

An inside look at the culture of sexual harassment and bullying widespread among many teens today, this unique and compelling program examines the price that adolescents, especially girls, pay to be cool, hip and popular in our brave new wired world. Questioning and confronting their own and each other’s stereotypes and assumptions, three different groups of culturally diverse teenagers share personal stories of navigating their hyper-sexualized, high-tech environment, where the online posting of racy photos, raunchy videos, and explicit gossip and lies, is as commonplace as bombardment by provocative media messages that degrade and objectify women. In its unflinching exposé, the film takes us on a journey that includes candid personal interviews and diary excerpts, images from computer screens and youth nightclubs, and clips from short fictional films that the three group’s members have made about sexual and social pressures on their lives. Told through the authentic voices of teens, this essential tool for promoting awareness and change is must-see viewing for school and youth groups, media studies and women’s studies educators, educators, counselors, parents, and health care professionals.
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Arresting Ana

Sarah, a French college student runs a “pro-Ana” blog, part of a global online community of young women sharing tips on living with anorexia. Valerie Boyer is a passionate French National Assembly legislator proposing a groundbreaking bill to ban these online forums, issuing hefty fines and two-year prison sentences to their members. Eye-opening and extremely timely, ARRESTING ANA is the first film on a burgeoning movement promoting self-starvation. Pro-Ana websites are in countries around the world, but France is the first to suggest regulating them. Combining in-depth interviews of medical and academic experts with video diaries by Sarah— for whom “Ana”, short for anorexia, is a support system, friend, and motivation to stay alive—ARRESTING ANA offers unprecedented access into anorexia’s hidden underground while seeking effective solutions to ending this serious disease. This well-made documentary, which features an engrossing soundtrack and pro-Ana sites’ shocking quotes and images, is crucial for students and teachers of media studies. It also provides important insight for psychologists, social workers, sociologists, and educators on who controls women’s body issues, how young people interpret eating disorders today, and how legal and free-speech issues are contested in a new media landscape.
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Say My Name

In a hip hop and R&B world dominated by men and noted for misogyny, the unstoppable female lyricists of SAY MY NAME speak candidly about class, race, and gender in pursuing their passions as female MCs. This worldwide documentary takes viewers on a vibrant tour of urban culture and musical movement, from hip hop’s birthplace in the Bronx, to grime on London’s Eastside, to Philly, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, and L.A., and points in between. Featuring interviews and musical performances from a diverse cast of women that includes Remy Ma, Rah Digga, Jean Grae, Erykah Badu, Estelle, as well as newcomers Chocolate Thai, Invincible and Miz Korona, this powerful documentary delves into the amazing personal stories of women balancing professional dreams with the stark realities of poor urban communities, race, sexism, and motherhood. The more than 18 artists featured in SAY MY NAME battle for a place in a society that creates few chances for women. From emerging artists filled with new creativity, to true pioneers like MC Lyte, Roxxanne Shante, and Monie Love, these are women turning adversity into art.
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Who's Afraid of Kathy Acker?

A multi-layered work featuring animation, archival footage and interviews with the likes of William Burroughs, Carolee Schneemann and Richard Hell, Who’s Afraid of Kathy Acker by Austrian artist Barbara Caspar and co-produced by Annette Pisacane (Nico Icon) and Markus Fischer, is a thoughtful and creative film biography/essay on the late outlaw writer and punk icon, whose formally inventive novels, published from the ’70s through the mid-’90s, challenged assumptions about gender roles, sexuality, and the literary canon. A beguiling and intensely contradictory figure, Acker is best known for books which creatively appropriated texts from Great White Male writers, retelling them in an emotionally raw, sexually blunt, and politically questioning female voice. With her conceptual art videos in the ’70s, her close-cropped dyed blond hair, her tattoos, and her piercings, Acker was a performance artist, proto riot grrl, and living link to the transgressive authors of the ’50s and ’60s US and French experimental fiction scenes. Caspar has made a film that captures the essence of both Acker the writer and Acker the person while celebrating the avant-garde legacy of an artist who forever expanded the limits of self-expression. — Scott Macaulay, Filmmaker Magazine
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We Want Roses Too (Vogliamo Anche Le Rose)

This stunning visual masterpiece is an exuberant testament to the resolve of women of the ’60s and ’70s sexual revolution and feminist movement in Italy. Acclaimed director Alina Marazzi takes viewers on a gorgeous storytelling journey through archival footage, advertisements, and colorful images juxtaposed with the true-life struggles and first person narrations of three diverse Italian women: Anita, who is struggling with an oppressive father and the strict rules of her Catholic faith; Teresa, who must resort to a heartbreaking illicit abortion; and Valentina, a militant feminist caught between love and her commitment to the movement. The feminist slogan “We want bread, but we want roses too,” was first chanted by thousands of striking female textile workers in Massachusetts in 1912. Marazzi’s vibrant film is a celebration of women who fought for a world where both the essentials of bread and the poetry of roses have a place. The artistic and educational, personal and political converge beautifully in this fascinating film that transcends time and culture to reveal many of the universal struggles and inspirations of women’s equality.
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The Phantom of the Operator

This wry and delightful found-footage film reveals a little-known chapter in labor history: the story of female telephone operators’ central place in the development of global communications. With an eye for the quirky and humorous, Caroline Martel assembles a dazzling array of clips – more than one hundred remarkable, rarely seen industrial, advertising and scientific management films produced in North America between 1903 and 1989 by Bell and Western Electric – and transforms them into a dreamlike montage documentary. As the first agents of globalization, this invisible army of women offered a way for companies to feminize and glamorize what was a highly stressful, underpaid and difficult job. Not merely "Voices with a Smile," telephone operators were shooting stars in a universe of infinite progress, test pilots for new management systems, and the face of shrewd public relations campaigns. As the work of operators has been eclipsed by the advent of automated systems, this artful piece of labor history also offers an insightful comment on women’s work, industrialization and communications technology. Refreshing and hilarious, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERATOR provides a wry yet ethereal portrait of human society in the technocratic age.
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Love

“The clinch that signals the fade-out in so many movies is just the beginning of Love, as Moffatt and editor Hillberg turn their energetic montage technique (introduced in Artist and Lip) to the cinema’s most obvious and most multifarious subject. As it turns out, Bette Davis and the Bond girls have a lot in common. A wealth of clips, from chaste black-and-white Hollywood classics to more full-flooded fare from the ‘60s and ‘70s, show women’s love, lust, longing and revenge. Without commentary or condescension, the film remakes the age-old story of a boy and girl in love with exhilaration and irony.” -Patricia White, Associate Professor & Chair, Film and Media Studies Department of English Literature, Swarthmore College
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Writing Desire

"Ursula Biemann’s WRITING DESIRE is a video essay on the new dream screen of the Internet and how it impacts on the global circulation of women’s bodies from the third world to the first world. Although under-age Philippine 'pen pals' and post-Soviet mail-order brides have been part of the transnational exchange of sex in the post-colonial and post-Cold War marketplace of desire before the digital age, the Internet has accelerated these transactions. Biemann provides her viewers with a thoughtful meditation on the obvious political, economic and gender inequalities of these exchanges by simulating the gaze of the Internet shopper looking for the imagined docile, traditional, pre-feminist, but Web-savvy mate. WRITING DESIRE delights in implicating the viewer in the new voyeurism and sexual consumerism of the Web. However, it never fails to challenge pat assumptions about the impossibility for resistance and the absolute victimization of women who dare to venture out of the third world and onto the Internet to look for that very obscure object of desire promised by the men of the West. This film will promote lively discussion on third world women, the sex industry, mail order brides, racism and feminist backlashes in the West, and on women’s sexuality, desire, and new technologies." --Gina Marchetti, Ithaca College
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Grrlyshow

An 18 minute explosion of fringe feminism and print media, The GRRLYSHOW is a powerful and rebellious message from new voices often left unheard. Filmmaker Kara Herold examines the girly Zine revolution and culture in such a way that the film intellectually and stylistically addresses anyone's question concerning whether or not feminism has reached it's 3rd wave: the postmodern. By interweaving head-shot interviews, clips from the zines and 1950's television-esque vignettes, Herold clearly illustrates feminism's ability to exist subversively within a system that generally doesn't give women their own voice . The GRRLYSHOW successfully brings to the surface alternative voices and projects that are vital to the continuation and expansion of feminism. An excellent film for mass communication, women's studies and pop culture courses. "A perky peek at the alternative media community where self-publishing gals are doin' it for themselves. Aware, irreverent, entertaining, even brilliant, these zine creators relish the irony that to speak in one's unique unfettered voice is to touch others more powerfully than with the traditional blanded-down mainstream mag approach. Viva the grrly zines!" Al Hoff, Pittsburgh City Paper & Creator, Thrift Score zine
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Nobody Knows My Name

NOBODY KNOWS MY NAME tells the story of women who are connected by their love for hip-hop music. Despite the fact that these talented female artists exist within a culture that revolves around self-expression, the subjects of Raimist’s documentary must struggle to be heard. Asia One has found a niche as an organizer of the B-Boy Summit, but longs for a sense of female community. DJ Symphony is the sole female member of the The World Famous Beat Junkies. Leaschea lives a turbulent life, even though she has been signed by a major label. Lisa married in the hip-hop lifestyle, and now raises a hip-hop family. Medusa is the successful queen of the L.A. hip-hop underground. T-Love, an ex-Cripette, hopes her creative talents will help her change her lifestyle. Through the candid study of these women, documentarian Raimist explores a fascinating and diverse feminist community, which yearns to find a place in a male-dominated subculture that is, in itself, marginalized. Ultimately, Raimist succeeds in empowering these self-actualized women by giving them the voice for which they struggle.
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Lust

This film is available as part of the series "Seven Women Seven Sins."
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Dry Kisses Only/War on Lesbians

Through manipulated film clips, the hilarious commentary of Theory Woman and interviews with the Lesbian on the Street, DRY KISSES ONLY (1990, 75 mins.) explores the lesbian subtext of classical films. Cottis and Brooke reedit Hollywood movies to affirm the validity of lesbian readings of popular culutre and the tenuous truths of gossip. WAR ON LESBIANS (1992, 32 mins.) is a witty critique of the invisibility of positive images of lesbians and a satire of talk show television and radio self-help program. Both films are hilarious tributes to lesbian spectatorship as well as biting critiques of the media, lesbian stereotyping and popular culture.
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Joan Does Dynasty/Joan Sees Stars

In the now classic, JOAN DOES DYNASTY (1986, 35 mins), Braderman superimposes her own image over scenes from one of the most popular night time soap operas in American history. With spearing humor, Braderman doesn't even spare poor Krystal in her wicked deconstruction of the fantasies of capitalism, patriarchy and consumption. JOAN SEES STARS (1993, 60 mins) is a savvy peek at the way celebrity culture, especially movies stars, make their way in to our lives, our beds and our dreams. "Braderman looks at life through rose-colored glasses, then wipes them off and dishes the dirt. JOAN SEES STARS is no exception: movies meet life, life meets death and romance meets Perdue chicken in the meditation on our illicit VCR pleasures. Watch, and eat your heart out." --B. Ruby Rich, Cultural Critic
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Hollywood Harems

"Tania Kamal-Eldin has once again produced a stunning video, a half-hour documentary, this time taking critical aim at Hollywood's abiding fascination with and fantasies about all things east. Juxtaposing film clips from the 20s through the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Kamal-Eldin explores the organization of gender, race, and sexuality in Hollywood's portrayal of the exotic east an indiscriminate fusion of things Arab, Persian, Chinese and Indian. She argues, convincingly, that in abridging cultural plurality and difference, these technicolor fantasies have worked both to shape and reinforce often derogative assumptions about peoples of the east while at the same time reinscribing the moral, spiritual, and cultural supremacy of the Anglo-European west. HOLLYWOOD HAREMS is skillfully crafted, well-paced technically adept production versatile and especially suitable for use in a variety of classroom settings." Dr Valerie Hartouni, Director, Critical Gender Studies Program, University of California at San Diego
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Killing Time/Fannie's Film

Part of the mediamaking movement that first gave centrality to the voices and experiences of African American women during the late Seventies and early Eighties, these two re-releases are no less groundbreaking today. KILLING TIME, an offbeat, wryly humorous look at the dilemma of a would-be suicide unable to find the right outfit to die in, examines the personal habits, socialization, and complexities of life that keep us going. In FANNIE'S FILM, a 65-year-old cleaning woman for a professional dancers' exercise studio performs her job while telling us in voiceover about her life, hopes, goals, and feelings. A challenge to mainstream media's ongoing stereotypes of women of color who earn their living as domestic workers, this seemingly simple documentary achieves a quiet revolution: the expressive portrait of a fully realized individual.
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Artist

Internationally acclaimed photographer and filmmaker Tracey Moffatt takes the viewer on a fast-paced journey through Hollywood's depiction of the artist. Using a wealth of clips from classic cinema bio pics and popular television sitcoms, the voyage spans centuries of art and art-making to reveal how five decades of mainstream media have perceived the creative process and creators themselves. A lively music track underscores the fervor and passion we have come to associate with artists and their typical one-dimensional representations on the large and small screen. Punctuated by recurrent gestures--the confident whisk of the paint brush, the futile laugh of frustration, and the violent destruction of one's own work--this amusing, thought-provoking array of well-known images paints an incisive portrait of the artist as a total Hollywood fabrication.
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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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Sweet Power

During a tumultuous political campaign, veteran broadcast journalist Bia takes over as news director of a major television network. Amidst multiple candidates, corrupt colleagues, and personal intrigues, she is sucked into ethical grey areas from which it proves difficult to escape. Brazilian filmmaker-journalist Lúcia Murat (HOW NICE TO SEE YOU ALIVE) has drawn on her own experiences as a television journalist and human rights activist, who was jailed for her political activities, in this stylish, sexy drama about the moral conflicts between careerism, political expediency, and personal and professional ideals. Infused with pathos, humor, and real conflict, SWEET POWER is a very real look at one woman’s struggle to act honorably in the most compromising of situations.
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Woman Being

In a critical examination of changing concepts of beauty and sexuality in modern China, WOMAN BEING illustrates how a flood of Western pop culture is adversely affecting women's expectations and self-worth. Revisiting her hometown Chengdu after a long absence,filmmaker Wen-Jie Qin traces the impact of a newly booming beauty industry in a country where thirty years ago women were beat up for wearing makeup. Combining interviews and footage from glamour photo studios and television, WOMAN BEING explores the rise of a new super-feminine, highly sexualized ideal. "This hard-nosed look at women in contemporary China makes a persuasive case for how the economies of pleasure, beauty, and consumption are transacted through exploiting women's bodies and images. It provides a sobering prognosis of what 'freedom' might mean for women in China today." - Marina Heung, Baruch College, CUNY
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Peggy and Fred in Hell

The first installment of Leslie Thornton's ongoing epic follows two children, Peggy and Fred, through a densely cluttered, technological-consumer jumble of late 20th century icons.
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Guerrillas In Our Midst

GUERRILLAS IN OUR MIDST presents a savvy exploration of the machinations of the commercial art-world during its boom in the 1980s, and brings the Guerrilla Girls to the screen. This anonymous group of art terrorists has succeeded in putting racism and sexism on the agenda in the art-world since 1985, and their witty and creative tactics have changed the face of political and cultural activism. Interviews with key figures in the Manhattan art scene, record-breaking auction sales, exhibition openings and interviews with the Guerrillas Girls themselves combine to highlight how the myth of the heroic male painter is perpetuated.
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The Mother: Mitos Maternos

This wry, self-reflective film explores the mythical figure of the mother from multiple viewpoints-documentary and fiction, Spanish and English, theory and experience. The director interviews people on the street, views Hollywood stalwarts of maternal sentiment like Stella Dallas, reads what feminist thinkers have to say on the subject, and copes with life as a single Latina mother. A feminist telenovela for the 90s, THE MOTHER challenges popular beliefs about the mother's place and traditional representations of sacrifice and guilt.
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On Cannibalism

King Kong meets the family photograph in this provocative experimental film exploring the West's insatiable appetite for native bodies in museums, world's fairs, and early cinema. Intertwining personal narrative about race and identity in the U.S. with layered footage, artifacts and video effects, ON CANNIBALISM looks back at anthropological truisms with outrage and irony. "...In these times of heated debates around diversity and multiculturalism, ON CANNIBALISM is bound to arouse interesting discussions concerning race, identity and difference. " - Teshome Gabriel, UCLA
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I, Doll

There are more Barbie Dolls* in the U.S. than human beings. Barbie was fashioned after a German prostitute doll named "Lilli." These are just two of the many Barbie facts revealed in this hilarious documentary on the Barbie phenomenon. Interviews with adoring fans as well as culturally diverse critics of Barbie's unrealistic body image for women, express feelings, both pro and con, about the 6-ounces of plastic that became a national icon.
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Stigmata

STIGMATA is a riveting look at body modification such as tattooing, cutting, piercing and branding, practices which are becoming increasingly popular amongst women. Although these activities are considered radical, the film suggests that they are no more physically radical than cosmetic surgery; and these women are transforming their bodies against conventional stereotypes of femininity rather than to conform to them. STIGMATA explores concepts of beauty, self-determination and the outer limits of female sexuality. Please note that STIGMATA includes some extremely explicit footage.
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Your Name in Cellulite

A wickedly funny satire about the disparity between a woman's natural beauty and the ideal promoted by the mega-billion dollar advertising industry, this animated film shows us how far we will go to change the shape of our bodies to meet the demands of an impossible image. But the picture-perfect exterior can be maintained by our heroine only if she restrains her body's natural spontaneity. YOUR NAME IN CELLULITE visually ponders at what point the body will say "Enough is enough!" and take matters into its own hands.
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Rate It X

What do men really think of women? This provocative, highly acclaimed documentary provides an unflinching look at sexism in America. A series of disturbing though sometimes amusing portraits uncover obvious culprits such as advertising firms and porn shops as well as often overlooked pockets of sexist imagery which promote gender stereotyping and reinforce negative conceptions of women and sexuality. With great humor and compassion, the film reveals men's deeply imbedded attitudes, showing how sexism becomes rationalized through commerce, religion and social values. Hotly controversial upon its release, RATE IT X is a challenging, invaluable film that illuminates crucial issues of censorship, advertising, pornography and violence against women. Produced by Lynn Campbell, Claudette Charbonneau, Paula De Koenigsberg and Lucy Winer.
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A Spy in the House that Ruth Built

Vanalyne Green appropriates the all-male arena of professional baseball to create a visual essay about family, loss, and sexuality. Confronted with such a strange wonderland, devoid of women, Green is compelled to reinterpret baseball's symbolism-its womb-like landscape, cycles, and rituals-to construct an iconography that pays homage to the female. With humor and irony, Green creates a film that is both a personal revelation and a heretical portrait of America's national past-time.
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A Word in Edgewise

"A truly articulate, unaffected statement about a basic human activity, this excellent film explains the role of language in shaping behavior. It is a good synthesis of all that has been explored by linguists about sex bias in everyday speech and writing. Scholarly, yet simple and believable, it is informative without being preachy, and cites illustrations of abuses as well as suggestions for improvement. This is a truly feminist film made by women. This film should be required viewing for all educators and can be used at all levels to improve awareness of our use and abuse of language in perpetuating sex bias in culture."-Choice
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And Still I Rise

Inspired by a poem by Maya Angelou, this powerful film explores images of Black women in the media, focusing on the myths surrounding Black women's sexuality. Like COLOR ADJUSTMENT, in which Marlon Riggs looked at images of Black people on television, AND STILL I RISE uses images from popular culture to reveal the way the media misrepresents Black women's sexuality. A combination of fear and fascination produces a stereotypical representation which in turn impacts on the real lives of Black women. AND STILL I RISE intercuts historical and media images with hard-hitting contemporary views of women of African heritage as they struggle to create a new and empowered perspective. Both a celebration and a critique, AND STILL I RISE is essential viewing for those interested in African American studies, women's studies, media studies and popular culture. From the director of THE BODY BEAUTIFUL and COFFEE COLORED CHILDREN.
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Dry Kisses Only

Through manipulated film clips, the hilarious commentary of Theory Woman and interviews with the Lesbian on the Street, this marvelous film explores the lesbian subtext of classical films—the dry kisses of the film’s title. Hollywood movies are re-edited to find the truth behind the relationships between the heroine and the “other woman.” Dykella and Dykenna chew over lesbian vampire stereotypes. And gossip columnist Lady Manilla Lively gives the inside scoop on lesbians in today’s Hollywood. DRY KISSES ONLY tells a story at once obvious and long-overdue, affirming the validity of lesbian readings of popular culture and the tenuous truths of gossip.
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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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War on Lesbians

WAR ON LESBIANS is a witty critique of the invisibility of positive images of lesbians and a satire of talk show television and radio self-help programs. It features supposed experts on sexuality being interviewed by a television talk show anchorwoman. These “experts” espouse the many, often ill-informed, theories presented to explain homosexuality. Intercut with the drama are actual recordings of a radio talkback therapist and documentary interviews with lesbians. In a bright and savvy way, WAR ON LESBIANS reveals how far many of the myths about lesbians are from truth. WAR ON LESBIANS is the perfect post-script to Jane Cottis’s hilarious feature film DRY KISSES ONLY.
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