Films from WMM Newly Added to Criterion

Cinephiles and women’s cinema history buffs, we have great news for you. The Criterion Channel recently licensed a number of important WMM titles, including a special selection of films made in the 80s and 90s through the London–based Sankofa Film and Video Collective, which produced experimental narrative and documentary works that examine Black life in Britain. Included are: THE PASSION OF REMEMBRANCE (dir. Maureen Blackwood & Isaac Julien, 1986), which was recently restored by the British Film Institute; DREAMING RIVERS (dir. Martine Attile, 1988); HOME AWAY FROM HOME (dir. Maureen Blackwood, 1988); and PERFECT IMAGE? (dir. Maureen Blackwood, 1994).  

And don’t miss two classic short films from WMM’s collection by Fronza Woods — KILLING TIME and FANNIE’S FILM — recently preserved by the Academy Film Archive and added to Criterion last year. These shorts are key works of the media-making movement that gave centrality to the voices of African American women during the late 1970s and early 80s. “Fronza Woods’s first film, KILLING TIME from 1979, is, very simply, one of the best short films I’ve ever seen,” writes New Yorker critic Richard Brody. 

In May, you’ll be able to watch WHO’S GOING TO PAY FOR THESE DONUTS, ANYWAY? (1992), a brilliant collage of interviews, family photographs, archival footage and personal narration that documents Japanese American video artist Janice Tanaka’s search for her father after a 40 year separation. Be sure to check out Ruth Ozeki Lounsbury’s cleverly constructed HALVING THE BONES (1995) an auto-biographical story of Ruth, a half-Japanese filmmaker living in New York, who has inherited a can of bones that she keeps on a shelf in her closet. The bones are half of the remains of her dead Japanese grandmother, which she is supposed to deliver to her estranged mother. 

Enjoy these selections and look out for others. All of these films are available for purchase from WMM or to book for exhibitions ([email protected]). 

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