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FILM BC3702 Women Filmmakers. 4 points.

Traditional film history has consigned a multitude of cinema practices to an inferior position. By accepting Hollywood’s narrative model as central, film scholars have often relegated non-male, non-white, non-Western films to a secondary role. Often described as “marginal” or “peripheral” cinemas, the outcomes of these film practices have been systematically excluded from the canon. Yet… are these motion pictures really “secondary”? In relation to what? And according to whom? This course looks at major films by women filmmakers of the 20th Century within a tradition of political cinema that 1) directly confronts the hegemonic masculinity of the Hollywood film industry, and 2) relocates the so-called “alternative women’s cinema” at the core of film history. Unlike conventional feminist film courses, which tend to be contemporary and anglocentric, this class adopts a historical and worldwide perspective; rather than focusing on female directors working in America today, we trace the origins of women’s cinema in different cities of the world (Berlin, Paris, New York) during the silent period, and, from there, we move forward to study major works by international radical directors such as Lorenza Mazzetti, Agnès Varda, Forough Farrokhzad, Věra Chytilová, Chantal Akerman, Liliana Cavani, Barbara Kopple, Larisa Shepitko, and Mira Nair. We analyse how these filmmakers have explored womanhood not only as a source of oppresion (critique of patriarchal phallocentrism, challenge to heteronormativity, etc) but, most importantly, as a source of empowerment (defense of matriarchy, equal rights, lesbian love, inter- and transexuality...). Required readings include seminal texts of feminist film theory by Claire Johnston, Laura Mulvey, Ann Kaplan, bell hooks, and Judith Butler. Among the films screened in the classroom are: silent movies –"Suspense" (Lois Weber, 1913), "The Smiling Madame Beudet" (Germaine Dulac, 1922)—, early independent and experimental cinema –"Girls in Uniform" (Leontine Sagan, 1931), "Ritual in Transfigured Time" (Maya Deren, 1946)—, “new wave” films of the 1950s and 1960s –"Together" (Mazzetti, 1956), "Cléo from 5 to 7" (Varda, 1962), "Daisies" (Chytilová, 1966)–, auteur cinema of the 1970s – "Jeanne Dielman" (Akerman, 1975), "The Ascent" (Shepitko, 1977)–, and documentary films –"Harlan County, USA" (Kopple, 1976), "Paris Is Burning" (Jennie Livingston, 1990).

Spring 2021: FILM BC3702
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3702 001/00602 T Th 10:00am - 11:20am
Online Only
Breixo Viejo Vinas 4 51/60