Posts Tagged ‘Feminism’

Six Months On A Regimen Of Woman Filmmakers – Out The Gate With Diablo Cody

Posted 20 Jun 2012 — by contributor
Category Essay, Film Reviews, Member Movie Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get, Movies I Got

By Alice Shindelar

Diablo Cody has come a long way since Juno, her 2007 debut about a pregnant teenager who decides to give her child up for adoption. About a month ago, I made the dramatic decision to limit my film and television consumption to only women writers and directors. This isn’t out of distaste for male directors and writers. I love movies of all kinds, for countless reasons. I would never allow my opinion of a film or TV series to be influenced by the gender of the creative force behind it. That said, women writers and directors are few and far between. Their struggle for recognition in the industry and the funds to make their films is well-known (although, not well-known enough). Still, even the most ingenious amongst them tends to fade into the background before they’ve weathered a full career.

As an aspiring writer-director myself, I’ve always kept my ear closely trained on the life events that lead people in this field to success, or even just a career that pays the bills. I look for myself in their stories. I imagine how my flat feet could follow their huge strides. Or, at least, I try. It’s next to impossible to picture myself following in the footsteps of any Kubrick, or Coppola, or Scorsese. My inability to grow facial hair puts a stop to that. So I watch for the women, and this project is an attempt to do that more acutely. Read More

Angel Dust – Film Noir And The Patriarchal Agenda

Posted 13 Oct 2010 — by contributor
Category Essay, Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Corey Birkhofer

Angel Dust, Japan, 1994

Directed by Sogo Ishii

Ryoko TakizawaFeminism and its viewpoints on the portrayal of woman in the history of film focus primarily on patriarchy and how it functions to reinforce the status of women in any given society.  This status is one of submissiveness to men and undying conformity to the good of the male-dominated social system. Since film could simply be said to be a visual medium that is chiefly influenced by the culture from which it spawns, then the societal practices within said culture are transferred to film, and thus influence and reinforce the individuals who see them. In the case of film noir, the presence of patriarchal influence is more than evident, and in Sogo Ishii’s 1994 film noir, Angel Dust, we see what happens to those who conform and those who do not in a patriarchal society.

Film noir is a French term literally meaning “black film.” The name, coined by French film critic Nino Frank in 1946, captures the essence of this style of Hollywood filmmaking. “In fashioning film noir,” Frank says, “Hollywood borrowed heavily from the expressionist film techniques and lighting used by German directors in the 1920s.”

However, despite the low-key lighting and dark, shadowy, contrasting images reminiscent of German Expressionist films, Frank also saw the influence of French Poetic Realist films. “In the ’30s poetic realism,” he states, “with its moody sense of suspended lives on the verge of doom, perfectly expressed a nation’s fatalism and despair.” Thus, with the two styles combined the famous term was born.  Read More