Re: judges' statement - gender representation in exp film

From: Cari Machet (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jun 25 2006 - 08:59:34 PDT

On 6/23/06, Pip Chodorov <email suppressed > wrote:
> Here's a can of worms for you all. I was
> surprised by the judges' statement. This is
> something I have found interesting for a long
> time: in the mainstream, women are certainly
> still underrepresented, while alternative film
> and video has achieved equality in recent history.

then u need to define "equality"
thanks for the study but i am not sure i would agree that it proves ur posit
that equality has been achieved
i do not have perfect stats to prove this but...
i think that representing the avant garde
as a utopia that has growth patterns far-far
reaching beyond that of the masses is incorrect
if you would have stated that we have reached very well for making large
changes to become more
equal i wouldn't completely disagree
but that ain't what you wrote
i was only surprised by the fact that the jury had the courage to speak
about the subject (yes still)
regardless -
just stats and numbers of female bodies calculated
is not proof of equality

how could it be that the avant garde film world
has accessed and fully formulated the female voice
when in most (if not all)
of cultures womankind have not -
let alone have that voice completely
integrated into the (film) society
and completed the process of access execution and exhibition fully within a
decade and a half!!!
just because there is a woman's body
in front of ur face it doesn't mean
that they embody the voice/consciousness/ideology of the feminine
[which it can be asked is exactly measured how
- perhaps thru deductive reasoning]

re: comparing the avant garde film world and hollowood - a favorite pastime
in frameworks rhetoric
i would say the growth pattern is probably comparable especially if you are
inclusive of the numbers of female producers
within the stats to reach conclusions on numbers
there again you run into the female/female as opposed to the female/male
ie female that functions mainly as a male
within male identity
ie condi rice - need i say more? -
karl rove is a great marketer

i here alot of women complain about the male identity within the functioning
of the present war
as they see it opposed to their activities and it is very male to them -
it has long been my conclusion
that the female is one of the greatest props
(within and without themselves)
re: such ills as 'male' conducted warfare
until the female 'identity' radically changes
in this regard war remains an answer
as well as other such activities

i have met and worked with a few men that embody the female identity
they were 'white guys' on the exterior
i never would have guessed when meeting them that their identity was of such
except that they were of anarchy
i think that one of the successes of stan's work was that it embodied a
feminine nature/voice
which i believe has alot to do with
(among other things)
respect of the phenomenon of nature
and a sort of awe in the 'everyday'
and less of an interest in the individual
being hierarchically raised as opposed to the community as a whole
a sort of non-ego based raising
i think one filmmaker that expresses this fully is
chantal ackerman

but and so
the female gaze
- though it has been argued
that woman don't have a gaze only men do -
but lacan says our 'gaze' relationship is a construct
within our own psyche
and a gaze within a gaze
and beyond that there are unknown unknowns
(there is stuff that we don't know that we don't know)
- (lotsa gazes and other stuff)
that the cameras gaze (directors gaze)
has a woman in the calculation
doesn't guarantee that it is a female gaze

Filmmaker Frédérique Devaux (FR) thinks this has
> to do with the radical freedom inherent in the
> medium. You have to be independent. She also says
> there are no power structures or hierachy in
> experimental film,

umn yoko ono - in an on camera interview - and i completely disagree with

and that women may not want to
> enter into a system (Hollywood) that is
> inherently sexist. Filmmaker Lucy Allwood (UK)
> adds that the determination and singe-mindedness
> demanded by a career in Hollywood is not
> compatible with the lifestyle including
> motherhood and moreover not compatible with
> dating. Men seem less attracted to powerful women
> pursuing a career. Young girls excel at school
> until they learn in early adolescence that
> bookishness is not sexy;

actually there have been studies
that have concluded it has all to do with the teacher
the teacher(s) choose to elevate the male students
(when hands are raised to answer the asked question
and so on)
this occurs in early elementary school
the teachers are both male and female
but you guessed it
mostly female
- saw this analysis on pbs -

as far as the sexist idea of hollowood
well those guys need to make some money
and probably have wives and kids at home
wives probably don't work
(believe it or not)
and if these kinds of men
have been chosen for work over me
for 'societal' reasons - it's pretty logical actually
it's the 'real' world functioning

... who have found
> experimental film the best way to achieve both
> personal expression and total freedom. Lucy adds
> that there is however an elitist nature in some
> experimental work and a theoretical base needed
> to really understand a lot of it; it is true that
> a certain education is required, or a certain
> amount of cultural nurturing at a young age, to
> engage with these films and the ideas in them.

umn my twelve year old nephew
- that lives in the midwest - st. louis
(pretty much a culture void)
and goes to public school
suggested i see 'donnie darko'
now he may not be able to completely VERBALIZE every nuance and aspect of
the films 'message'
but that doesn't mean his viewing it
is somehow less than mine in value
(value = not that easy to gage)
in fact it could be argued that education
can X out individual experiential levels & quality
to say otherwise is pure academic rhetoric


For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.