Re: New book on Women's Experimental Cinema

From: rblaetz (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Oct 13 2007 - 08:44:04 PDT

Chuck, thanks for sending this out!

Chuck Kleinhans wrote:
> Women's Experimental Cinema: Critical Frameworks
> Robin Blaetz
> 432 pages (September 2007)
> 62 illustrations
> Paperback - $25.95
> [ISBN13 978-0-8223-4044-7]
> Women’s Experimental Cinema provides lively introductions to the work of
> fifteen avant-garde women filmmakers, some of whom worked as early as
> the 1950s and many of whom are still working today. In each essay in
> this collection, a leading film scholar considers a single filmmaker,
> supplying biographical information, analyzing various influences on her
> work, examining the development of her corpus, and interpreting a
> significant number of individual films. The essays rescue the work of
> critically neglected but influential women filmmakers for teaching,
> further study, and, hopefully, restoration and preservation. Just as
> importantly, they enrich the understanding of feminism in cinema and
> expand the terrain of film history, particularly the history of the
> American avant-garde.
> The contributors examine the work of Marie Menken, Joyce Wieland, Gunvor
> Nelson, Yvonne Rainer, Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Rubin, Amy
> Greenfield, Barbara Hammer, Chick Strand, Marjorie Keller, Leslie
> Thornton, Abigail Child, Peggy Ahwesh, Su Friedrich, and Cheryl Dunye.
> The essays highlight the diversity in these filmmakers’ forms and
> methods, covering topics such as how Menken used film as a way to
> rethink the transition from abstract expressionism to Pop Art in the
> 1950s and 1960s, how Rubin both objectified the body and investigated
> the filmic apparatus that enabled that objectification in her film
> Christmas on Earth (1963), and how Dunye uses film to explore her own
> identity as a black lesbian artist. At the same time, the essays reveal
> commonalities, including a tendency toward documentary rather than
> fiction and a commitment to nonhierarchical, collaborative production
> practices. The volume’s final essay focuses explicitly on teaching
> women’s experimental films, addressing logistical concerns (how to
> acquire the films and secure proper viewing spaces) and extending the
> range of the book by suggesting alternative films for classroom use.
> Contributors. Paul Arthur, Robin Blaetz, Noël Carroll, Janet Cutler,
> Mary Ann Doane, Robert A. Haller, Chris Holmlund, Chuck Kleinhans, Scott
> MacDonald, Kathleen McHugh, Ara Osterweil, Maria Pramaggiore, Melissa
> Ragona, Kathryn Ramey, M. M. Serra, Maureen Turim, William C. Wees
> “Women’s Experimental Cinema is an invaluable resource for students and
> devotees of experimental cinema and feminist film, fields defined by
> remarkable films and a dearth of critical attention. It brings to light
> the social and political roots and cultural impact of women’s
> experimental film, and the specific female, feminine, and feminist
> practices of an exceptional group of women artists.”—Alexandra Juhasz,
> editor of Women of Vision: Histories in Feminist Film and Video
> “This definitive volume on U.S. women’s experimental cinema fills a
> significant and long-lamented gap within film studies, and in feminist
> film studies in particular. Together, these essays offer us a richly
> nuanced picture not only of women’s experimental film but of avant-garde
> filmmaking in general from the 1940s to the present.”—Sharon Willis,
> author of High Contrast: Race and Gender in Contemporary Hollywood Film
> Robin Blaetz is Associate Professor and Chair of the Film Studies
> Program at Mount Holyoke College. She is the author of Visions of the
> Maid: Joan of Arc in American Film and Culture.
> Acknowledgments ix
> Introduction: Women’s Experimental Cinema: Critical Frameworks / Robin
> Blaetz 1
> Swing and Sway: Marie Menken’s Filmic Events / Melissa Ragona 20
> Different/Same/Both/Neither: The Polycentric Cinema of Joyce Wieland /
> Paul Arthur 45
> Evacuating Visual Fields, Layering Auditory Frames: Signature,
> Translation, Resonance, and Gunvor Nelson’s Films / Chris Holmlund 67
> Moving and Moving: From Minimalism to Lives of Performers / Noel Carroll 89
> Eye/Body: The Cinematic Paintings of Carolee Schneemann / M.M. Serra and
> Kathryn Ramey 103
> “Absently Enchanted”: The Apocryphal, Ecstatic Cinema of Barbara Rubin /
> Ara Osterweil 127
> Amy Greenfield: Film, Dynamic Movement, and Transformation / Robert A.
> Haller 152
> Barbara Hammer: Lyrics and History / Chuck Kleinhans 167
> Chick Strand’s Experimental Ethnography / Maria Pramaggiore 188
> Amnesis Time: The Films of Marjorie Keller / Robin Blaetz 211
> In the Ruins of the Image: The Work of Leslie Thornton / Mary Ann Doane 239
> Sounds, Intervals, and Startling Images in the Films of Abigail Child /
> Maureen Turim 263
> Peggy’s Playhouse: Contesting the Modernist Paradigm / William C. Wees 290
> Su Friedrich: Breaking the Rules / Janet Cutler 312
> The Experimental “Dunyementary”: A Cinematic Signature Effect / Kathleen
> McHugh 339
> Women’s Experimental Cinema: Some Pedgogical Challenges / Scott
> Macdonald 360
> Appendix: Film Distribution 383
> Bibliography 385
> Contributors 401
> Index 405
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

Robin Blaetz
Associate Professor
Film Studies Program
Mount Holyoke College
50 College Street
South Hadley, MA 10175
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.