The Female Gaze

  • Nina Menkes – Queen of Diamonds (1991)

    Filmed on location in Las Vegas, QUEEN revolves around the life of an alienated blackjack dealer. Starring Tinka Menkes as the intense, damaged dealer, the film was named one of the Year’s Ten Best by the Los Angeles Times and Film Comment.

    “QUEEN OF DIAMONDS may become for America in the 90’s what JEANNE DIELMAN was for Europe in the 70’s—a cult classic using a rigorous visual composition to penetrate the innermost recesses of the soul.” –Berenice ReynaudRead More »

  • Doris Wishman – Double Agent 73 (1974)

    Doris Wishman reteamed with Chesty Morgan, star of DEADLY WEAPONS and possessor of a much-touted 73-inch bust, for this spy thriller. This time around, Morgan plays Jane, a master secret agent who uses her eye-popping anatomy to help bring down a drug kingpin flooding the market with bad heroin. Among the outré set pieces: Chesty-as-Jane killing a man by seducing him with her poison-covered breasts.Read More »

  • Allison Anders – Gas Food Lodging (1992)

    Quote:
    In the boring desert of New Mexico, a single mother raises her two teenage daughters, Shade and Trudi, whose deepest desire is to leave the dead calm town. Shade is the type to escape in her extravagant fantasies while Trudi is so rebelious it could drive her away.Read More »

  • Sarah Maldoror – Sambizanga [Criterion 4K] (1972)

    This revolutionary bombshell by Sarah Maldoror chronicles the awakening of Angola’s independence movement. Based on a true story, Sambizanga follows a young woman as she makes her way from the outskirts of Luanda toward the city’s center looking for her husband after his arrest by the Portuguese authorities—an incident that will ultimately help to ignite a national uprising. Featuring a cast of nonprofessionals—many of whom were themselves involved in anticolonial resistance—this landmark work of political cinema honors the essential roles of women, as well as the hardships they endure, in the global struggle for liberation.Read More »

  • Joel DeMott – Demon Lover Diary (1980)

    Review
    In the Fall of 1975, cameraman Jeff Kreines was hired to shoot a silly little horror romp called DEMON LOVER in the middle of Michigan, and his female pal Joel DeMott joined him on the trip, documenting this adventure into no-budget filmmaking with her own handy camera. Her ragged footage was later lashed together into this legendary documentary, which has finally been snuck onto video. The father of modern hits such as AMERICAN MOVIE, it’s an insightful, funny and scary peek into the making of an indie fright flick and its delusional, self-taught filmmakers.Read More »

  • Fina Torres – Oriana (1985)

    Quote:
    In Paris, a young woman, Louise Haines Pearson, visits her disturbed friend Nena who tells her that she has just written a book on the history of a little girl troubled by her senses, perhaps because of the tyranny of his mother and the absence of her father. Louise recognizes the difficulties of this little girl, being herself deeply affected by the indifference of her husband.Read More »

  • Camille Billops & James Hatch – Finding Christa (1991)

    This startlingly personal documentary presents a moving yet unsentimental view of motherhood and adoption. It explores the feelings surrounding the reunion of a young woman with her birth mother twenty years after being given up for adoption. The reunion is between filmmaker Camille Billops and her own daughter, Christa. Facing the re-encounter with mixed emotions, Billops interrogates her family and friends as well as her own motivations. The result is an original and daring work that challenges social biases about adoption and offers new insight into mother-daughter relationships.

    Winner of the 1992 Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary at Sundance.Read More »

  • Lee Grant – What Sex Am I? (1985)

    Radically ahead of its time in its candor and compassion, this groundbreaking documentary follows a group of transgender individuals struggling to make their way in every strata of 1980s America. From finding employment to finding acceptance, WHAT SEX AM I? gives empathetic voice to the everyday challenges faced by trans people decades before issues of gender identity were widely discussed in the mainstream.Read More »

  • Ieva Balode – Commission (2020)

    The story of a film “Commission” starts in Georgia at some unknown point of time where a heroic, mythical female character has written a book which is being delivered by a courier (the artist herself) to three powerful women. The content of a book is hidden within an existing book – “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin” written by Medieval Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli who dedicated the book to 12th century Queen Tamar who at the time brought prosperity and many social changes in the country. Being used as a secret shell or a reference to female power from the past, the freshly embedded content of a book serves as manifesto to the women who haven’t been equally appreciated due to history books still being written from male perspective. The book offers alternative gaze to a world history which can exist only in utopian science-fiction film commissioned and executed by females only.Read More »

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