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CFS Speaker Series: Dr Sophie Mayer on ‘One Way or Another: Why Feminist Film Curation Matters’

September 27, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

One Way Or Another: Why Feminist Film Curation Matters

About the Talk: Working from Club des Femmes’ experience of screening Sara Goméz’s De Cierta Manera (One Way or Another, 1974/77), the first fiction feature directed by a Cuban woman, this seminar will offer a set of provocations concerning the need to place film curation front and centre in film history and theory. Just as the film itself is concerned with the precarity of public spaces and their communities, and with a critique of the gendering of emotional labour, so too this seminar will consider film curation from an intersectional feminist optic – and indeed argue that an ethical and critical account of curation can only be produced through and with such an optic. I will argue that an intersectional feminist history and theory of film curation opens a space for the return of materiality, cultural studies, labour politics and non-dominant histories to film studies, not only challenging absences in the canon but looking critically at how those absences have been maintained. Countering the conservative, persistent and insidious narrative that isolates, tokenises and exceptionalises women filmmakers, particularly women of colour, an intersectional feminist film curation practice creates and contextualises a continuous presence for these filmmakers within and across film history.

In the forum tradition of post-Revolution film screenings in Cuba, this seminar will invite informed discussion and debate throughout. In order to facilitate this, please watch De Cierta Manera, available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_FaWYhtW80.

Suggested Readings

Laura U. Marks, ‘The Ethical Presenter: Or How to Have Good Arguments over Dinner’, The Moving Image: The Journal of the Association of Moving Image Archivists 4:1 (Spring 2004), 34–47. Marks Ethical Presenter

B Ruby Rich, Chick Flicks: Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement (Duke University Press, 1998).

Macushla Robinson, ‘Labours of Love: Women’s Labour as the Culture Sector’s Invisible Dark Matter’, Runway: Australian Experimental Art 32 (Jan 2017). Available at http://runway.org.au/labours-of-love-womens-labour-as-the-culture-sectors-invisible-dark-matter/

Sophie Mayer is a feminist film critic, curator and activist. She is the author of Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema (IB Tauris, 2015) and The Cinema of Sally Potter: A Politics of Love (Wallflower, 2009). She is a member of queer feminist film curation collective Club des Femmes, and a co-founder of Raising Films, a campaign and community for parents and carers working in the UK film industry. She is a regular contributor to Sight & Sound, The F-Word, cléo, and Literal magazines.

Sophie Mayer asks the essential questions.

Sophie Mayer asks the essential questions.


September 27, 2017
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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