Monday, September 10, 2018

Women in the Cinema of the Sixties (a remark)

Onnenpeli / Game of Luck. Kaisa Korhonen, Anneli Sauli, Eija Pokkinen.

Women in New Wave Cinema is the theme of our series and seminar with Risto Jarva Society. Women directors were almost non-existent in the 1960s. There was no change in comparison with the studio era.

But new interesting women characters, defying stereotypes and clichés, emerged on the screen in Finland and elsewhere.

In the cinema of the 1960s there was a trend that the central consciousness in a movie was very often that of a woman. Michelangelo Antonioni is the obvious case in his series of films starring Monica Vitti. An interesting parallel is Alfred Hitchcock's cycle of five films with women protagonists whose name usually starts with the letter "M" (Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie). Jean-Luc Godard's muse was often Anna Karina in his extraordinary series of 15 films. Robert Bresson preferred women as protagonists. As did Luis Buñuel in his interesting series of women facing the unknown (The Young One, Viridiana, Le Journal d'une femme de chambre, Belle de jour).

Women were privileged in reflecting the modern psyche. Perhaps the trend had been started by Ingmar Bergman in whose films men tend to be weak but women project an inner strength. In Finland, Jörn Donner was influenced both by Antonioni and Bergman.

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