Thursday, June 04, 2020

Women Make Film 14: Death, Endings, Song and Dance

Chapter 38. Death: Chibusa yo eien nare / 乳房よ永遠なれ / The Eternal Breasts / Kinuyo Tanaka, Japan 1955. Screenshot from the Women Make Film website.

Chapter 39. Endings: Born in Flames / Lizzie Borden, USA 1983. Screenshot from the Women Make Film website.

Chapter 40. Song and Dance: Beyoncé: Lemonade: Hold Up / Beyoncé Knowles, Kahlil Joseph, USA 2016. Screenshot from the Women Make Film website.

Women Make Film. A New Road Movie Through Cinema
Women Make Film. Uusi matka elokuvaan

GB © 2019 How To Make A Movie Ltd. PC: Hopscotch Films. P: John Archer. EX: Clara Glynn, Tilda Swinton. Assistant P: Sonali Choudhury. Associate P: Carl Beauchamp, Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Barbara Timmer.
    D+SC: Mark Cousins. Sound mixing: Diane Jardine. S: Joe Harfield. ED+script consultant: Timo Langer. Online: Chas Chalmers. Edit assistant: Scott Bilsbrough. P coordinator: Mhairi Valentine. P team: David Brown, Rowan Ings, Raja Kryda. World Sales: Dogwoof. Head of sales: Ana Vicente. Legal: David Burgess.
    14 hours – HD – 16:9
    Festival premiere: 1 Sep 2018 Venice Film Festival
    Finnish telepremieres of the 14 episodes: 3.3.2020, 10.3.2020, 17.3.2020, 24.3.2020, 1.4.2020, 8.4.2020, 15.4.2020, 22.4.2020, 29.4.2020, 6.5.2020, 13.5.2020, 20.5.2020, 27.5.2020, 3.6.2020

Episode 14/14: Death, Endings, Song and Dance
Jakso 14/14: Loppuja ja lauluja
Narrator: Debra Winger
Finnish / Swedish subtitles: Jaana Wiik / Sari Östman

Chapter 38. Death / Kuolema / Död

Chibusa yo eien nare / 乳房よ永遠なれ / The Eternal Breasts / Kinuyo Tanaka, JP 1955 [unreleased in Finland]
Dongfang hong / 东方红 / 東方紅 / The East is Red / Wang Ping, CN 1965
Privarzaniyat balon / Привързаният балон / The Attached Balloon / Binka Zhelyazkova, BG 1967 [unreleased in Finland]
Le Lit / Vuode / Marion Hänsel, BE/CH 1982
Hateship Loveship / Liza Johnson, US 2013 [unreleased in Finland]
The Street / Caroline Leaf, anim, 10 min, CA 1976
Crulic – drumul spre dincolo / Crulic – The Path To Beyond / Anca Damian, anim, RO/PL 2011 [unreleased in Finland]
El camino / Ana Mariscal, ES 1963 [unreleased in Finland]
Vergine giurata / Sworn Virgin / Laura Bispuri, IT/CH/DE/AL/Kosovo [XK proposed, or KV]/FR 2015 [unreleased in Finland]
The Selfish Giant / Clio Barnard, GB 2013 [unreleased in Finland]
Tonio / Paula van der Oest, NL 2016 [unreleased in Finland]
Pora umierać / A Time to Die / Dorota Kędzierzawska, PL 2007 [unreleased in Finland]

Chapter 39. Endings / Miten elokuva lopetetaan / Avslutning

Hotel Very Welcome / Sonja Heiss, DE 2007 [unreleased in Finland]
Nachalo nevedomogo veka: episode 2: Rodina elektrichestva / Начало неведомого века 2: Родина электричества / The Beginning of an Unknown Era / The Beginning of an Unbeknown Age Part 2: Homeland of Electricity / Sähkön kotimaa / Larisa Shepitko, SU 1967 [unreleased in Finland]
Gahanu lamai / ගැහැණු ළමයි / The Girls / Sumitra Peries, LK 1978 [unreleased in Finland]
Koibumi / 恋文 / Love Letter / Kinuyo Tanaka, JP 1953 [unreleased in Finland]
Hard, Fast and Beautiful! / Hän möi tyttärensä / Ida Lupino, US 1951
Born in Flames / Lizzie Borden, US 1983 [unreleased in Finland]
35 rhums / 35 Shots of Rum / Claire Denis, FR 2008 [unreleased in Finland]
Ritual in Transfigured Time / Maya Deren, exp, 15 min, US 1946

Chapter 40. Song and Dance / Laulu ja tanssi / Sång och dans

Ren · gui · qing / 人 · 鬼 · 情 / Woman Demon Human / Shuqin Huang, CN 1987
Boris Godunov / Борис Годунов / Boris Godunov / Vera Stroyeva, SU 1954
John MacFadyen / Margaret Tait, anim, 4 min, GB 1970
Le Piano irrésistible / The Irresistible Piano / Alice Guy, 4 min, FR 1907
Le Lit / Vuode / Marion Hänsel, BE/CH 1982
Elena / Petra Costa, BR/US 2012 [unreleased in Finland]
Aldri annet enn bråk / Nothing But Trouble / Edith Carlmar, NO 1954 [unreleased in Finland]
Sehnsucht / Longing / Valeska Grisebach, DE 2006 [unreleased in Finland]
Bande de filles / Girlhood / Céline Sciamma, FR 2015 [unreleased in Finland]
O Ébrio / The Drunkard / Gilda de Abreu, BR 1946 [unreleased in Finland]
Crossing Delancey / Romanssi Manhattanilla / Izzy & Sam / Joan Micklin Silver, US 1988
Sambizanga / Sambizanga / Sarah Maldoror, AO/FR 1973
The Connection / Shirley Clarke, US 1961 [unreleased in Finland]
Le Bonheur / Onnen hetket / Agnès Varda, FR 1965
Dance, Girl, Dance / Tanssi, tyttö, tanssi / Dorothy Arzner, US 1940
L'une chante l'autre pas / One Sings, The Other Doesn't / Onni on olla nainen / Agnès Varda, VE/FR/BG 1977
Attenberg / Athina Rachel Tsangari, GR 2010 [unreleased in Finland]
Beyoncé: Lemonade: Hold Up / Beyoncé Knowles, Kahlil Joseph, US 2016

AA: Mark Cousins's poetic montage, capricious anthology and counterhistory comes to a striking finale.

Death. A dark sequence from The Eternal Breasts, Kinuyo Tanaka's tragic biopic of the tanka poet Fumiko Shimojo, opens this episode. Death can be discussed in many different ways, and some of the most original ones are in animations such as Caroline Leaf's The Street and Anca Damian's Crulic – The Path To Beyond.

Endings. Another strong topic. Larisa Shepitko shows us a montage of ravaged faces in The Homeland of Electricity. Sumitra Peries ends with a question mark written with a lipstick on a mirror in Gahanu lamai. Ida Lupino elevates a classic melodrama ending where the daughter abandons her long-suffering mother (a strong performance by Claire Trevor) in Hard, Fast and Beautiful! Watching this in this week we remember the news from the current American race riots and Lizzie Borden's Born in Flames looks startlingly topical. There is even an explosion at the Twin Towers in the finale.

Song and Dance. This chapter starts with the first feminist Chinese film-maker Shuqin Huang and her film Woman Demon Human in which a woman opera star defies tradition by specializing in male roles and particularly the beloved ghost Zhang Kui. We are reminded that Alice Guy belonged to the founders of sound film as a director of Gaumont Phonoscènes, starting in 1902. In her comedy Le Piano irrésistible the uncanny pianist makes us slaves to his rhythm. From the first Brazilian woman director Gilda de Abreu we see a clip from O Ébrio. Having recently studied Leo Tolstoy I think I recognize here an affinity with his much-filmed play The Living Corpse. From Dorothy Arzner's Dance, Girl, Dance, we see the anthology piece where the dancer interpreted by Maureen O'Hara transforms from an object of gaze to a subject of the spectacle. The last clip is from Beyoncé: Lemonade: Hold Up where the pop queen activist goes much further. She is busting loose with a baseball bat, finally smashing us the viewers (the camera) in a meta-cinematic act.

We see a brief portrait montage of some of the directors featured in this new road movie through the cinema. The journey ends at Maryrest Cemetery in Mahwah, Bergen County, New Jersey at the grave of Alice Guy, the first of them all.

Chapter 40. Song and Dance: Beyoncé: Lemonade: Hold Up / Beyoncé Knowles, Kahlil Joseph, USA 2016. She is about to smash the camera. My screenshot from YouTube.

The grave marker of Alice Guy Blaché. Death: 24 Mar 1968 (aged 94), Mahwah, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA. Burial: Maryrest Cemetery, Mahwah, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA. Plot: Sec-3 Blk-F Tr-B Gr-16 1B. Memorial ID: 6837011 · View Source. Motion Picture Director. Generally considered to be the world's first female film director, she directed over 400 films between 1897 and 1920. She also produced hundreds of films. A secretary with Gaumont-Paris, she became one of their first directors when they started producing movies. In 1905 she was made the company's production director, supervising the company's other directors. In 1907 she married Herbert Blaché, and they went to the U.S. to set up the company's operations. In 1910 she set up her own production company, Solax Film Co. in Flushing, New York and built a studio in Fort Lee, New Jersey. After closing her studios due to financial decline, she directed several films for Hollywood. Upon her divorce, in 1922, she returned to France, and never made another film. The French government awarded her the Legion of Honour in 1953. In 1964 she returned to the U.S., where she remained until her death. Her memoirs, Autobiographie d'une pionnière du cinéma, 1873–1968" were published in 1976. The English edition, "The Memoirs of Alice Guy Blaché," was published in 1986. Bio by: Ginny M. From: Find A Grave website.

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