British Womens Cinema (British Popular Cinema)

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The Gold Diggers The film is also concerned with the power of the image, mediated through an examination of cinema itself — its history and its ideological power. The film was shot in stunning high contrast black and white and filmed on location in Iceland.

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Its stark images reference moments from early cinema, such as the silent shorts of D. Griffiths and the Hollywood musical Gold Diggers of , from which it derives its name. Additionally the film incorporates aspects of feminist film theory, including notions of the male gaze. The relationship between the two female protagonists, one black and the other white, highlights the complex relationship between gender and race, which in turn throws into relief the relationship between capitalism and colonialism.

Death and glory: A timeline of British war films

The film is notable for its all-female crew. The three screenwriters, Sally Potter , Rose English and Lindsay Cooper , were also responsible for the artistic elements — dance, art design and music, respectively. Vagabond The frozen body of a young woman is discovered in a ditch in the middle of the French countryside.

This opening enigma introduces an investigative narrative that presents a series of vignettes — flashbacks of people during their encounters with the young woman, Mona Sandrine Bonnaire , in the last few weeks of her life. From most of the men she experiences sexism, whereas the women are generally more sympathetic. Some characters actually envy her freedom. In this radical reversal, the traditional image of the female is liberated from the patriarchal order. The Company of Strangers This film uses the true-life stories of its all-female cast to construct its narrative, which revolves around a group of senior citizens thrown together for a coach trip.

When their coach breaks down in the middle of the Quebec countryside, they are forced to get to know one another and work together in order to survive.

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The women are all over 70, apart from the younger black coach driver, and come from an assortment of cultures and backgrounds, including a Native American woman, a middle-class widow, an out lesbian and a nun. The spirit of the women, who endure exhaustion, extreme heat and hunger, is truly inspirational.

This is a feel-good movie that focuses on a female group sorely neglected in cinema — namely, older women. The Watermelon Woman The narrative typically revolves around Cheryl, the filmmaker, who is on a quest to find the mythical black female character she has seen in films made in the s, the so-called Watermelon Woman. Cheryl gradually uncovers the presence of a number of African American Hollywood actors, hidden from history some of whom the film constructs, some of whom are authentic.

The film is both personal, about Cheryl, and political, about the lives and contribution of black people to cinema. The merging of the real and the imagined, the mixing of persona and performance, the combination of genuine archival material and recreated archival footage all function to throw into relief the philosophical problem of representing the real, and the political importance of reconstructing a history that has been neglected. The Day I Became a Woman Marzieh Meshkini is one of a number of women directors working in contemporary Iranian cinema.

The film is structured in three episodes and each segment tells the story of a female at a different stage of her life. First, Hava, who is approaching her ninth birthday — traditionally the moment she must leave childhood behind and stop playing with boys. Finally, Hoora is an old woman who goes on the ultimate shopping spree to buy all the things she has never had.

Each vignette shows the disappointment and thwarted desire that women experience.

2. This is England (2006)

The setting of Kish, an island in the Persian Gulf, with its vast stretches of sand, provides the film with its visual impact. The imagery in the second and third episodes becomes surreal.

BBC - iWonder - Death and glory: A timeline of British war films

The Headless Woman On one level this is the story of a middle-aged, middle-class woman, who has a car accident, suffers concussion, and later worries that she has hit, maybe even killed a young boy. Her husband, realising that she may be responsible for the death of an indigenous boy, covers up the evidence, leaving her in the dark. The film links the disempowered position of women within the family to that of racism within the society.

Much of the action is filmed through glass, or in the rain, or slightly out of frame, keeping the audience, like Vero, in the dark. The film systematically withholds evidence — the audience, like the central character, never finally knows for sure what has happened. As with the disappearance of evidence in the case of those murdered during the dictatorship, truth can only be grasped by piecing together what remains in the form of traces and half-truths.

This is all Vero is left with, but in the process of trying to uncover what she has done, she finally comes to an understanding of the mechanisms of power and control in the world. Wander women: vital films about women on the move. From girlhood to adulthood: six French films about sexual awakening. It's widely assumed that Britain in the s experienced a return to traditional gender roles.

Popular cinema has typically been seen to represent this era through the dominant image of the 'happy housewife'.

  • The Women in Question.
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  • Glamour and comfort: Cinemagoing in the s and s - Independent Cinema Office.
  • British Historical Cinema (British Popular Cinema) (): Claire Monk: Books.

Written in a lively and accessible manner, it challenges received understandings, arguing that the period was marked by social unease and anxiety about gender roles and femininity, with much British cinema producing ambiguous messages about feminine identities and the role of women. Through analysing marginalized figures, such as prostitutes, criminals and femmes fatales, and addressing central themes, notably sexuality, marriage and female friendship, Melanie Bell examines how British popular cinema imagined and constructed femininity in this era of rapid social and cultural change.

Female Stars of British Cinema

This might be illusory or thwarted escape in some instances, but nevertheless what tends to be valued is a sense of resistance to or questioning of patriarchal definitions within particular fictional narratives or star personae. While this is fine in itself, it does sometimes mean that any idea of women as an oppressed group in society becomes rather more marginal than one might have expected. The focus on representations of women in what are predominantly entertainment-based films is certainly compelling and productive, but as was so often the case with these films, the material conditions under which women lived their lives in Britain throughout the age of cinema remain largely hidden and off-screen.

Themed issues alternate with general ones, and each issue contains a wide range of articles, substantial book reviews and conference reports, an in-depth interview with a leading practitioner in the field, and a section intended to encourage debate amongst those studying British cinema and television. From the journal has been published quarterly, and its steady transition in its nine years of existence from a biannual to a triannual to a quarterly is a mark of its considerable success over a relatively short period of time.

It is fully peer-reviewed, and future themed issues will be devoted to BBC2, ageing and projection. Show full title. Recommend to Library. Peter Hutchings x.

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