Not Sorry: Feminist Experimental Film from the 1970s to Today (NYC Edition)

May 10 – May 12, 2019
Anthology Film Archives
New York, New York

What is feminist experimental film? How do we define a work as feminist and what constitutes experimentation? This series explores these questions through four themed programs – Heritage, Vessels, Home, and Consumer – that comprise a survey of short works spanning from the 1970s to today, with the explicit intent of questioning the largely white male canon of experimental film while deliberately positioning different modes of experimentation within both international and contemporary terms. The series is inspired by the new book, “Film Feminisms: A Global Introduction,” co-written by Kristin Lené Hole and Dijana Jelača.

From under-recognized landmarks like L.A. Rebellion filmmaker Barbara McCullough’s WATER RITUAL #1: AN URBAN RITE OF PURIFICATION (1979), to contemporary works such as the hand-manipulated 16mm confessional film HER SILENT SEAMING (2014) from Turkish-born filmmaker Nazli Dinçel, and the documentation of a visceral performance from Greenlandic-Danish artist Pia Arke in ARTIC HYSTERIA (1999), the selections generate new conversations across generations, national borders, and formats.

This program is co-curated by Mia Ferm (Northwest Film Center and Cinema Project) and Kristin Lené Hole, professor in Film Studies at Portland State University, both of whom will be here in person. The co-author of “Film Feminisms: A Global Introduction,” Dijana Jelača, will be joining us as well.

“Not Sorry” is co-presented by Video Data Bank at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Not Sorry #1: Heritage
Not Sorry #2: Vessels
Not Sorry #3: Home
Not Sorry #4: Consumer

Series opening introduction: Thank you for coming out tonight for the first program in our series Not Sorry: Feminist Experimental Film from the 1970s to Today.

It’s really great to be back here in New York and especially back at Anthology Film Archives. Anthology has been part of my path in becoming whatever I’m becoming. In the spring and summer of 2008, after finishing the MA program at NYU in Cinema Studies, I interned here with Andy Lampert and Matthew Cowan before moving to Portland at the end of that summer. It’s no exaggeration to say that without that experience and the connections it brought (both professional and personal) this situation would not exist.

About the series:
This series was originally presented at the Northwest Film Center in Portland, Oregon in October 2018. It has been a highly collaborative project between myself and PSU professor Dr. Kristin Hole following from her Dijana Jelača recently published textbook Film Feminisms: A Global Introduction from Routledge Press. It is mainly Kristin’s chapter on experimental feminist film that inspired this screening series and to start to expand and explore on ideas presented in the text.

In general, the series is in no way meant to be comprehensive. That would be impossible. There are a lot of filmmakers that have not been included. Some of that is due to curatorial decisions in that we have attempted to shift the point of reference away from the US, and other reasons are simply practical ones. Keeping with that idea, however, that the series is not comprehensive is also the idea that it is a sort of living project so by necessity it has to change to include other filmmakers, to make new connections between works, and to be ever more responsive to the world around us. This is only the second time we’ve presented the series, so clearly we have ambitions for future presentations.

The iteration that you’ll see this weekend only has a few differences from what we presented originally in Portland in October. I think the only difference tonight is that we’re including Ja’Tovia Gary’s GIVERNY I (NEGRESSE IMPERIALE) and in Portland we had Portland-based filmmaker Julie Perini’s SUFFRAGETTE SLASHER.

— Mia Ferm

 

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From left to right: Dijana Jelača, Vanessa Renwick, Mia Ferm, Melinda Kowalska, Kristin Lené Hole, Ariella Tai.