Close-Up, dir. Abbas Kiarostami (1990)

(via communicants)

Films in 2014—#088 A Cry in the Wild (Mark Griffiths, 1990)


Lost in Translation Scenery

Director: Sofia Coppola

Cinematography: Lance Acord

Anonymous asked: Hello! So I've been reading a lot about the male gaze in film lately and, as a woman, sometimes I fear that that gaze has been ingrained in my perception of how a woman can be looked at just because it is in our culture so much (I mean sort of?? but I'm not sure what exactly constitutes as a male gaze). With that being said, do you have a any film recommendations that don't contain or slack off on the male gaze? Thanks!

oh wow! what a question. well, as a woman who was raised on a steady diet of the classic american genre picture (gangsters, westerns, film noir), i have definitely internalized the male gaze!

before we go any further, read laura mulvey’s ‘visual pleasure and narrative cinema,’ the 1975 essay which coined the term ‘male gaze.’

i think it’s very difficult to be totally free of the idea of the male gaze in cinema, if you’ve been raised in a western society that has been profoundly influenced by freudian theory. certainly, if you grew up watching hollywood cinema, you cannot escape it. i don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing, but certainly one of the great benefits of a film education is learning to be aware of the constructs ingrained in the cinema we digest; armed with this knowledge, we can make more careful choices and be aware on another level of what our supposed ‘invisible’ entertainment is really saying.

as for films that don’t contain the male gaze? good luck finding that in classic narrative cinema! i would suggest feminist and/or experimental filmmakers like maya deren, catherine breillat, chantal ackerman, julie dash, sally potter, andrea arnold, jane campion.

for further reading, check out molly haskell, b. ruby rich, carol clover.

i know there are a lot of people on tumblr with more knowledge on the subject than myself, so please leave a comment or ask on the male gaze/feminist filmmakers! thanks!!


Hobson’s Choice (David Lean, 1954)

Anonymous asked: A follow-up to the Cassavetes post: When you start exploring a new director you haven't seen do you go for the big work everyone talks about first or do you try to watch lesser stuff and then "build up" to the bigger work?

it depends. since i have limited resources right now, it often depends on accessibility. i got into cassavetes because hulu was highlighting his films in the criterion collection for free. crackle has GLORIA for free right now, too. sometimes i go whole hog on a director & actor and see as much of their filmography as is available. sometimes i just casually browse and see a film here and a film there (as is the case with cassavetes). basically, when a director comes up on my “radar,” i make a mental note to be aware of their films and see them either online or at a rep. screening, since being in los angeles, i have that opportunity frequently.

youmustknowpaolo asked: Do you think Michael Bay must quit on directing films?

no. michael bay still shoots on 35mm. i may not be a big fan of his films, but at least he’s got principles. (and his movies make a TON of money, which is good for the film business & health of 35mm as a whole).

Anonymous asked: any advice on where a rookie should start with Cassavetes?

i’m no cassavetes expert, but you can’t go wrong with A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE. it’s his masterpiece. just be prepared: it’s intense.

Films in 2014—#087 The Decline of Western Civilization: Part III (Penelope Spheeris, 1998)

Films in 2014—#086 The Decline of Western Civilization (Penelope Spheeris, 1981)

Films in 2014—#085 Hobson’s Choice (David Lean, 1954)

Films in 2014—#084 The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Robert Ellis Miller, 1968)

Films in 2014—#083 Sorcerer (William Friedkin, 1977)

Films in 2014—#082 A Hard Day’s Night (Richard Lester, 1964)