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Women and Film in the 1970s and 1980s

Desert Hearts
February 3, 2017 -
February 27, 2017

 At a moment when gender parity in the entertainment industry is still a pressing concern even as directors such as Ava DuVernay, Kelly Reichardt, Kathryn Bigelow and others continue to chart their own courses of success, the Archive is pleased to highlight another particularly productive and visionary moment when women were claiming—against the odds—their place behind the camera, and working, in many cases, to change the rules of filmmaking itself.  While pioneers such as Lois Weber, Dorothy Arzner and Ida Lupino held their ground during Hollywood’s classical era, the 1970s and 1980s saw a relative explosion in the number of women directing across an array of production practices.  A period marked by radical experimentation and groundbreaking forays into narrative features, these decades of production are often demarcated between an explicitly feminist output in the 1970s and less overtly political films of the 1980s which nevertheless built on the progress made before.  Acknowledging the multitudinous and intersecting histories, practices and meanings that a phrase such as “women’s cinema” can evoke, the Archive presents a selection of films directed by women from both decades that express in original cinematic terms the intellectual and artistic energies of their times—and which continue to compel our attentions today.

This program is generously supported by a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Special thanks:  Shannon Kelley.

Past Programs & Events

Title Date and Time Location
Smooth Talk

Smooth Talk

Monday, February 27, 2017 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
A Film About a Woman Who...

A Film About a Woman Who...

Saturday, February 25, 2017 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Wanda

Wanda

Friday, February 24, 2017 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Variety

Variety  /  Not a Love Story: A Film About Pornography

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Riddles of the Sphinx

A Question of Silence  /  Riddles of the Sphinx

Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 7:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Smithereens

Smithereens

Friday, February 17, 2017 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Jeanne Dielman

Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

Sunday, February 12, 2017 - 7:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Girlfriends

Girlfriends

Saturday, February 11, 2017 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Hester Street

Hester Street  /  The Gold Diggers

Sunday, February 5, 2017 - 7:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Desert Hearts

Desert Hearts

Saturday, February 4, 2017 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater