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UCLA Film & Television Archive, in partnership with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, presents

Nina Menkes, Cinematic Sorceress

Bloody Child
June 15, 2019
filmmaker Nina Menkes.

“One of the greatest figures in new wave feminist cinema.” — Vienna International Film Festival

“For me, cinema is sorcery, a creative way to interact with the world in order to rearrange perception and expand consciousness, both the viewer’s and my own.”— Nina Menkes

Type “” into your browser’s address bar, and note the subtitle that preempts any of your doubts: “Yes! I am a Witch.” A proclamation that centuries ago would have led to certain persecution is here embraced and celebrated by Menkes herself, the artist holistically comprehending and embracing its historical, malignant, and yes, gendered implications. A filmmaker conjuring her cinematic magic in a fiercely independent mode, film historian and critic Bérénice Reynaud has declared that Menkes “does not inscribe herself in a recognizable avant-garde tradition. She has no master and no disciples.” This final note is not to be taken quite literally, for Menkes is a full-time faculty member in the Film and Video program at the California Institute of the Arts, and, before this appointment, was one of the most popular film directing professors at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Her seven feature films, each of which resonates as a hypnotic meditation that insists on creating its own rules, have been featured in major international film festivals, as premieres or as part of retrospective screenings, including Sundance, Rotterdam, Locarno, London, Viennale, and Toronto; notably, Nina was also one of the first female filmmakers to present a feature in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Traditionally controlling all aspects of production, including camera operation and picture and sound editing, Nina Menkes could not be more autonomous, though much of her inspiration comes from a long-standing collaboration with her principal actress and co-editor, her sister Tinka. Their creative partnership imbues in each film an outward expression of deeply personal interiority, of understanding beyond earthly expression. The Archive is thrilled to present, along with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, an enchanted evening with this incredible filmmaker and two of her most evocative works.

Special thanks to Mark Toscano and May Haduong of the Academy Film Archive; David Marriott, Dennis Bartok and Ei Toshinari of Arbelos Films; Gwen Wynne, EOS World Fund; UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television Office of Alumni Affairs.

Past Programs & Events

Title Date and Time Location
Queen of Diamonds

Queen of Diamonds  /  The Bloody Child

Saturday, June 15, 2019 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater