In moving forward with its film education goal, Facets has decided to expand its courses, classes, and lecture series. For the past month, I have been researching the noncredit courses, lecture series, and informal classes offered by museums, arts organizations, and other institutions to help develop and design additional film programs for Facets. My first question for my readers and colleagues outside the Chicago area is: Do you know of any organizations that host arts or film classes? If so, please send me the links so that I can compare and contrast with what I already have.
Bright red unstructured coat, mid-length, three quarter sleeves and large plastic matching button closure; red suit with pencil skirt finishing just below the knee; tall leopardskin cloche hat with flat crown and lightly upturned brim; leopardskin handwarmer; tan high heel shoes.
Fleeting yet easily remembered, this outfit reflects just how ‘on fire’ Jan is after rumbling Brad’s scheme. She is back in a hat, one of her most distinctive in fact; a cloche variant worn far back on the head. Of course, typical for Day and how this style was generally worn in the fifties. One point to note: Jan wears both leather gloves and a handwarmer here, which even for autumn/winter New York seems a tad excessive.
What Epstein loved about the camera’s capacity to enlarge (“The close-up is the soul of cinema”), for instance, he shared with Louis Aragon, who, like Schrader, used to think that selected objects or parts of the décor in a shot or scene could become “remotivated,” and focused on the way film could isolate and magnify objects through framing especially in close-ups, or with Walter Benjamin, who compared the cameraman to a surgeon, “penetrating deeply into the reality web,” “zooming in to pry an object from its shell.” But more important even than the camera’s analytic properties to the conception of photogénie, was that the image contain or be in motion. Movement is the essence of cinema, Epstein decides contra Barthes, the constantly changing quality of photogénie is of the essence (“Until now, I have never seen an entire minute of purephotogénie”), perhaps captured best by the image of a smile slowly appearing on a face seen in close-up, nay the anticipation of that smile.
Film Comment used to include in its poll of the best films of the year a kind of alternative (counter) canon composed entirely of contingent moments. “Moments out of time,” this Adair-like collection of fondly remembered bits and pieces was called. Going through these moments now is bringing the films back to mind a process of what both Barthes and Benjamin call “anamnesis,” evoking narrative less than atmosphere, “aura:” “a tumbleweed in L.A.” bringing back The Big Lebowski; “The squeaking of the plastic chairs under the investigators as they interview the suspect,” reanimating Fincher’s Zodiac – what they meant, mean now, could have meant and could still mean. These moments, although they need little explanation for the cinephile in the know, are idiosyncratic, in that they rely upon the critic’s personal recollection of non-canonical moments in a movie (from Renoir’s La Nuit du Carrefour, Godard remembered especially the “purr of a Bugatti”). But sometimes the love of a particular moments is shared, love is somehow “in the air,” which does not always produce a joyful feeling in the cinephile who wants to keep this cherished treasure to himself.
While this is a short list of ten films, one or several of these films is on the list of the favorite films of virtually every woman director or film critic I know. (This list, in fact, may be a separate, secret canon of the films that women love, as opposed to the “gender neutral” canon of greatest films which is actually comprised primarily of films chosen mostly by men.)
These films are the favorites of so many women because they describe the complexities and conflicts of female friendship accurately, the unique joys and also darker aspects that often remain hidden or at least unacknowledged in real-life friendships.
"There's definitely a boy's club in film journalism and film criticism," she said. "I felt like I had to fight to be included in editorial decisions. I did the math on one outlet I wrote for, and less than 10% of their reviews were written by women. Last year Sight and Sound had an essay contest for women writers, and the winner would maybe be published on the blog! It's so condescending! I wanted to show that women were perfectly capable of writing intelligently and in-depth about movies, they just needed the opportunity."
"It takes so much effort for women to get to the starting line, to get onto an editor's radar. I also wonder if sometimes the things that women are interested in -- the way they respond to certain movies -- may not be of interest to many male editors, but would be to many female readers. I've found that's true. In cinephile circles you see mostly men, but women cinephiles are out there. They're often just isolated from those nerd-herd scenes."
For as long as I can remember, I've been pretty much bisexual at the movies. I swing both ways. I drink from both taps. Last year I was, like everyone else, gaga for Gosling after that elevator kiss with Carey Mulligan in Drive. The year before that, The Kids Are Alright brought my 10-year-old Mark Ruffalo crush out of hibernation. A year previous it was James Franco, the generous Adonis of Milk, tenderly smooching with Sean Penn in long-shot from an first-storey window. Bliss.
The screen is an equal opportunity seducer – polymorphically perverse. If you are a man (or a woman) and you watch the famous scene in Notorious where Cary Grant nibbles Ingrid Bergman's ear while she is answering the phone, you don't feel two different things depending on which half of the screen you look at. I don't look at Bergman and go "yummy" and then look at Grant and go "shame about him." Such is the heat of the movie screen that every grain and pixel is suffused with longing. The fact is: I have spent as much time in the dark of the movie theatre watching men kiss and be kissed, and getting a kick out of it, as I have women.
But before we start designing flags of Susan B. Anthony spanking Matt Bomer in assless chaps, it's worth looking beyond the gyrations and oiled-up bodies to the plot of Magic Mike. And if you do, you'll see that beefcake aside, at the heart of the film is the same story that romances have been telling for years: Women just want a guy whom they can fix.