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Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Women’s Early Films from the West
Usha Zacharias
Is there such a thing as “women’s cinema”? Not really, if one
goes by responses from at least three of the directors
featured in this section. “I’m not interested in seeing a film
just made by a woman,
” said Agnes Varda, “not unless she’s
looking for new images.”[1] Vera Chytilova, asked if she
was a feminist film-maker, retorted, much like Lina
Wertmuller, that she was a believer in individualism, “You
ask pointless and primitive questions.”[2]
To define women’s cinema would be to go against the act
of film-making itself as a creative, unpredictable,
spontaneous event, made magical by its mystery at the
point of emergence.
The film-makers featured in this section have no necessary
responsibility to the contemporary political awareness
about “women” who make films, about the “feminine” as
the indefinable aspect of sexual difference that might
generate a new aesthetic, or about feminism as a
philosophy. Neither does their cinema.

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