Skip to main content

Tweet tweet tweet, or as an NZer might say Tui tui tui


OK, I'm sold. Twitter's got my big gold star, because it's giving me more than enough useful info to make it worthwhile.

A little while ago I met Grietje Keller through Twitter, and admired the visual images in her blog but couldn't read it because the words are written in Dutch. Grietje referred me on to a Netherlands International Women's Centre and Archive with a site in English, a wonderful place. Then Grietje sent out a tweet about a US exhibition, of new feminist videos, called Reflections on the Electric Mirror: New Feminist Video, at the Brooklyn Museum in New York (May 1, 2009–January 10, 2010—Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, 4th Floor— with an 'interesting' New York Times review and a New York Magazine article about one of the artists, Kate Gilmore.)


Jen DeNike (American, b. 1971). Still from Happy Endings, 2006. Video, color, sound, 1 min. 5 sec. Courtesy of the artist and Smith-Stewart, New York

This is the image that appealed to me most, because it made me curious about the rest of the story. (I have a mate who needs to know the ending before she starts a script. I don't but I always hope the ending will be happy.) 

For a while now, I've been ambivalent about calling myself a feminist. 'Feminism' had become, for me, a meaningless term and a source of irritation as I read bits of poststructuralist feminist theory and psychoanalytic theory, both a long way from my experiences as a woman and a scriptwriter and not very useful to me. 

But, when I followed the tweet string (the 'stweet'?) from Grietje, about the exhibition, I found another interesting feminist activist I'd never have found in any other way, MadamaAmbi. And felt delighted to know about new feminist videos. And amazed that they exist, named as feminist. Will these artists, born between 1968 and 1975, make features? Do they already? This show inspires me to come out as a feminist again, because it's a great shorthand for connecting with women filmmakers in the rest of the world.

And then, when looking on YouTube for one of the new feminist videos to share, I found this instead. It's for Erica, Development's producer—especially—and for the students who're using this blog as a resource.



Video and (edited) text below produced by the Brooklyn Museum. 
Korean-born, New York City based artist Sun K. Kwak is shown creating a site-specific work composed of approximately three miles of black masking tape in the fifth-floor Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery. The mural-like piece is affixed to the walls and pillars until July.

The exhibition's title,
Enfolding 280 Hours, references the number of hours the artist estimated it would take her and her assistants to install the piece in the gallery. Work on the installation began in early February, and Museum visitors were able to view the work in progress. At the end of the Brooklyn presentation and after photographic documentation, the masking tape will be peeled off the columns and walls and discarded.

Drawing with masking tape has become her signature form of expression. Kwak continues to challenge perceptions of familiar surroundings with this technique, which for her is both meditative and performative.
And tui, tui, tui? In Maori—te reo—with long vowels, it's the name of a bird, native to New Zealand, that sometimes imitates other birds. You can hear its call on this site, for White Heron Tours, and at our place, most days. 

Here's a pic of a tui, on harakeke/flax plants, like the ones in our garden. 

With short vowels, tui means to sew, or thread, and that's how I think of Twitter now, as I am threaded into a network that includes new feminist videos from New York. 

And then there's Tui beer, and the Tui beer billboards, but they're another story-- 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

NZ Update #13: The Brilliance of Molly O'Shea

John O'Shea of Pacific Films is a legend in the film history of Aotearoa New Zealand. He died in 2001, aged 81. His daughter Kathy O'Shea, who died in 2010, was a legendary editor. And his grand-daughter, filmmaker Molly, gave this year's John O'Shea Memorial Address at the annual conference of New Zealand's Screen Production & Development Association (SPADA).

The address would be 'delivered by Dame Jane Campion and special guest', according to the SPADA programme. And what a special guest Molly was.

Her address is an instant feminist classic. Just brilliant. Wherever you live, if you want to persuade someone to give women filmmakers a go, entertain and inform them with this clip.
I hope that some of those producers who gave Molly a standing ovation then seized the opportunity to ask to read her pilot script, described by Jane Campion as 'incredible'. Go Molly! I can't wait to see your work.





Saving Mr. Disney: A Lesbian Perspective By Carolyn Gage

To stay focused when I'm writing intensively, I go to the movies in the afternoons. It's a kind of meditation that includes the walk down the hill to the cinema and back up again afterwards. And a few weeks ago, I saw three women-directed movies in three days: Rama Burshtein's Fill The Void, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette's Inch'Allah and Nicole Holofcener's Enough Said. Maybe things have changed, I thought to myself, ever optimistic. But I also noticed that men wrote and directed Catching Fire, from a novel by a woman, about a young woman and produced by a woman. And then I read Vocativ's analysis of 2013's 50 top-grossing US releases. This shows that almost half were Bechdel Test-passing films and that they did better at the US box office than those that weren't. BUT except for Frozen, which Jennifer Lee co-directed (and wrote) men directed all 50. And then at the weekend, all three of the new releases reviewed in our local paper (with enthusiasm) told s…

NZ Update #3: WIFT New Zealand

This is Part 3 of an NZ Update 4-part series. Part 1 was Gender Breakthrough in New Zealand Film Commission Funding. Part 2 was a letter to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Women, Paula Bennett, about the New Zealand Screen Production Grant. Part 4 is a not-quite-A-Z of New Zealand women directors and some writers.

So how has Women in Film & Television New Zealand (WIFTNZ) responded to the lack of gender parity between women and men who write and direct, in particular the lack of gender parity in allocation of taxpayer funding? For example, does it endorse Telefilm Canada's statement, referred to back in Part 1 and to some extent implicit in the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC)'s latest Annual Report?–
Based on industry recommendations that these two roles require immediate critical attention, gender parity amongst directors and screenwriters was identified as a priority (emphasis added).The simple answer: No-one Knows For Sure. And because of this, I believe it'…