Skip to main content

Gaylene Preston, Barbara Hammer, & Briar March



Mary Wiles at Canterbury University edited this beautiful catalogue (34pp) for Gaylene's recent retrospective at Te Papa Museum of New Zealand. It's a great overview of Gaylene's documentaries and biographical drama. I loved reading Keri Hulme's memories of being filmed by Gaylene, Mary Wiles' interview with Gaylene and Deborah Shepard's, Bruce Harding's and Paul Sutorius' contributions.

The catalogue also includes a filmography I made as part of my archival work for Gaylene, with a wee reference to Corinn Columpar and Sophie Mayer's There She Goes: Feminist Filmmaking and Beyond, which helped me articulate how Gaylene can be understood as a feminist auteur. And I'm thrilled that by accident the filmography associates me with Gender & Women's Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, where the lovely lecturers made space for the work on Gaylene's archive, waaaay back in 2003: it was such a supportive and generous and life-and-work enhancing place, thanks to Alison Laurie, Lesley Hall, Lorna Kanavatoa and Prue Hyman. And it's so sad that it's no longer there.

You can order your very own copy of the catalogue for only NZ$20: from Mary Wiles: mary.wiles[at]canterbury.ac.nz, or from Gaylene herself: the1[at]gaylenepreston.com.

There's a rumour that the retrospective may reach Auckland. I wish it could travel outside New Zealand as well.

_______

The finalists for the IDA Documentary Awards have been announced. It's wonderful to see that Barbara Hammer's Maya Deren's Sink, has been nominated. Barbara's life and work have inspired a generation of queer, feminist, and avant-garde artists and filmmakers, and this interview, courtesy Museum of Modern Art, New York, illustrates just how inspiring she is.


 

 Last year, Barbara published an important memoir, Hammer! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life, available here.


And, from a generation that benefits from Gaylene's and Barbara's hard work on behalf of women filmmakers, it's great to see New Zealand's Briar March's Smoke Songs (What do you get when you mix Navajo culture, politics, and punk-rock? The answer: Blackfire; a Native American family band with a message) in the IDA Documentary Awards nominations as well. Smoke Songs has been nominated for the David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award. This award recognises exceptional achievement in non-fiction film and video production at the university level and brings greater public and industry awareness to the work of students in the documentary field. I can't find a Smoke Songs trailer to include, or even an image, but will add one when when I can.

4 December

Sara Nesson's Poster Girl has won Best Short at the IDA Documentary Awards. It looks pretty amazing.

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'…