It has been ten years since the publication of Sexual Stratagems: The World of Women and Film, a volume of essays that reflected the state of feminist film studies in the seventies. At that time scholars had just begun to write the history of women’s contribution to filmmaking, to explore the changing images of women on the screen both here and abroad, and to develop theories related to female representation and reception.
Since 1979, an enormous amount of feminist film criticism has appeared, reflecting a growing sophistication about how film images are produced and received. The present volume shows the thinking and development that took place in the 1980s, although a few earlier essays have been included because of the influence of these pieces on later writings. Unlike the first volume of Sexual Stratagems, the present text does not include essays on the film careers of individual women; that work is currently being undertaken by several other scholars.1
In addition, I have not included filmographies. In the original Sexual Stratagems there were fifty-four pages listing films by any woman who had ever touched celluloid. This international filmography covering eighty-one years included narrative fiction, documentaries, animation, and shorts. As I updated this listing it immediately became clear to me that to cover the period from 1978 to 1988 would require a book in itself. Working solely with narrative fiction and feature-length documentaries on an international scale, I soon had sixty-eight pages. And this did not include the vast number of independent shorts, animation, and educational films produced by women. Surely these raw numbers alone attest to the creative vitality of women and the opening up of a field once totally dominated by men.
However, numbers do not tell the whole story. Women’s access to the means of production does not ensure fundamental change or equality of opportunity. In the seventies women still talked optimistically of the day when they would enter film production in significant numbers and create their own screen images. To some degree that day has come and thus it seems an appropriate time to reevaluate many of the original tenets of feminist film criticism, to look at the writings of the last decade, and to assess current film production.
Issues in Feminist Film Criticism brings together a wide variety of writings by Anglo-American feminist film scholars, focusing on issues applicable to a large body of film or to filmmaking practice in general. Where analyses of individual works appear, they represent essays whose main concerns are theoretical. I have included as many approaches and methodologies as possible, because I believe that each has something to add to our understanding of the complex issues related to women and film and because I am suspicious of the orthodoxy of any one approach. In short, this text is structured as a series of debates. Each section includes articles that treat similar topics from opposing viewpoints. Where possible, I have tried to provide analyses of the same film using different methodologies so as to make apparent the virtues and limitations of each approach. It is my hope that this structure will meet the needs of a wide variety of users and will stimulate lively dialogue in the classroom.
The rise of feminist film criticism is an outgrowth of the women’s movement, which began in the United States in the late 1960s, of feminist scholarship in a variety of disciplines, and of women’s filmmaking.2 The cross-fertilization cannot be overestimated, although it is not my intention to provide a detailed history of that development. Such a history would require a discussion of the critical debates, the film festivals, conferences, journals, and distribution companies, as well as of the articles written and the films produced. Further, one would want to include an account of what was occurring in women’s studies inside the academy, as well as one of the political activism in the world at large. All of these realities had an impact upon feminist film criticism and are referred to in various ways in the articles. For a chronology of specific film events during the seventies, see B. Ruby Rich’s “In the Name of Feminist Film Criticism.”
The purpose of this Introduction is to provide a brief discussion of the key ideas that engaged feminist film scholars during the 70s and 80s. These topics include: images of women on the screen; questions of film realism; the notion of counter-cinema; the concept of “reading against the grain”; the use of pyschoanalytic theories; concerns over female spectatorship; women’s place in specific genres, especially film melodrama; and issues related to race, class, and sexual preference as it intersects with feminism. Each of these topics will be taken up in depth in the essays.
On the heels of the first women’s film festivals, two histories appeared: Marjorie Rosen’s Popcorn Venus: Women, Movies and the American Dream (1973) and Molly Haskell’s From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies (1974). Both works chronicled the changing image of women in Hollywood films and both used sociological approaches which highlighted how the female characters related to the history of the era, how these characters were stereotyped, how active or passive they were, how much screen time they were allotted, and whether they served as positive or negative models for women in the audience. The conclusions of both histories regarding female representation was summarized by Haskell, “You’ve come a long way baby . . . and it’s all been downhill.” These histories constituted image studies. The value of this approach is debated in articles by Susan Wengraf and Linda Artel and Diane Waldman in Section One.
Interest in image studies held sway for many years in the United States and can be found in the pages of Women and Film, the first feminist film journal (1972-1975), and the early issues of Jump Cut, which began in 1974 and remains a major vehicle for feminist criticism. However, beginning in the mid-seventies, image studies and the attempt to depict “real women,” both in documentaries and in narrative fiction, came under attack by some critics as deriving from a naive understanding of the mechanisms of film production and reception. As the British film scholar Claire Johnston wrote, “If women’s cinema is going to emerge, it should not only concern itself with substituting positive female protagonists, focusing on women’s problems, etc.; it has to go much further than this if it is to impinge on consciousness. It requires a revolutionary strategy which can only be based on an analysis of how film operates as a medium within a specific cultural system.”3
While feminist film critics in the United States continued to regard film as a vehicle for personal change and political activism, several women in England began to develop other theoretical models, influenced by Continental thinkers including Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Christian Metz, Jean-Louis Baudry, and Louis Althusser. Their ideas were grounded in psychoanalysis, semiotics, and Marxist ideology. For this group, the major concerns centered around the production of meaning in a film text, the way a text constructs a viewing subject, and the ways in which the very mechanisms of cinematic production affect the representation of women and reenforce sexism. During the seventies, differences in approach and methodology between U.S. and British feminist film critics were very pronounced, although they have become less so during the eighties.
The results of these inquiries led to new forms of feminist film criticism. Claire Johnston edited a monograph entitled Notes on Women’s Cinema (1973), in which she stated, “In rejecting a sociological analysis of woman in the cinema we reject any view in terms of realism, for this would involve an acceptance of the apparent natural denotation of the sign and would involve a denial of the reality of the myth in operation. Within a sexist ideology and a male-dominated cinema, woman is presented as what she represents for man.”4
This monograph introduced semiotics to feminist film criticism, holding that women do not represent themselves on the screen, especially in Hollywood films, but are merely signs for all that is non-male. How this construction operates is discussed at length in the essay by Johnston and Pam Cook in Section One on the cinema of Raoul Walsh. At the same time, the monograph sounded a warning for those women who looked forward to the day when the movies would depict “real women.”
As the seventies moved forward, women took up filmmaking in unprecedented numbers. The vast majority began in documentary film because costs were lower and production demanded less technical expertise. Furthermore, women urgently wanted to deal with issues that previously had been unaddressed on film, especially from a woman’s perspective (abortion, rape, job discrimination, etc.); many felt this could be done most effectively with the documentary, a form that had long been associated with the concept of “truth” and “reality.” For the first feminist filmmakers, the documentary also offered the possibility of replacing stereotypes with truer-to-life images.
The excitement of seeing ordinary women on the screen, speaking about their own lives and feelings, was enough to generate audiences in the first years, especially as a part of consciousness-raising groups and festival/educational programming. Most crucial at that time was actually hearing the voices of women, rather than those of the on-or off-screen males, who had once dominated documentaries. It is not surprising, therefore, that women’s documentaries quickly became characterized by the use of “talking heads.”
As women’s documentary filmmaking developed, questions of realism arose here as they had with regard to fictional filmmaking. In “Documentary, Realism and Women’s Cinema” (1975), Eileen McGarry cautioned viewers against taking images as direct reflections of reality. She pointed out that documentaries, like other forms of filmmaking, used coded language derived from the effects of a moving camera, composition, editing, lighting, and all varieties of sound, to create its illusions. In short, documentary images were no more “real” than images in fictional film.
Despite such reservations, the women’s documentary was not without its advocates. Foremost was Julia Lesage, whose article “The Political Aesthetics of the Feminist Documentary” is reprinted in Section Three. Lesage felt that the traditional “realist” documentary structure could be appropriated by women in a subversive manner to challenge the status quo and to present women’s bodies, women’s voices, and women’s domestic space in a new way. More recently, Barbara Halpern Martineau has defended the use of “talking heads” and cinéma-vérité techniques, stating, “Unlike the verite films of Wiseman or King, [women’s films] invite a questioning, critical stance towards the subjective attitudes they represent; unlike government or corporate propaganda, they represent a challenge to traditional authority.”5 Thus, whatever their limitations on achieving realism, there is little question that these early documentaries had enormous value for political organizing.
With regard to fictional filmmaking, feminist concerns about the shortcomings of Hollywood films led Johnston to propose a counter-cinema, one that rejected the Hollywood model. In Johnston’s proposal, counter-cinema represented a “deconstructive” cinema in which sexist ideology was openly exposed and where works investigated the means of their own creation, especially from a feminist point of view. Similar concepts were also applied to the criticism of older Hollywood films, especially to the work of Dorothy Arzner, in which ruptures in the narrative allowed for a perspective to seep through that ran counter to the dominant ideology of the film. The problem with this type of subversive reading was that, ultimately, the number of films in which this occurred and the actual moments of rupture were insufficient to provide women with any sizable degree of satisfaction.
As filmmakers developed a woman’s cinema, many took up Johnston’s ideas, using alternative forms and experimental techniques, in the hope that they could encourage audiences to critique the seemingly transparent images on the screen and to question the manipulative techniques of filming and editing. The essay by Annette Kuhn included in Section Three discusses many of the films made in the name of a counter-cinema. The issue of realism, however, did not disappear. In “Recent Developments in Feminist Criticism” (1978), Christine Gledhill predicted, “Feminist film theory must inevitably encounter and do battle with the hybrid phenomenon of realism as a dominant expectation of the cultural production in the late 19th and 20th centuries which embraces both hegemonic and radical aspirations.”6 The use of realist aesthetics in women’s cinema is treated by Florence Jacobowitz and Lori Spring in the essay on Tell Me a Riddle found in Section Four.
Not all feminist filmmakers and critics felt that counter-cinema was their only option; yet clearly everyone had given thought to how women’s films would be like or different from those produced by men. Such discussions also occurred in other fields, especially in art history and literary studies.7 One influential article on this subject was written by Silvia Bovenschen, who asked, “Is There a Feminine Aesthetic?” (1977). Challenging those women who supported art forms which deemphasized gender differences, Bovenschen said that as women’s experience throughout history had been different from men’s, therefore women’s art would and should be different. Although she cautioned that no absolute criteria should be established for feminist art, she concluded, “feminine artistic production takes place by means of a complicated process involving conquering and reclaiming, appropriating and formulating, as well as forgetting and subverting.”8 Similar notions were also discussed by film scholars, most notably in “Women and Film: A Discussion of Feminist Aesthetics” (1978).9
Feminist reservations about Hollywood film were furthered by the publication of one of the most influential feminist essays, Laura Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” (Screen 16 ), which is included in Section One of this book. In this article, Mulvey detailed the ways in which men consciously and unconsciously control the production and reception of film, creating images that satisfy their needs and unconscious desires. Drawing upon the work of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan, Mulvey examined the ways in which cinema uses the image of woman to dissipate male castration fears (which come into play at the oedipal period) by forms of voyeurism, containing aspects of sadism and fetishism. Emphasizing the importance of “the gaze” in narrative cinema, she described how, on screen, men are the bearers of “the look,” while women are the objects to be looked at, echoing John Berger’s statement in Ways of Seeing (1972) that “Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at.”10
Mulvey stated, “In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female. . . . The determining male gaze projects its fantasy onto the female figure which is styled accordingly. In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness.”11 She went on to explain how the male viewer in the audience identifies with the male protagonist on the screen, the character who controls both events and “the look,” concluding that Hollywood film set into play a text-spectator relationship from which women are excluded.
The implications of this essay were pessimistic indeed. Not only were women excluded, used, and abused in mainstream cinema, but Mulvey implied that by addressing the male viewer, Hollywood had nothing to offer women apart from images of their own objectification.
For a while, these theories were adopted as a means of explaining how sexual differences affected the dynamics of all dominant cinema. However, certain limitations gradually were noted by other scholars. Among the primary issues which Mulvey’s essay raised, but did not answer, were questions of female spectatorship and pleasure in film viewing. The female spectator, both that constructed by the film and the real woman in the audience, became one of the most hotly debated subjects of the eighties. A few of the prominent articles are cited below.
B. Ruby Rich’s “In the Name of Feminist Film Criticism” (1978), reprinted in this volume, asserted that despite Mulvey’s essay, she (Rich) was a real woman sitting in the dark, interacting with the film with a “conspicuous absence of passivity.” She argued that women’s viewing experience under patriarchy is always dialectical, a process of absorbing and reprocessing (often resisting) what emanates from the screen. In this way Rich not only emphasized women’s active participation in the creation of meaning, but also showed how works could be appropriated for other than their intended purposes by providing insights into patriarchal culture or by producing pleasure for women viewers. One application of this process came to be known as “reading against the grain,” and is utilized to provide lesbian readings of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Personal Best, two essays included in Section Two.
Another challenge to Mulvey’s ideas appeared in Janet Bergstrom’s “Enunciation and Sexual Difference” (1979), published in Camera Obscura, a journal (founded in 1977) devoted to feminism and film theory.
Bergstrom rejected the notion that female viewers identify only with females on the screen and males only with males. She also challenged the dichotomy of active/male vs. passive/female, replacing it with the Freudian concepts of bisexual responses which would allow for multiple identificatory positions, which could occur either successively or simultaneously.
Mulvey published her own reconsideration on narrative pleasure in “Afterthoughts on ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,’ inspired by Duel in the Sun” (1981). Rather than holding, as before, that narrative cinema offered no place for female viewers, Mulvey now said that women could adopt either a masochistic female position by identifying with the female object of desire or a male position by becoming the active viewer of the text, thus assuming a degree of control through transsexual identification. Although these choices broadened the options available to female spectators, it did not solve the problem or please all feminists.
Another contribution to the theory of spectatorship was offered by Gaylyn Studlar in “Masochism and the Perverse Pleasures of the Cinema” (1984). Studlar asserted that film viewing relied on a regression to the preoedipal stage rather than the later oedipal stage discussed by Mulvey. As such, the image of woman, tied to the child’s earliest view of the mother, had a significantly different symbolic value. Rather than representing the threat of castration, woman represented memories of plentitude. Most important, Studlar argued for a recognition of the masochistic pleasures of much film viewing which replicated the infant’s earliest experiences.12 These pleasures, found in certain Hollywood films she termed “the masochistic aesthetic,” were available to both female and male viewers and thus challenged Mulvey’s views that male viewing was always sadistic or fetishistic and that cinema offered no place for female viewers.
More recently Miriam Hansen, in “Pleasure, Ambivalence, Identification: Valentino and Female Spectatorship” (1986), demonstrated how spectators cross sexual boundaries, and how the male figure can serve as the erotic object of desire for a female viewer. Currently several other scholars are pursuing work on the representation of the male body in film, providing new insights on female representation as well.13
Drawing together several issues of the debates about female representation and sexual difference, especially the discrepancy between woman as the object of male desire and woman as historical subject, Teresa de Lauretis, in her 1984 work Alice Doesn’t: Feminism, Semiotics, Cinema, asserted that the goal of feminist film criticism was not to bridge the gap, but rather to come to terms with the contradictions.
Along with theorizing on female spectatorship, feminist scholars have taken a closer look at several Hollywood genres, including film noir, the woman’s picture, and the maternal melodrama, films which either depicted a strong, sexual heroine or seemed to address a female audience. This volume contains essays on three genre films: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Stella Dallas, and A Letter From an Unknown Woman. In all of these works the central characters are female. Furthermore, in A Letter From an Unknown Woman, the story is narrated by the heroine. Such films intrigued feminist critics because they focused on women’s issues (home, family, emotionality), presented subversive heroines who went against society’s norms, and seemed to provide a feminine discourse. The critics were also prompted to write about these films because of the pleasure they provided for many female moviegoers. The results of such investigations have appeared in several book-length studies.14
The recent attention to film melodrama has not been accidental. In a comprehensive article on the subject entitled “Melodrama and the Women’s Picture,” Pam Cook asserts, “Melodrama has been more hotly debated than any other genre in cinema,” adding that “recent feminist interest has focused on the way in which it deals with aspects of women’s experience marginalised by other genres.”15 Cook points out that initially women regarded the woman’s picture as conservative because of its tendency to punish women who acted on their own desires or who did not conform. However, closer scrutiny revealed that the films were more complex and more ambiguous than was at first apparent. Recent critics have revealed how these works not only foreground a female point of view, but also negotiate the “contradiction between female desire and its containment . . . often producing an excess which threatens to deviate from the intended route.”16 Thus, in its own way, the woman’s film is capable of accomplishing much the same work as deconstructive cinema: revealing women’s plight in a sexist society and subverting the traditional propaganda that reinforces this ideology. The three articles on melodrama in Section Two take up these issues.
Where, then, are we now? There has been a great deal of effort, in recent years, devoted to finding out more about actual viewers and individual interpretations. Janice Radway’s book Romancing the Reader: Women, Patriarchy and Popular Literature (1984), based on interviews with women who read Harlequin romances, and Ien Ang’s Watching Dallas (1985), based on viewers’ responses to the evening soap opera, helped pioneer this approach in popular literature and television.17 In film studies, similar work is being carried out, especially on the relationship between film exhibition, studio publicity, and female audiences.18 The essay in this volume on Personal Best exemplifies, from a feminist point of view, the new attention to audiences, as well as to analyses of reviews and publicity campaigns.
“Star images” and the intersection between performance, biography, and studio publicity have been another developing area. The two important books in this field by Richard Dyer, Stars (1979) and Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society (1986), have been complemented by similar approaches from a specifically feminist perspective.19 These studies focus on how Hollywood molds female performers into familar stereotypes, then merchandises them as commodities, and how this process determines and is determined by pre-existing notions of femininity in the culture. Maureen Turim’s article on Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in section two is an early discussion of some of these concerns.
Two areas not included in this anthology are women’s contribution to production in capacities other then directing and studies of the early development of film aesthetics from a feminist perspective. However, both topics have been researched by other scholars.20
Finally, many feminist film critics are now investigating the differences between women, epecially how race and sexual preference, along with ethnicity and class, establish separate priorities.21 Focusing on disparate social and cultural heritages and histories, this criticism not only speaks out for new representations, but also for a more diversified theory of female spectatorship. The two essays by Jane Gaines in this volume address these issues, as does the one by Teresa de Lauretis. It seems to me that it is in this area that much new work will be done. If the seventies and the eighties have been devoted to discovering the pervasive influence of sexual difference (male/female), then perhaps the nineties will be the decade when women will come to a better understanding of the differences between themselves.
1. For information on early silent directors, see The Memoirs of Alice Guy Blache, ed. Anthony Slide, trans. Roberta and Simone Blache, Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow (1986), and Nell Shipman, The Silent Screen and My Talking Heart, Boise, ID: Bosie State University Press (1987). For a current study of established women directors worldwide, see Barbara Koenig Quart, Women Directors: The Emergence of a New Cinema, New York: Praeger (1988). For information on Maya Deren, Shirley Clarke, and Joyce Weiland, see Lauren Rabinowitz, Points of Resistance: Sex, Power and Politics in New York City Avant-Garde Cinema, Urbana: University of Illinois Press (forthcoming). Also, The Legend of Maya Deren, by Veve A. Clark, Millicent Modson, and Catrina Neiman. New York: Anthology Film Archives, 1984 and 1988. For information on other independent filmmakers, see back issues of Cineaste, Framework, The Independent, Jump Cut, and Millenium Film Journal. Many of these are listed separately in the Bibliography. In addition, Indiana University Press is bringing out a series of books on individual filmmakers, entitled International Women Filmmakers, to be co-edited by Roswitha Mueller and Kaja Silverman.
2. For an overview of the history of the women’s movement in the United States see Myra Marx Ferree and Beth B. Hess, Controversy and Coalition: The New Feminist Movement, Boston: Twayne (1985), and Sara Evans, Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America, New York: Free Press (1989). For a book on issues and publications related to the women’s movement, see Hester Eisenstein, Contemporary Feminist Thought, Boston: G. K. Hall (1983). Several texts have been especially influential on feminist film critics, namely Nancy Chodorow, The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender, Berkeley: University of California Press (1978); Jane Gallop, The Daughter’s Seduction, Ithaca: Cornell University Press (1982); and Carol Gilligan, In A Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development, Cambridge: Harvard University Press (1982). In addition, although this anthology does not treat the work of the French feminists, their writings have had an impact on Anglo-American film scholarship. For an introduction to the work of some of the French feminists, see the Special Issue on French Feminist Theory in Signs 7, no. 1 (Autumn 1984). For further information, readers should check individual texts by Hélène Cixous, Luce Irigaray, Sarah Kofman, and Monique Wittig.
3. Claire Johnston, “Women’s Cinema as Counter-Cinema,” Notes on Women’s Cinema, ed. Claire Johnston, London: Society for Education in Film and Television (1972), p. 25.
4. Ibid., p. 25.
5. Barbara Halpern Martineau, “Talking about our Lives and Experiences: Some Thoughts about Feminism, Documentary, and Talking Heads,’ ” Show Us Life: Toward a History and Aesthetics of the Committed Documentary, ed. Thomas Waugh, Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow (1984), p. 263.
6. Christine Gledhill, “Recent Developments in Feminist Criticism,” Quarterly Review of Film Studies 3, no. 4 (Fall 1978), p. 461.
7. For works dealing with feminine aesthetics in art, see Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology, ed. Rozika Parker and Griselda Pollack, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul (1981), and Feminism and Art History: Questioning the Litany, ed. Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard, New York: Harper and Row (1982). For those works dealing with similar issues in literature, see Gender and Reading: Essays on Readers, Texts and Context, ed. Elizabeth A. Flynn and Patrocino P. Schweickart, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press (1986); The Poetics of Gender, ed. Nancy K. Miller, New York: Columbia University Press (1987); and Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, No Man’s Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century. New Haven: Yale University Press (1988).
8. Silvia Bovenschen, “Is There a Feminine Aesthetic?” New German Critique 12 (1977), trans. Beth Weckmueller, pp. 111-37.
9. Michelle Citron, Julia Lesage, Judith Mayne, B. Ruby Rich, and Anna Marie Taylor. “Women and Film: A Discussion of Feminist Aesthetics,” New German Critique 13 (Winter 1978), pp. 83-107.
10. John Berger, Ways of Seeing, London: British Broadcasting Corp. and Penquin Books (1972), p. 47.
11. Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” Screen 16, no. 3 (Autumn 1975), p. 11.
12. Several articles on the relationship between masochism and film precede Studlar’s work, most prominently Dennis Giles’s “Angel on Fire: Three Texts of Desire,” The Velvet Light Trap, no. 16 (Fall 1976), pp. 41-45, and “Pornographic Space: The Other Place,” Film Studies Annual II, Pleasantville, NY: Redgrave, (1977), pp. 52-65; and Kaja Silverman, “Masochism and Subjectivity,” Framework, no. 12 (1981), pp. 2-9.
13. For previous articles on the male body in film, see Richard Dyer, “Don’t Look Now—The Male Pin-Up,” Screen 23, nos. 3-4 (September/October 1982), pp. 61-73, Sandy Flitterman, “Thighs and Whiskers: The Fascination of Magnum, P.I.,” Screen 26, no. 2 (November/December 1985), and Sarah Kent, “The Erotic Male Nude,” in Women’s Images of Men, ed. Sarah Kent and Jacqueline Morreau, London: Writers and Readers Publishing (1985). Steve Neale, “Masculinity as Spectacle,” Screen 24, no. 6 (November/December 1983), pp. 2-16. For current work on the male body, see Peter Lehman, “American Gigolo: The Male Body Makes an Appearance of Sorts,” in Gender: Literary and Cinematic Representations, ed. Geanne Ruppert, Tallahassee: Florida State University Press (1989) and Gaylyn Studlar’s “When A Man Loves: Male Spectacle and Female Pleasure in Films in the 1920s,” presented at the Society of Cinema Studies in Iowa City (1989) and which is part of a larger work in progress.
14. Women in Film Noir, ed. E. Ann Kaplan, London: British Film Institute (1978); Andrea S. Walsh, Women’s Film and Female Experience 1940-1950, New York: Praeger (1984); Home Is Where the Heart Is: Studies in Melodrama and the Woman’s Film, ed. Christine Gledhill, London: British Film Institute (1987); and Mary Ann Doane, The Desire To Desire: The Woman’s Film of the 1940s, Bloomington: Indiana University Press (1987).
15. Pam Cook, “Melodrama and the Woman’s Picture,” Gainsborough Melodrama, ed. Sue Aspinall and Bob Murphy, Dossier no. 18, London: British Film Institute (1983), p. 14.
16. Ibid., p. 21.
17. Janice Radway, Romancing the Reader: Women, Patriarchy and Popular Literature, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press (1984) and Ien Ang, Watching Dallas, London: Methuen (1985), translated from the Dutch, which first appeared in 1982. For similar work on film viewers, see Angela McRobbie, “Dance and Social Fantasy,” (on Fame and Flashdance), Gender and Generation, ed. Angela McRobbie and Mica Nava, London: Macmillan (1984) and Jacqueline Bobo, “Black Women’s Responses: The Color PurpJe,” Jump Cut, no. 33 (1988), pp. 43-51. And for a complete discussion of female spectatorship, see Camera Obscura 20-21 (1990) on “The Spectatrix.”
18. Among several recent articles, see Diane Waldman, “From Midnight Shows to Marriage Vows: Women, Exploitation, and Exhibition,” Wide Angle 6, n. 2 (1984), pp. 34-48; Charlotte Cornelia Herzog and Jane Gaines, “Puffed Sleeves Before Teatime: Joan Crawford, Adrian and Women Audiences,” Wide Angle 6, n. 4 (1985), pp. 24-33; Special Issue on Female Representation and Consumer Culture, Quarterly Review of Film and Video 11, n. 4 (1989); Ben Singer, “Don’t Overlook Mrs. Jones!: Female Spectatorship and Early Cinema, 1908-1918,” paper delivered at Society of Cinema Studies, University of Iowa (1989); and Fabrications: Costume and the Female Body, ed. Jane M. Gaines and Charlotte Herzog, New York: Routledge (1990).
19. For some of the current work on star images, see Jane Clarke and Diana Simmonds, “Move Over Misconceptions: Doris Day Reappraised,” London: British Film Institute, Dossier no. 4 (1980); Maria La Place, “Bette Davis and the Ideal of Consumption: A Look at Now Voyager,” Wide Angle 6, no. 4 (1985), pp. 34-43; Andrew Britton, “Katharine Hepburn and the Cinema of Chastisement,” Screen 26, no. 5 (September/October 1985), pp. 52-62; and Richard Lippe, “Kim Novak: A Resistance to Definition,” and Florence Jacobowitz, “Joan Bennett: Images of Femininity in Conflict,” both in CineAction!, no. 7 (December 1986), pp. 5-21 and 22—34, respectively.
20. For information on women in the industry, see Denise Hartsough, Cutting Film: Women’s Work, Ph.D. diss., University of Wisconsin (1983); Katherine DiGuillio, “The Status of Women in the Animation Industry,” paper delivered at the Society for Cinema Studies, Montana State University (1988); and Ann L. Warren, Word Play: The Lives and Work of Four Women Writers in Hollywood’s Golden Age, Ph.D. diss., University of Southern California (1988). For work on early cinema history from a feminist perspective, see Lucy Fischer, “The Lady Vanishes: Women, Magic, and the Movies,” Film Quarterly 33, no. 1 (Fall 1979), pp. 30-40 and Linda Williams, “Film Body: An Implantation of Perversions,” Cine-Tracts 3, no. 1 (Winter 1981), pp. 19-35.
21. Among the materials available on issues of class, race, and sexual preference as they intersect with issues of film and gender, see: Special Issue on Lesbians and Film in Jump Cut, nos. 24-25 (1981); Special Issue on Third World Film in Jump Cut, no. 27 (1982); Caroline Sheldon, “Lesbians and Film; Some Thoughts,” in Gays and Film, ed. Richard Dyer, New York: Zoetrope (1984); Claudia Springer, “Black Women Filmmakers,” Jump Cut, no. 29 (1984); Gender and Generation, ed. Angela McRobbie and Mica Nava, London: Macmillian (1984); Martina Attile, “Black Women and Representation,” Undercut, no. 14-15 (Summer 1985), pp. 60-61; Coco Fusco, “Las Madres de La Plaza de Mayo: An Interview with Lourdes Portillo and Susana Munoz,” Cineaste 15, no. 1 (1986), pp. 22-26; Gina Marchetti, “The Threat of Captivity: Hollywood and the Sexualization of Race Relations in The Girls of the White Orchid and The Bitter Tea of General Yen,” Journal of Communication Inquiry 11, no. 1 (Winter 1987), pp. 29-42; Jacqueline Bobo, “Black Women’s Responses: The Color Purple,” Jump Cut, no. 33 (1988), pp. 43-51; Alile Sharon Larkin, “Black Women Filmmakers Defining Ourselves: Feminism in Our Own Voice,” and Jacqueline Bobo, “The Color Purple: Black Women as Cultural Readers,” both in Female Spectators: Looking at Film and Television, ed. Diedre Pribram, London: Verso (1988); Loretta Campbell, “Hurting Women” (on films by Christine Choy, Cynthia Maurizio, Camille Billops, and Marlene Damm), Jump Cut, no. 34 (1989); Mary Beth Haralovich, “Women, Class and Consumerism in the 1930’s: The Accommodation of Contradiction” and Gloria J. Gibson-Hudons, “Only the Screen is White: Black Women Filmmakers COLOR Film History and a Contemporary Feminist Ideology,” both papers delivered at the Society of Cinema Studies, University of Iowa (1989); Jacqui Roach and Petal Felix, “Black Looks,” in The Female Gaze: Women as Viewers of Popular Culture, ed. Lorraine Gamman and Margaret Marshment, Seattle: Real Comet Press (1989); and Liz Kotz, “Unofficial Stories: Documentaries by Latinas and Latin American Women,” The Independent 12, no. 4 (May 1989), pp. 21-27. For information on films by minority women filmmakers, contact: Third World Newsreel, 335 West 38th Street, New York, NY 10018 and Women Make Movies, Inc., 225 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012.