The following collection of essays represents the work of twenty-nine individuals. However, all of the writers have been influenced by many women and men who are not included in this text. In a way, therefore, Issues in Feminist Film Criticism reflects the thinking of a whole community of feminist scholars and is in turn dedicated to them.
There are a number of people who were especially helpful in bringing this project to fruition. In particular, I would like to thank my colleagues who were kind enough to give of their time and to share their expertise in the development of this anthology. This group includes Michelle Citron, Lucy Fischer, Claudia Gorbman, Barbara Klinger, Kaja Silverman, Ellen Seiter, Virginia Wright Wexman, and Linda Williams. A special thanks goes to Julia Lesage who gave the manuscript a close reading and who provided many invaluable suggestions.
In addition, I am indebted to several of my students at Rosary College who helped me with the necessary correspondence, typing, xeroxing, proofreading, and research. These students include Vincent Auriemma, Kristin Bartelli, Patricia McGuinness, Valerie Warner, and Lisa Winkelman, and one lifelong student who reviewed the introductions in the final stages of preparation, Sue Gray. Further appreciation goes to Lynn Hall, Babette Inglehart, and Lynn Weiner for their citations on non-filmic resources. I would also like to thank a young feminist, my daughter Pamela Erens, who worked on the manuscript, forcing me to tighten the wording and to clarify my thinking, while at the same time proving that women do fruitfully work together across generational boundaries.
At Rosary College there are many people who played a part in the progress of this book. First, I am indebted to the College which provided me the sabbatical leave to do the necessary research and writing. Second, a debt of gratitude goes to Inez Ringland and her library staff who processed my endless requests for books and articles. Third, I am continuingly grateful to my department chair, Ric Calabrese, who has not only encouraged and supported me throughout my professional career, but who has also been a cherished personal friend. Lastly, a special thanks goes to my students at Rosary College and at San Francisco State University who served as a testing ground for this collection, giving me a chance to “teach my next book.” This book was strengthened by their suggestions.
And finally, love and thanks goes to my family, my son Bradley, my daughter Pamela, my mother Nettie Brett, Becky and Steve Galler, and Leslie and Adam Sharrin, for sympathetically listening to my frustrations and refusing to take me seriously.
Grateful acknowledgment is also made to the following sources for their permission to reprint the articles and excerpts in this anthology:
“Positive Images: Screening Women’s Films,” reprinted from Jump Cut 18 (1978), by permission of Linda Artel and Susan Wengraf and Jump Cut. Revised from their introduction to Positive Images: Non-Sexist Films for Young People. San Francisco: Bootlegger Press, 1976.
“There’s More to a Positive Image Than Meets the Eye,” reprinted from Jump Cut 18 (1978), by permission of Diane Waldman and Jump Cut.
“The Place of Woman in the Cinema of Raoul Walsh,” from Raoul Walsh, ed. Philip Hardy (Colchester, England: Vineyard Press, 1974). Reprinted by permission of Pam Cook and Michael Hughes, executor of the estate for Claire Johnston.
“Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” reprinted from Screen 16, no. 3 (Autumn 1975), by permission of Laura Mulvey and Screen. Reworked from a paper given to the French Department of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Spring 1973.
“Film and the Masquerade—Theorizing the Female Spectator,” reprinted from Screen 23, no. 3—4 (September-October 1982), by permission of Mary Ann Doane and Screen. Expanded from a paper presented at Yale University, February 1982.
“Hitchcock, Feminism, and the Patriarchal Unconscious,” from The Women Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock and Feminist Theory (New York: Methuen, 1988). Reprinted by permission of Tania Modleski and Routledge.
“Women and Representation: Can We Enjoy Alternative Pleasure?” from Jump Cut 29 (February 1984). Revised and reprinted in American Media and Mass Culture: Left Perspectives, ed. Donald Lazere (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987). Reprinted by permission of Jane Gaines, Jump Cut, and the Regents of the University of California.
“Gentlemen Consume Blondes,” reprinted from Wide Angle 1, no. 1 (1979). Revised and reprinted by permission of Maureen Turim and Johns Hopkins University Press.
“Pre-text and Text in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” reprinted from Film Reader 5 (1982), by permission of Lucie Arbuthnot, Gail Seneca, and Northwestern University Department of Radio-TV-Film.
“The Case of the Missing Mother: Maternal Issues in Vidor’s Stella Dallas,” reprinted from Heresies 16 (1983), by permission of E. Ann Kaplan and Heresies.
“ ‘Something Else Besides a Mother’: Stella Dallas and the Maternal Melodrama,” Cinema Journal 24, no. 1 (Fall 1984), reprinted by permission of Linda Williams and the University of Illinois Press, copyright © 1984.
“Seduced and Abandoned: Recollection and Romance in Letter From an Unknown Woman,” from Shot/Counter Shot: Film Tradition and Women’s Cinema (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989). Reprinted by permission of Lucy Fischer and Princeton University Press.
“Illicit Pleasures: Feminist Spectators and Personal Best,” reprinted from Wide Angle 8, no. 2 (1986), by permission of Elizabeth Ellsworth and Johns Hopkins University Press. A revised version of this essay appears in Becoming Feminine: The Politics of Popular Culture, ed. Leslie G. Roman and Linda K. Christian-Smith (Philadelphia: Falmer Press, 1988).
“White Privilege and Looking Relations: Race and Gender in Feminist Film Theory,” reprinted from Cultural Critique 4 (Fall 1986), by permission of Jane Gaines and Cultural Critique. An expanded version of this essay appears in Screen 29, no. 4 (Autumn 1988), pp. 12-27.
“The Political Aesthetics of the Feminist Documentary Film,” reprinted from Quarterly Review of Film Studies 3, no. 4 (Fall 1978), by permission of Julia Lesage and Quarterly Review of Film and Video.
“Feminism, Film, and Public History,” reprinted from Radical History Review 25 (1981), by permission of Radical History Review.
“Textual Politics,” from Women’s Pictures: Feminism and Cinema (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982). Reprinted by permission of Annette Kuhn and Unwin Hyman.
“In the Name of Feminist Film Criticism,” reprinted from Jump Cut 19 (1978). Revised and reprinted in Heresies 3, no. 1, issue 9 (1980). Reprinted and expanded in Movies and Methods, Vol. II, ed. Bill Nichols (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985). Reprinted by permission of B. Ruby Rich, Jump Cut, and the Regents of the University of California.
“Rethinking Women’s Cinema: Aesthetics and Feminist Theory,” reprinted from New German Critique 34 (Winter 1985). Revised and reprinted in Technologies of Gender: Essays on Theory, Film, and Fiction (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987), by permission of Teresa de Lauretis, Telos Press Ltd., and Indiana University Press. Written initally for Kunst mit Eigen-Sinn, eds. Silvia Eiblmayr, Valie Export, and Monika Prischl-Meier (Vienna and Munich: Locker, 1985).
“Dis-Embodying the Female Voice,” reprinted from Re-Vision: Essays in Feminist Film Criticism, ed. Mary Ann Doane, Patricia Mellencamp, and Linda Williams (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, Inc., in association with The American Film Institute, 1984), by permission of Kaja Silverman and The American Film Institute.
“Images and Women,” reprinted from Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), by permission of Robin Wood and Columbia University Press, copyright © 1986.
“Unspoken and Unsolved: Tell Me a Riddle,” reprinted from Cine-Action! 1 (Spring 1985), by permission of Florence Jacobowitz, Lori Spring, and CineAction!.
“Desperately Seeking Difference,” reprinted from Screen 28, no. 1 (Winter 1987), by permission of Jackie Stacey and Screen.
“Feminist or Tendentious? Marleen Gorris’s A Question of Silence,” from Film Feminisms: Theory and Practice, Women’s Studies, no. 56 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985). Reprinted by permission of Mary C. Gentile and Greenwood Press, copyright © 1985.
“Female Narration, Women’s Cinema: Helke Sander’s The All-Round Reduced Personality/Redupers,” reprinted from New German Critique 24-25 (Fall/Winter 1981-82), by permission of Judith Mayne and Telos Press Ltd.
“Anti-Porn: Soft Issue, Hard World,” reprinted from The Village Voice (1983). Revised and reprinted in Feminist Review, no. 13 (February 1983). Reprinted by permission of B. Ruby Rich and The Village Voice.
“Variety: The Pleasure in Looking,” reprinted from Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality, ed. Carole S. Vance (Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984). Reprinted by permission of Bette Gordon and Unwin Hyman.