Women In The Director's Chair

Tuesdays, May 21 - June 11, 2002

2002 is already being heralded as a great year for women-directed films. One proof of this is the success of Mira Nair's newest film, MONSOON WEDDING. Another is the reissue of Nair's SALAAM BOMBAY, one of the few reissues of a woman-directed film by a major studio, timed to celebrate MONSOON WEDDING. We bracket this series with these two films as a context to show where we have been and where we are going. the focus of the series is on truly cinematic films directed by women, films that should be only viewed on the big screen due to the craft of their cinematography, framing and direction. Collecting films from India to New Zealand to France to new York City, the Brattle shows that women's filmmaking talent is alive and well all over the globe.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

New 35mm Print! Mira Nair's
Salaam Bombay!
at 5:00, 7:30, 10:00
1988 Mira Nair w/ Shafiq Syed, Hansa Vithal, Chanda Sharma

This reissue may be a sign that films by women directors are starting to be accepted by the film industry, well, at least we can hope so. SALAAM BOMBAY, Nair's feature debut, won the Best New Director Award at Cannes and was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film when it was released. Shot all on location in Bombay, some of the footage even filmed by hidden cameras to capture authentic scenes, the film is lush and visceral. After being abandoned by the circus who employeed him, young Krishna (Syed) ends up working and living on the streets of Bombay.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

The Piano
at 7:15
1993 Jane Campion w/ Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, Anna Paquin

THE PIANO was an immediate success when it first hit the festival circuit and then the mainstream market in the early 1990's. This is the film that undeniably placed Campion in the highest regard as a director. Combining a talented cast, beautiful cinematography, fluid editing, and a multi-layered and symblic script, Campion tells the tale of a mute woman (Hunter) sent to New Zealand for an arranged marriage with her daughter (Paquin) and her piano.

Oscar and Lucinda
at 4:45, 9:45
1997 Gillian Armstrong w/ Ralph Fiennes, Cate Blanchett, Tom Wilkinson, Geoffrey Rush

Gillian Armstrong has a prolific filmmaking career and OSCAR AND LUCINDA shines as one of her greatest achievements. Centering on the lives of two unusual lovers: Oscar (Fiennes) - a man of God who gambles as a test of his belief in the universe - and Lucinda (Blanchett) - an heiress who livesby her own rules. Based on Peter Carey's award-winning novel and set against the rapid changes of the Victorian Era, OSCAR AND LUCINDA is an imaginative love story of the Australian past.

Tuesday, June 4, 2002

Female Perversions
at 2:30, 7:00
1996 Susan Streitfeld w/ Tilda Swinton, Amy Madigan, Karen Sillas

The fabulous Tilda Swinton is at once a lesbian, a lover, and a lunatic in this provocative and challenging exploration of female power and eroticism in a culture dictated by patriarchy. Director Susan Streitfield is a powerful and well-known member of the Hollywood community, as an agent not a director, but this debut shows her prowess for filmmaking as well as deal-making.

American Psycho
at 5:00, 9:30
2000 Mary Harron w/ Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Samantha Mathis, Reese Witherspoon, Chloe Sevigny

Mary Harron has proven herself to be a darkly talented filmmaker, starting with her debut I Shot Andy Warhol. With this film she joins forces with Guinevere Turner to adapt a book that has been accused of mysogyny, creating a subversive and dead-on critique of 1980's self-absorption that has been distilled from the best parts of Bret Easton Ellis' notorious novel. They chose to highlight the comic nature of the work, enabling Christian Bale to pull of a tour-de-force performance as the ultimate Yuppie nightmare in this funny and shocking female driven work.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Gleaners & I
at 3:30, 7:45
2000 Agnes Varda w/ Bodan Litnanski, Agn¸s Varda, Fran¨ois Wertheimer

Agnes Varda, the woman of the French New Wave, has had a long and heralded career as a filmmaker. This, her newest film, is not only a documentary on the act of gleaning but also on the choices that she and all of us make about the objects with which we choose to surround ourselves. Her style makes the audience aware of the filmmaking process itself as well and how it is inherantly an act of gleaning, picking images and moments collected from life.

at 5:30, 9:45
2001 Chris Hegedus & Jehane Noujaim

Chris Hegedus has long been a member of the Pennebaker production team not only his wife, but often his co-director. ButPennebaker is the one with the name recognition. In this film, Hegedus joins first-time director Noujaim, who is also a friend of one of the film's chief figures. These two women act as flies-on-the-wall to capture the rise and fall of an internet company.

©The Brattle Film Foundation. All rights reserved worldwide. The Brattle Film Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit, supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.