International Womens Day 2015

In honor of this years International Women’s Day, here’s a roster to keep you busy through the year.

DOCUMENTARIES/FILMS

LISTS

The Never Ending Story…Never Told

EDIT 2: Another good recap on the subject of women in (or out of) history. Which reminded me of a doc, Women Who Made Movies (sadly, only available on VHS as far as I can find).

EDIT: As if hearing my plea, @womeninhistory shares this recent post by the WSJ exposing the essential contributions of women in the Civil Rights movement.

This is exactly the kind of example I should follow – write, write, write!!

It’s been a while since I’ve written or really considered this blog or the project associated with it. The summer has been chock full of life events…I got married…started a full time job. Before I knew it, May became late August and things on this end had grown a bit stale.

I’ve started a few posts through the months. But am now inspired to share some thoughts about an upcoming documentary about the first narrative film director, Alice Guy-Blaché. I’m truly excited to see the film when it’s available. Why? It’s not about women in the early years of punk. But in a way, it is…about a time when there were no rules. A time when the bold seized the moment and claimed it for generations to come. Because it’s a broken record that needs to be super glued, smoothed and played properly!

I learned of Guy-Blaché’s existence and contributions over 20 years ago, thanks to the tireless commitment by Ally Acker to capture her story. Her book, Reel Women documents the many pioneers of early cinema who happen to be women, and should be required reading in *every* film school.

I’m consistently gobsmacked whenever I hear “women weren’t part of [insert movement, career, etc here]” or “it was hard for women to [blah blah blah]”. Every time someone utters these kind of things I feel like Mugatu screaming “I feel like I’m taking craaaazy pills!!”

Watching the trailer for both the film and the Kickstarter campaign I wondered – why does the tone continue to be “I’m shocked/surprised/aghast! This is such an amazing feet for a woman…to be able to do something like that at this [heavily patriarchal] point in history”?? Women have ALWAYS been there in the muck, and in the glory – innovating, participating. They’re just either not spoken of, or downright written out of history. And when acknowledged, it seems to carry the caveat “So impressive she managed to achieve [xyz] at a time when women weren’t [allowed/encouraged/etc]”. I’m not saying by any stretch difficulties weren’t present – but they still ARE! And women continue to be as strong, amazing and many times, beyond compare!

What can be done to change this? Nothing is ever going to shift in how the stories of women are told when we continue to be squared into the “other”. I expect this from male story tellers…but not from women. I really don’t think it’s too much.

Kubrick at the LACMA

Kubrick LACMA

Front loaded a few days for my visit in LA, prior to my meet-up with the irrepressible  Iris Berry.

On the list was a visit to the first US retrospective of Stanley Kubrick’s work. The gallery setup was a good mixture of memorabilia, conceptual explorations, and camera artifacts.

I’ll look to the future, when revolutionary storytellers like Mary Harron get an equal or greater amount of attention to their accomplishments.

Different Kind of Teaser: SF Doc Fest 2013

I’ve been hard at work producing the sponsor reel and looking for just the right song to one-up myself on this years SF Doc Fest teaser short.

Been bursting to share the line up! For now, I’ve included the trailer, Magic Camp one of the many fantastic documentaries to screen as part of #SFDocFest2013.

Keep your eyes peeled to the SF Indie Fest site for the full scoop, coming soon!!

“Women in Punk” Round-Up via Network Awesome’s WIP Special

Yesterday, several friends forwarded me the link for Network Awesome’s “Women in Punk”, an extensive collection of (sometimes rare) live footage, documentary segments, films and interviews focused on women in punk.

It noticed it’d been featured on the Dangerous Minds blog Twitter feed, and bubbled up through Metafilter. DM’s published many posts of pioneering female (punk) artists throughout their time, so I wasn’t sure why they were pointing to a two-year old program. My best guest is the recent spotlight of Patti Smiths’ advice to young artists (most definitely worth a watch).

I first saw the Network Awesome selection as my research of women in the early years of punk began in earnest (summer of 2011). If you click through, you’ll note the anthology spans five days of posts – quite a lot ot dig through! But still, there’s a few gaps.

Inspired by this renewed attention, I’ve decided to extend on the collection and curate my own (living) list of wip (women in punk) content via YouTube playlist. Feel free to send along any links I might’ve missed!

On a somewhat related note, if you’re looking for contemporary female punk bands, my favorite source is Tumblr’s “Fuck Yeah Women in Punk”.

Enjoy!!

EDIT: Just posted to Dangerous Minds’ Twitter feed (originally published on 12/2012) – Nico sings with Bauhaus.

Audio Rescue! Unrefined Truths

When I first listened back to the file for Gee Vaucher’s interview, I was greeted with loud static. I thought it a lost cause until a friend took a listen and realized only one channel was damaged. Hurrah! I thought…something to work with.

I decided to post the raw file in its entirety to give you a sense of my experience. My time with Gee Vaucher was short and possibly full of content heard many times in the past. It was a bit of a challenge to contain my fan girl, which I’m certain shows through :)

All the same, I was honored to share these moments speaking with her. Thanks to @hackmancoltaire (Ramon Ivarra) who helped me isolate the issues so I could have a working file.

Teasers, cont: Iris Berry

The-Daughters-of-BastardsI was introduced to Iris Berry via one of the peers in my MFA program. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Berry was amongst the pioneers in the growing punk scene of the early 80’s. Soon she found herself writing prose and poetry, joining in the burgeoning poet community of Venice Beach.

Currently, Berry runs a non-profit book publishing organization (Punk Hostage Press) focused on facilitating the printing of works by DIY artists. The organizations mission centers around literacy programs for disenfranchised youth, providing books for local jails and helping to support poetry as an art form.

Along with this recent venture, Berry continues to produce work. Her new book, “Daughters of Bastards” is a can’t-put-down tome painting a lively picture of life in Hollywood at the start of the 1980’s.

I’ll be traveling to LA to meet with Miss Berry in a few weeks. Looking forward!!

Teasers 3rd: Wonder Woman Kristy Guevara-Flanagan

ww_logoI was due to meet Oakland-based filmmaker Kristy Guevara-Flanagan this coming weekend to chat her up about the role of pioneering women through contemporary pop-culture. Unfortunately, her schedule is otherwise jam-packed with some great events surrounding the latest Vaquera Films project.

The reason I was compelled to connect with Guevara-Flanagan is the recently released documentary, Wonder Women: The Untold Stories of American Superheroines. I first became aware of, and wrote about the film as it was undergoing a revamp through its second Kickstarter campaign. The film explores the origin story of Wonder Woman as a character and contextualizes the surrounding cultural, gender and political climate of the times, as well as her influence as a strong female icon.

Making its debut at the 2012 SXSW festival, it’s been on a fast track through several festivals and special events since. The production team has been hard at work on a video game, Wonder City and the film will screen on PBS’ Independent Lens on Monday, April 15.

Look forward to speaking with Guevara-Flanagan at a future date!!