Continuing the ongoing collaboration between Anthology Film Archives and the International Center of Photography, the FEMINISM(S) film series draws on themes explored in the ICP Museum’s current exhibition “Multiply, Identify, Her,” and its related programming series “Dismantling the Gaze.” Like the exhibition and programming it draws inspiration from, FEMINISM(S) presents an expansive breadth of tone, styles, and media.
Our selections of feminist video art and television programming are self explanatory, but the feature film choices are a bit more ambiguous. Genre filmmaking shares a complicated history with feminism. Cult and horror movies are often labeled misogynist – see the trope of the floozy-who-dies-first or the exploitation suffusing 1970s cult classics. The same B-movie categories, however, were often a site of subversion, as is the case with this program’s vintage features: Lou Adler’s LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE FABULOUS STAINS (1982) and George Romero’s SEASON OF THE WITCH (1972). These films, both anchored by classic rock music and strong female leads, resonate as feminist texts, with women seizing power via fantastical means during a time that offered few other options. Anna Biller’s B-movie send-up, THE LOVE WITCH, is a homage to the horror-film-as-feminist-genre.
The breadth of this series, then, is pointedly intentional; from lowbrow genre film to critically-acclaimed and experimental works, the media arts have long served as a platform for subversion and feminism. This series asks us to look across generations, popular film, and art, not to mark generalities across feminist making, but to highlight the multiplicities therein.
“Multiply, Identify, Her,” is on view at the ICP Museum, 250 Bowery, through September 2. Visit www.icp.org for more information. The “Dismantling the Gaze” summer programming takes place July 17 & 18. The series will continue throughout the fall. Visit icp.org/events for more information.
FEMINISM(S) is programmed by Marina Chao and Nicole Restaino. The series is presented with generous support from Electronic Arts Intermix (www.eai.org).