Cover for PETROLLE: Women and Experimental Filmmaking. Click for larger image

Women and Experimental Filmmaking

Bringing women's movies from outside the mainstream into focus

Acting as a corrective to the skewed avant-garde history that neglects women, Women and Experimental Filmmaking gathers essays by some of the top scholars in cinema studies dealing with women experimental filmmakers. Tracking the topic across racial, economic, geographic, and even temporal boundaries, Jean Petrolle and Virginia Wexman's selections reflect the deep diversity of methodologies and research.

The introduction sets out by addressing the basic difficulties of both historiography and definition before providing a historical overview of how these particular filmmakers have helped shape moviemaking traditions. The essays explore the major theoretical controversies that have arisen around the work of groundbreaking women such as Leslie Thornton, Su Friedrich, Nina Menkes, and Faith Hubley. With the filmmakers re-presentations of women's subjectivity ranging across film, video, digital media, ethnography, animation, and collage, Women and Experimental Filmmaking represents the full spectrum of genres, techniques, and modes. Taken together, these essays comprise a sustained analysis of the conjunction of aesthetics and politics in the work of both pioneer and contemporary experimental women filmmakers.


"Recommended."--Choice

"I unreservedly recommend this collection both to those already familiar with the experimental films and filmmakers under analysis, as well as to the newcomer who is yet to discover the richness and diversity of the work that women experimentalists are contributing to the history of cinema."--Women's Art Journal


Jean Petrolle is professor of English at Columbia College, Chicago, and has published essays in journals including Quarterly Review of Film and Image: A Journal of Art and Religion. Virginia Wright Wexman is professor of English at the University of Illinois, Chicago. She is the author of Creating the Couple: Love, Marriage, and Hollywood Performance and Conversations with Filmmakers: Jane Campion.

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