SPOTLIGHT October 2022: Tatiana S. Riegel, Film Editor

Editing has been called the “invisible art” because it is meant to go unnoticed. Perhaps that’s why it is a field where women were allowed to flourish from the earliest days of Hollywood. Women have consistently made up almost a third of Hollywood’s editing pool and they have excelled at the craft. Tatiana S. Riegel is a success story. She set her sights on a career in the film industry started at the very bottom and navigated her way to the top through hard work and by choosing challenging and diverse projects.

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GRAND JETE – Review by Beth Accomando

Grand Jeté is a film about a dancer. Dance informs everything about Nadja’s life. She was a talented and successful ballerina whose performances still play on TV. Early on in the film, we are introduced to Nadja with a shot that only shows us her back. It is not a shot that captures the beauty of a ballerina but rather it is an image that emphasizes the pain and makes her look like a strange deformed creature as she contorts her shoulder blades to address discomfort. And discomfort is key to this film on multiple levels.

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THREE MINUTES: A LENGTHENING – Review by Beth Accomando

The three minutes of the title refers to a home movie shot by David Kurtz in 1938 in a Jewish town in Poland. The footage is presented as the only moving images left of the Jewish inhabitants of Nasielsk before the Holocaust. Filmmaker Bianca Stigter constructs the documentary exclusively from those three minutes of home movies – some in color, some black and white, all silent. She slows the images down, freezes moments, and zooms in for closer inspection. In some ways it plays out like a police procedural as the identities of some of the people are discovered and tiny details are used to determine where the footage was shot and what was going on.

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Les Femmes Underground Film Festival – Beth Accomando reports

The festival’s mission is three pronged. First, equip, inform, influence, and mobilize women in underground media. Second, transform the landscape of cinema for womxn by creating opportunities and forums that accurately represent them. And third, create opportunities for young girls and young womxn via educational resources, wellness fairs and literacy efforts. The result is a film festival that provides a safe haven not just for women filmmakers but also for filmmakers who want to push the envelope in terms of style and form. It is not merely about independent filmmakers but also experimental ones. Les Femmes Underground International Film Festival VI is a short but jam-packed event that’s well worth seeking out.

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AWFJ Presents: XXY – Review by Beth Accomando

Lucia Puenzo’s directing debut is a coming of age film with a twist. XXY is about a teenager who was born with both male and female genitalia. Alex has been raised as a girl but at fifteen, she’s starting to question that identity. Puenzo’s film questions the way society has decided that there are only two ways to define sexual identity. Released in 2007, it remains is one of the few films to look to an intersex individual with genuine compassion and sensitivity in order to foster empathy and understanding.

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Lucia Puenzo on XXY, Parenting and Sexuality – Beth Accomando interviews

Much of Argentinian director Lucia Puenzo’s film work focuses on children and adolescence. In her 2007 narrative feature, XXY, the theme includes consideration of how parenting can ease or complicate a child’s challenging transformation during adolescence. In 2008, when XXY received its U.S. release, Puenzo spoke about her gender-centered film beginning with her intention in choosing its short and visually memorable gender-related title. She actually it chose for its visual impact.

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The Female Perspective, Etheria Film Night and OPHELIA – Beth Accomando interviews

In this two-part Cinema Junkie podcast, Beth Accomando focuses on the female perspective in film by speaking with the director of programming at Etheria Film Night as well as the director of the new film Ophelia and the author who created the young adult book about seeing Shakespeare’s Hamlet” through the eyes of a young woman.

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