For Agnes Varda: A Memorial Tribute and Celebration

RIP Agnes Varda. You have left the mortal realm of moviemakers, but your films, curiosity, love of life and feminism are still guiding lights for audiences who believe that movies matter. The Alliance of Women Film Critics honors your memory with this collective tribute of articles and reviews by members of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists.

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Créteil Film de Femmes – ‘Au revoir’ Agnès Varda – Moira Sullivan comments

The Palmarès (awards) for the 41st Créteil International Women’s Film Festival in Paris were introduced by a short film made in 1967 in San Francisco by Agnès Varda who looked up a Greek uncle in Sausalito – “Uncle Yanco”. Agnès Varda died earlier in the morning on March 29 surrounded by family.

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AWFJ ROUND TABLE: Defining Feminist Film Criticism

The term ‘feminism’ and the descriptor ‘feminist film critic’ are in frequent use these days, as the women in film movement stirs debate and demands change in the the movie industry. Women film critics are, like women working in all aspects of the industry, marginalized not only by disparity in employment opportunities, but also in the overall attitude — a lack of seriousness — with which our reviews and commentaries are evaluated. Reputable reports support this assertion with stats, and women film critics feel it in our guts 24365

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AWFJ’s REAL REEL WOMEN: Watch List For Women’s History Month

Released to celebrate Women’s History Month, AWFJ’s REAL REEL WOMEN List is an annotated roster of 50 fascinating real women whose lives are memorialized in narrative films. Since cinema’s earliest days, movies about iconic women pilots and poets, artists, actors, political activists, princesses and others from all walks of life have enthralled audiences, accrued awards and scored at the box office while influencing our social mores and enriching our cultural conversation. Read our REAL REEL WOMEN List and enjoy their stories on film.

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Defining Feminist Film Criticism – MaryAnn Johanson comments

A feminist perspective should not be limited to any given individual film but should deal with the zeitgeist at large… which, honestly, I don’t see male critics confronting very often. We feminist critics should embrace and welcome the fact that we have a wider perspective than male critics do! Films don’t get conceived, produced, release, marketed, or consumed in a vacuum, though those straight white cis hetero able-bodied men (which is how most critics are defined, too) may think it does. We need to be constantly pointing that out.

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Defining Feminist Film Criticism – Marilyn Ferdinand comments

If I feel a film does not honor the people and places it depicts, if it has a bias toward one group to the great detriment of another, if it is not honest, then I will likely give it a bad review. I also give bad reviews to films that are poorly written and executed, regardless of their humanity or lack thereof.

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Defining Feminist Film Criticism – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas comments

I’ve learned in that time that ‘feminism’ means different things to different people and that this diversity is important. I like ‘feminisms’ plural because it allows different positions to co-exist and be debated and so I don’t sound like I am shouting anyone down I tend to describe my work as ‘interested in gender politics’ rather than feminist because the latter can be read in so many different ways. In short, therefore, feminism is the belief that gender difference relates to power in a way that predominantly favors men, and marks a desire to interrogate that with a focus on change.

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Defining Feminist Film Criticism – Martha P. Nochimson comments

The answer to that question is a work in progress, certainly for me and, I believe, for our culture. I prefer to answer the question with many questions rather than with definitive answers. Maybe feminist film criticism is simply good film criticism because what used to pass for respectable film criticism is now clearly visible as too narrow. Similarly, feminist film criticism that focuses only on women’s issues might also be built on tunnel vision and bad criticism.

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Defining Feminist Film Criticism – Roxana Hadadi comments

I define feminism as advocacy and support for gender equality, in particular the dismantling of a patriarchal system is that can often be sexist, racist, and classist. How that applies to film criticism is approaching cinema as an institution that reflects the politics and viewpoints of a film’s creators, and then analyzing how women and men are represented in the film, how they are compared and contrasted, how their needs are demonstrated or met, how they interact.

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