Looking at Women

Looking at Women is a 101 of feminist cinema that is accompanied by resources that lead into a more profound reading of the issue of female identity in artistic production. The aim of the curation is to provide the spectator and/or reader with a succinct and theoretically driven selection of films that deconstruct the sexually, socially and psychologically complicated identity of women in cinema (and beyond).

It is a curated series of eleven films, divided into four sections: The Femme Fatale: Film Noir; The Male Gaze; (Beware) The Female Gaze and A New Woman’s Cinema. The series begins by exploring the history of female representations in main-stream cinema and ends with a discussion regarding the cinematic responses by women to their on screen typification. Each film/category is accompanied by one key text, in which the film or its key themes are discussed. In addition to these core readings, a series of supplementary wider-readings are available, which cover issues that reach beyond the narrative of the film, such as Cultural Identity and Cinematic Representation (Stuart Hall, 1989) and Gender Trouble (Judith Butler, 1990).

Looking at Women tackles the debates that sit at the heart of feminist film theory. Turning towards  the institutions that surround cinema, such as film criticism and theory, the curation has three goals: to deconstruct female tropes and norms established by Hollywood; to question why the “other”, namely the female, has historically been excluded from the production of cinematic screen culture and thus how they have come to shape discussions that surround it; and to outline how the role of woman has been constructed through popular culture over the twentieth century. 


In doing so, the curation will provide a historical context and genealogy for contemporary movements such as #metoo, “Lady Gaga Feminism” and the growing popularity of authors such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Naomi Klein. That said, Looking at Women is a starting point but by no means an end to the multi-faceted feminist discussions of the twenty first century. 



Kathryn Cutler-MacKenzie

Kathryn is a fourth year student of a joint degree in History of Art and Art Practice at The University of Edinburgh. Her interest in feminist cinema comes from her belief in political, cultural and social equity, a set of values that she says have often felt uncomfortable  alongside popular feminist movements such as "fourth wave" or Taylor Swift "girl gang" feminisms. Kathryn has found that by understanding the roots of female "types", consolidated through literature, cinema and art, she has been able to understand how they are constructed and how her own sense of femininity and womanhood differ.  

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Neon Eye is a film production company based in Edinburgh. As well as offering a platform for these curations and an accompanying video podcast, the company also creates and produces creative films of varying forms, from documentary to drama, and commercial videos for other companies, individuals, and enterprises.

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