Women Directors in ‘Global’ Art Cinema: Negotiating Feminism and Representation

Mantziari , Despoina (2014) Women Directors in ‘Global’ Art Cinema: Negotiating Feminism and Representation. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

The thesis explores the cultural field of global art cinema as a potential space for the
inscription of female authorship and feminist issues. Despite their active involvement in
filmmaking, traditionally women directors have not been centralised in scholarship on art
cinema. Filmmakers such as Germaine Dulac, Agnès Varda and Sally Potter, for instance,
have produced significant cinematic oeuvres but due to the field's continuing phallocentricity,
they have not enjoyed the critical acclaim of their male peers. Feminist scholarship has
focused mainly on the study of Hollywood and although some scholars have foregrounded the
work of female filmmakers in non-Hollywood contexts, the relationship between art cinema
and women filmmakers has not been adequately explored. The thesis addresses this gap by
focusing on art cinema. It argues that art cinema maintains a precarious balance between two
contradictory positions; as a route into filmmaking for women directors allowing for political
expressivity, with its emphasis on artistic freedom which creates a space for non-dominant
and potentially subversive representations and themes, and as another hostile universe given
its more elitist and auteurist orientation. The thesis adopts a case study approach, looking at a
number of contemporary art films from diverse socio-political contexts. It thus provides a
comprehensive account of how women are positioned within art cinema as subjects and as
filmmakers. The thesis uses a social historical approach in looking at the texts as well as the
contexts these texts operate within. In analysing how female directors voice feminist concerns
through a negotiation of political and artistic preoccupations, the thesis aims to reclaim art
cinema as a cultural field that brings the marginal closer to the mainstream and thus functions
for feminism as the site of productive ideological dialogue.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Film,Television and Media
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2014 11:08
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2019 08:07
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/48685
DOI:

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