Academic-filmmaker Laura Mulvey discusses her groundbreaking essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’, published 40 years ago in 1975. Filmmakers Joanna Hogg and Isaac Julien join academics John David Rhodes, Tamar Garb, Mandy Merck and Emma Wilson to celebrate this “feminist manifesto”, a product of the politics of its time but one which remains an inspiration today.
The discussion was part of the BFI’s Cinema Reborn. Radical Film from the 70s season in April 2015.
On reaction from the conference please read Sophie Monks Kaufman’s The Timeless Pleasure of Laura Mulvey in Little White Lies, where she asks – can Laura Mulvey’s seminal feminist essay tell us anything new about gender politics in cinema?
“We want to make films that unnerve, that shake assumptions, that threaten, that do not soft-sell”
Robert Kramer, ‘Newsreel’ Film Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Winter, 1968-69), p.46, University of California Press
The late ’60s and ’70s saw the development of documentary film collectives in the UK that addressed the burning political issues of their day. They developed radical forms of independent film production and distribution prior to digital or the web and produced a large body of work, from short agitational cinetracts to sophisticated essayistic features.
The symposium seeks to re-ignite the work of this radical wave, to ask how they engaged with politics and film and how this might inform politically engaged filmmaking today. It will feature films, and filmmakers, from the ’70s generation alongside radicals of today. Here is the keynote address by Federico Rossin (Critic and Curator).