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Title: Women directors in 'global' art cinema : negotiating feminism and representation
Author: Mantzari, Despoina
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 8207
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available