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Showing posts from June, 2011

QWOCMAP discusses social justice feminism in 7th film festival edition

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By Moira Sullivan
The Queer Women of Color Film Festival, otherwise known as QWOCMAP, now in its 7th year continues to be an exceptional venue and one of the best festivals of women’s film I have attended. There are many reasons for this. For starters, it is free to the public with no admission charge. The organizers provide scrumptious food for the audience too in the cinema lounge. The entire festival is predicated on turning out a program of short films made by women, who have been trained to create a story and develop a script, shoot the film and edit it. These films are then presented at the festival for the public. The enthusiasm for the work is intoxicating and the support for these filmmakers is genuine.

Festival organizer T. Kebo Drew and Madeleine Lim report that this year’s festival was the same, even after many years of organizing it. Madeline Lim has held workshops since 2000 using film as an art form and tool for social change. About 120 films have been created for th…

Medea, Pier Paolo Pasolini (Italy 1969).

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By Moira Sullivan Medea by Pier Paolo Pasolini was made in 1969. The scenography was done is by Dante Ferretti, and it was his first movie. And I mention this because Ferretti not only did the scenography for a few other Pasolini films, but also for Interview with a Vampire, Shutter Island, Sweeney Todd and The Aviator. For the last two films he received Oscars.
To see Medea is a rare treat, because of the art direction but also because of the direction and script by the late director Pasolini. It stars one of his long-term friends Maria Callas as Medea, who is just brilliant.  Nothing is usual in a Pasolini film from the quaint costumes, which consist of elaborate costumes with jewelry and intricate cloth,  to the special way he tells stories.  The film was shot in Italy, Syria and Turkey.

The story begins with a centaur (played by the late French actor Laurent Terzieff)who speaks to a young boy at age 5, 13 and as a young man. He is not his father or mother, says the centaur in his fin…

MERRY GO ROUND, Jacques Rivette (France 1981).

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By Moira Sullivan  Merry Go Round by Jacques Rivette is a film that uses the instrument of the camera and editing to create a mystical thriller. In this film we see the young Maria Schneider as she actually looked in real life without the artificial clothing and makeup she is known for in Last Tango in Paris. Maria is a tiny, thin woman, with lots of wavy brown hair, dressed in jeans, t-shirts and moccasins, the kind with fringe on the sides from the 70’s. Schneider picked her leading man for the film, Joe Dallesandro, who reported that Maria in real life was his friend. But according to Jacques Rivette, the relationship between the two on the set became increasingly hostile.  Merry Go Round has a short scene with the present French Minister of Culture and Communication Frederic Mitterrand who plays a courier. Later Mitterrand would present Schneider with an outstanding tribute when she was inducted in the Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et Lettres) six months before her death…