always feel like I'm racking my brain to remember what I've watched recently, and who I'd like to recommend it to. I found this little pocket Film Diary at Little Otsu,
a favorite small press of mine based in San Francisco & Portland (full disclosure: I'm currently working on designing a planner with them).
Say what you will about the shock-schlock, soft-core oeuvre of filmmaker Russ Meyer, the man was definitely ahead of his time when it came to showcasing the hips-lips-tits-power! aesthetic that would eventually become inextricably linked to third-wave feminism. His best-known work, 1966's sinsister thrillride Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, has come to beregarded over the years as something of a prefeminist classic, but even those who cock a skeptical eyebrow at the equation of big-breasted go-go dancers + homicidal karate chops = empowerment can probably appreciate the film's gonzo exuberance, as well as its arresting black-and-white cinematography.
Maybe I'm being too way too picky, but there is something deeply underachieving about Nerve's "Girl Power Top Ten," a list of the ten most—oh yeah, here it comes—empowering movies of all time.
Now, I would never come right out and suggest that perhaps having three dudes be the ones to make both of these judgment calls is going to, you know, limit the scope of things, but...okay, that's basically what I'm saying. Andrew Osborne, Phil Nugent, and Leonard Pierce, who coauthored "Chick Hits," get shirty in their introduction about the cluelessness of the media execs and pop-culture minders who've been so pleasantly surprised at the success of Sex and the City's big-screen bow, going on to write proudly that "We here at The Screengrab aren't afraid to get in touch with our feminine sides as we raise our Cosmos to these...films that put their empowered female characters front and center (without resorting to stripper poles OR big gauzy Prince Charming/Bridezilla wedding porn)."
This past weekend, we at Bitch were honored to be a community partner in Portland's Queer Documentary Film Festival's screening of FtF: From Female to Femme. QDOC is the only festival in the United States (and apparently one of two worldwide) devoted to queer documentaries, and FtF: From Female to Femme is – to my knowledge – the first feature length documentary that explores the experiences and identities of femme as a queer identity. This lack of femme analysis is a little alarming, considering the breadth and depth of analyses focused on butch, FtM, and other masculine(/queer) identities. But then again, as books like Julia Serano's Whipping Girl: A Transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity illustrate, femme identities and femininity in general continue to be misunderstood and maligned (and in some senses, masculinity so fetishized), so it also makes sense.
If ever there were a film that ought to be required viewing for the readers of Bitch, it would be Lisa F. Jackson's The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo, which premiered on HBO last night. And not for the bleeding-heart liberal reasons that instantly spring to mind.
Tonight Girl's Rock! The Movie premieres in selected cities across the country. I'm going! You should, too, if it's playing where you live (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley, Seattle, Portland, New York, Chicago). If you're not familiar, Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls is a nonprofit that teaches girls ages 8-18 to learn how to rock DIY style and in the process, build their self-esteem and self-confidence. If you're someone who wishes the rock camp would've been around when you were a girl, check out Ladies Rock Camp, their annual fundraiser.