All entries for Sunday 09 September 2007
September 09, 2007
Sally Potter Independent Film Maker
Who is Sally Potter Video
Along with many other British director entries this entry is 'work in progress' nevertheless it will provide a basic signposting to other available resources on the web in the first instance until I'm able to make a fuller evaluation.
Pause for reflection
I think I may have had one of those epiphanic moments caused (surprisingly) by reading a recent book on Feminist Film Studies (McCabe 2004) which I will review shortly. Covering the developments and twists and turns in feminist film theory over the last 40 years I found it clear, fascinating and informative. But it also started to trigger cultural memory. Remembering back to the 1970s the desire of many of those involved in alternative politics including the Women's movement was the desire to have alternative representations made by people themselves, allied to alternative distribution systems and different spaces to experience these alternatives. Elsewhere on this blog I have listed the women filmmakers in the history of the UK that I could find any reference to. The list is gradually developing links to entries about these filmmakers. The list is pitifully short!
Whilst not decrying the importance of criticism and theory it is interesting that a body of theory which was politically motivated in a non-party way has so signally failed to develop through Feminist Films Studies a deeper engagement with production. Yet as a lecturer in a tertiary college the Media Studies course promotes production. In the AS level it has been interesting over a few years to see what women students have chosen to make an advertising campaign about. Some have certainly expressed concerns which young women in social reality face such as drink spiking and harrassement through mobile phones. What will the young women do for their Advanced Production Unit which is moving image based? This unit provides opportunities for young women to become more involved in the production side thus challenging the predominance of having men behind the camera. At a rhetorical level what happens to these young women film makers, because there are still very few out there making it? This posting will start to create a virtual hub from what is available on the web dealing with this gap between women film makers and feminist film studies. At the end of the day it is the current industrial and institutional structures which need to be taken on and a different policy framework created if the situation is going to change. Sally Potter's enthusiasm energy and committment provide a beacon but she can also be seen as an exception which proves the rule.
In her conclusion Janet McCabe makes a swift reference to German women film makers in the early 1970s. Although she doesn't dwell on this I had remembered earlier whilst reading her book how dynamic that period of New German Cinema had been. Julia Knight has written a good book about the period and the sudden emergence of women filmmakers often theoretically well informed. Sadly the films are currently unavailable in the UK. The role of TV as a commissioning body was important in ennabling this upsurge of women's film making to develop. There are lessons there for Feminist Film Studies which sadly seems only tangentially engaged in the important area of film policy which is where much of the power lies.
Sally Potter is the UKs most well known woman film maker and what follows is a webliography. When time allows more analytic and critical discussion about her work will be posted.
Sally Potter Webliography
Kristy Mckim Senses of Cinema article
The Tango Lesson (Sony site)
Yes (Sony site)
Sally Potter's own notes on her adaptation of Virginia Woolf's Orlando
Sally Potter directs Carmen. Here Sally Potter is directing Carmen with English National Opera. The facts that Potter moves across different performance genres is rather like Visconti. Admirable!
Interview by Sophie Mayer with Sally Potter on Carmen. (Please note Mayer is bringing out a book on sally Potter with Wallflower Press in 2008)
BBC Review of The Man Who Cried
Reverse Shot interview with Potter on Yes