Lens On The Web

Women With Vision

Filming Desire: A Journey Through Women’s Cinema

-Lora Barstad

This documentary from French director Marie Mandy explores the ways in which women filmmakers express female desire. Several directors from all over the world, including Agnes Varda, Doris Dorrie, Deepa Mehta and Jane Campion, discuss their approaches to representing desire, sexuality and the body. The fact that most of us are probably familiar with only one of these directors, Campion, I’m guessing makes this documentary even more significant. The film, shot in color and black and white video, cuts between the directors’ commentary and clips from their films. Mandy’s documentary shows how provocative and revolutionary it is for a woman to take the camera and unveil another view of the world. When the experience of sexuality in film has always been of male sexuality, the work these women are performing is truly groundbreaking.

Filming Desire will show at the Walker Art Center on March 20

A Hell of a Day (Reines d’un Jour)

 

Do you ever just have one of those days when you wake up with a cold and then find out you’re pregnant with the child of a groom whose wedding you just photographed the week before? And then on your way to work (which you’ll be fired from later that day) you get in a car accident with the wife of the man the groom’s sister is cheating on her husband with? It’s probably because you’ve never had a day quite this awful that the poor fools in A Hell of a Day make it seem so funny. Director Marion Vernoux’s account of one day in the lives of a handful of Parisians is a complex web of chance meetings and random connections, kind of like Six Degrees of Separation with an “oompa” French soundtrack. But, unlike some films that employ a similar structure, it’s not confusing and the intricate system of relationships among the characters is far from trite. A Hell of a Day is fun, energetic and delightful. And if nothing else, it’s bound to make you glad your bad days aren’t near as hellish as this one.

-Lora Barstad

A Hell of a Day will show at the Walker Art Center on March 23.