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Women, Gender & Feminist Criticism, Theory and History

See also: On Individual Films and Media > Film Criticism

The Gendered ScreenThe Gendered Screen
Brenda Austin-Smith & George Melnyk
This book is the first major study of Canadian women filmmakers since the groundbreaking Gendering the Nation (1999). The Gendered Screen updates the subject with discussions of important filmmakers such as Deepa Mehta, Ann Wheeler, Mina Shum, Lynne Stopkewich, Lea Pool, and Patricia Rozema, whose careers have produced major bodies of work. It also introduces critical studies of newer filmmakers such as Andrea Dorfman and Sylvia Hamilton and new media video artists. Softcover, 270 pp. $29.95.

Marked Women: Prostitutes and Prostitution in the Cinema Marked Women: Prostitutes and Prostitution in the Cinema

Russell Campbell
This engaging and generously illustrated study explores the depiction of female prostitute characters and prostitution in world cinema, from the silent era to the present day. From the woman with control over her own destiny to the woman who cannot get away from her pimp, Russell Campbell shows the diverse representation of prostitutes in film. Softcover, 450 pp. $28.95.

The Violent WomanThe Violent Woman

Hilary Neroni
In The Violent Woman, Hilary Neroni brings psychoanalytically informed film theory to bear on issues of femininity, violence, and narrative in contemporary American cinema. Examining such films as Thelma and Louise, Fargo, Natural Born Killers, and The Long Kiss Goodnight, Neroni explores why American audiences are so fascinated--even excited--by cinematic representations of violent women, and what these representations reveal about violence in our society and our cinema. Neroni argues that violent women characters disrupt cinematic narrative and challenge cultural ideals, suggesting how difficult it is for Hollywood--the greatest of ideology machines--to integrate the violent women into its typical narrative structure. Softcover, 203 pp. $29.95.

Feminist Film TheoristsFeminist Film Theorists

Shohini Chaudhuri
This book focuses on the groundbreaking work of Laura Mulvey, Kaja Silverman, Teresa de Lauretis, and Barbara Creed. Each of these thinkers has opened up a new and distinctive approach to the study of film and this book provides the most detailed account so far of their ideas. Shohini Chaudhuri illuminates their work by explaining the concepts of the male gaze, the female gaze, technologies of gender, queering desire, the monstrous-feminine, and masculinity in crisis. Softcover, 148 pp. $29.95.

Red Velvet Seat: Women's Writing on the First Fifty Years of CinemaRed Velvet Seat: Women's Writing on the First Fifty Years of Cinema

Antonia Lant & Ingrid Periz
As viewers, critics, actresses and directors, women have always been central to cinema. However, full evidence of their roles has until now remained scant and dispersed, eclipsed in historical opinion formed through the texts of men. Using a collection of written accounts from the turn of the 20th century to 1950 this anthology seeks to rectify this academic imbalance. Comendious and absorbing, Red Velvet Seat is an invaluable contribution to the history of cinema. Softcover, 872 pp. $52.00.

Framed: Women in Law and FilmFramed: Women in Law and Film

Orit Kamir
Some women attack and harm men who abuse them. Social norms, law and films all participate in framing these occurences, guiding us in understanding and judging them. Through innovative readings of a dozen movies made between 1928 and 2001 in Europe, Japan and the United States, Orit Kamir shows that in representing "gender crimes," feature films have constructed a cinematic jurisprudence, training audiences worldwide in patterns of judgment of women (and men) in such situations. Offering a novel formulation of the emerging field of law and film, Kamir combines basic legal concepts--murder, rape, provocation, insanity and self-defense--with narratology, social science methodologies, and film studies. Softcover, 330 pp. $29.95.

The Actress: Hollywood Acting and the Female Star The Actress: Hollywood Acting and the Female Star
Karen Hollinger
The Actress: Hollywood Acting and the Female Star investigates the contemporary film actress both as an artist and as an ideological construct. Divided into two sections, this book first examines the major issues in studying film acting, stardom, and the Hollywood actress. Part two examines five case studies: Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, Jodie Foster, Angela Bassett, and Gwyneth Paltrow, each of whose careers exemplifies key issues in the creation of film stardom, the function of acting style, and the creation of celebrity. Softcover, 257 pp. $31.95.

The Modern Amazons: Warrior Women On-Screen The Modern Amazons: Warrior Women On-Screen
Dominique Mainon & James Ursini
With hundreds of stunning photographs and entertaining vignettes from classic, cult, and little-known films, The Modern Amazon documents the transformation of the archetypal warrior woman in film and television, from early film figures like Joan of Arc to the present-day onslaught of strong female action characters. Authors Dominique Mainon and James Ursini offer a one-two punch of sheer fun and keen insight that puts this growing trend in sociological perspective. Softcover, 400 pp. $32.95.

Thinking in ImagesThinking in Images: Film Theory, Feminist Philosophy and Marlene Dietrich
Catherine Constable
Examines the relationship between socio-cultural images and philosophy, tracing the image of woman in theories of beauty, art and truth offered by Nietzsche and his 20th century successors. Demonstrated through examination of three Dietrich films, The Scarlet Empress, The Devil is a Woman and Shanghai Express. Softcover, 202 pp. $38.95.

The Women Who Knew Too MuchThe Women Who Knew Too Much
Second Edition
Tania Modleski
A close consideration of Hitchcock's attitude towards his female characters in seven of his films, the first edition of The Women Who Knew Too Much has become a classic work in feminist film theory and criticism. For this new edition, Tania Modleski has written a new chapter in which she discusses the last fifteen years of Hitchcock criticism, and the continued struggle for recognition of a feminist perspective on the filmmaker's work. Softcover, 185 pp. $27.95.

Bad Girls: Film Fatales, Sirens, and MollsBad Girls: Film Fatales, Sirens, and Molls
Tony Turtu
Sensational and unapologetic, B movie bad girls of the big screen starred in sexy suspense thrillers during film's golden age. Blinded by desire, crazed with jealousy, and ripe with sin, the luscious, lascivious ladies of B movie fame broke the innocent female stereotype. A celebration of the wicked, the wayward, and the wanton, Bad Girls -- a collection of movie posters, lobby cards, and photographs -- pays tribute to the actresses who made careers out of being bad. Hardcover, 176 pp. $55.95.

Feminist Film Studies: Writing the Woman into Cinema Feminist Film Studies: Writing the Woman into Cinema
Janet McCabe
Feminist Film Studies provides an introduction to feminist film theory as a discourse that grew in cultural significance since the 1970s to the present. Janet McCabe traces the broad-ranging knowledges produced by feminist film scholarship, from formalist readings and psychoanalytical approaches to debates initiated by cultural studies, race and queer theory. Softcover, 136 pp. $25.95.

Projections 13: Women film-makers on film-makingProjections 13: Women film-makers on film-making

Isabella Weibrecht & John Boorman
This edition of Projections brings together women working right across the spectrum of film-making today, through a collection of interviews, conversations and articles. With such diverse sections as Rebecca Miller's diary of making Personal Velocity to a piece on Jean Renoir by the late and legendary critic Pauline Kael, Projections dedicates this edition to the "welcome growth of female input to movie-making." Softcover, 269 pp. $34.00.

Katherine Hepburn: Star as FeministKatherine Hepburn: Star as Feminist
Andrew Britton
Of all the major Hollywood stars, Katherine Hepburn was the least conventional, conforming to none of the stereotypes of female superstardom. In this scholarly book Andrew Britton proposes a feminist reading of her films, arguing that her persona raises problems about class, female sexuality, and women's oppression that strain to the limits the conventions of a cinema ultimately committed to the reassertion of bourgeois gender roles. Softcover, 264 pp. $32.95.

Alice Guy BlacheAlice Guy Blache: Lost Visionary of the Cinema
Alison McMahan
Part of the Women Make Cinema series, which is dedicated to celebrating the contribution of women to all aspects of film-making throughout the world, this book pieces together the career of Alice Guy Blanche, the first woman filmmaker and the only woman filmmaker for the first decade of the industry's history. Softcover, 361 pp. $24.95.

Women of Vision: Histories in Feminist Film & VideoWomen of Vision: Histories in Feminist Film & Video
Alexandra Juhasz
Alexandra Juhasz asked twenty women to tell their stories -- women whose names make up a who's who in independent and experimental film & video. What emerged is a compelling (and previously undocumented) history of feminism and feminist film & video, from its orgins in the fifties and sixties to its apex in the seventies to today. Softcover, 343 pp. $32.95.

Women's Cinema: The Contested ScreenWomen's Cinema:
The Contested Screen

Alison Butler
Women's Cinema: The Contested Screen provides an introduction to critical debates around women's filmmaking and relates those debates to a variety of cinematic practices. Using both canonical directors as well as less established names as examples, Alison Butler argues that women's cinema is unified in spite of its diversity by the ways in which it re-works cinematic conventions. Softcover, 134 pp. $30.50.

Film and AuthorshipFilm and Authorship
Virginia Wright Wexman
During the 1960's when cinema first entered the acadamy as a serious object of study, the primary focus was on "auteurism" -- film authorship. Spanning approaches including poststructuralism, feminism, queer theory, postcolonialism, and cultural studies, the essays in this collection ask, what does auteurship look like today in light of all these developments? Includes an extensive bibliography. Softcover, 270 pp. $36.50.

A Problem Like MariaA Problem Like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical
Stacy Wolf
Using popular titles such as South Pacific, My Fair Lady, Camelot, and The Sound of Music, this scholarly text focuses, through a lesbian feminist lens, how the musical theatre of the 50's and 60's subverted traditional ideologies by celebrating strong female characters who challenged gender expectations. Softcover, 289 pp., $30.95.

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Last modified July 18, 2012.
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