Week One: Women Make Film Episode 1

Tuesday, September 1
Night One: Openings and Tone
Two Airings on TCM: 8:00 PM and 10:45 PM

Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema takes viewers through hundreds of examples in a montage of scenes from movies across the world and over many decades.

Spanning 1943 to 2013 and traveling from China to Iran, Australia to Finland, Women Make Film: Episode 1 presents viewers with two chapters for consideration. The first on openings delves into various techniques for how to open a film—ranging from mysterious, floating, and foreboding to direct and plunging straight in. Chapter two looks at the ways in which directors set the tone of their films—delight, anger, poetic, moral seriousness, caring, edgy, violent and more.

Chapter One – Openings

FilmFilmmakerCountry(ies)Year
The East is RedWang PingChina1965
First Comes CourageDorothy ArznerUSA1943
The Silence of the PalacesMoufida TlatliTunisia1994
The QuarryMarion HänselBelgium, France, Netherlands, Spain1998
Strange DaysKathryn BigelowUSA1995
ThumbelinaLotte ReinigerUK1954
Le BonheurAgnès VardaFrance1965
BlackboardsAthina Rachel TsangariGreece2010
Attenberg Be My StarValeska GrisebachGermany2001
The Last StageWanda  JakubowskaPoland1947
Partial list of films discussed

Chapter Two – Tone

FilmFilmmakerCountry(ies)Year
Merrily We Go to HellDorothy ArznerUSA1932
On the 12th Day of ChristmasWendy ToyeUK1955
By The SeaAngelina JolieUSA2015
PeelJane CampionAustralia1982
Beau TravailClaire DenisFrance1999
Maedchen in UniformLeontine SaganGermany1931
Two in OneKira MuratovaUkraine-Russia2007
BetoniyöPirjo HonkasaloFinland, Sweden, Denmark2013
Partial list of films discussed

Complementary Film Schedule
Airing on TCM, times given in Eastern Time

9:15 PM – Merrily We Go To Hell (1932) directed by Dorothy Arzner

12:00 AM – Olivia (1951) directed by Jacqueline Audry

1:45 AM – Sleepwalking Land (2007 ) directed by Teresa Prata

3:30 AM – Seven Beauties (1975) directed by Lina Wertmüller

5:30 AM – Je tu il elle (1974) directed by Chantal Akerman

7:15 AM – Mädchen in Uniform (1931) directed by Leontine Sagan

9:00 AM – La Ciénaga (2001) directed by Lucrecia Martel

Academy Assignment

For individual pondering or sharing via the site comments. Watch one of this week’s films through the lens of openings and tone. Questions to consider:

  • How would you describe the technique used by the director in the film’s opening?
  • How would you characterize the film’s tone?
  • Making the connection, did the film’s opening carry through to the film’s tone?
  • Bonus: How did the Women Make Film openings and tone chapter material influence how you watched this film?

Classic Couple perspectives will be shared before next week’s assignment so check back regularly.

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