Gonzalo de Lucas



 Babette Mangolte y Chantal Akerman

Babette Mangolte and Chantal Akerman

Many female filmmakers have filmed themselves in a way that resembles the diary, the notebook or the self-portrait. At the same time, many female filmmakers began their careers working as actresses. Considering such overlaps in film history, we might now ask the question: in the work of female filmmakers, is there anything that could be considered a reflection of, or reaction to, the way they were observed and filmed by others, therefore turned into images, into the reverse shot?

In studying the performance of actresses, beyond critical or biographical texts, wouldn’t it be better to start with these images, to see how some actresses have expressed their thoughts on cinema through their ways of directing and performing, of showing themselves, or filming and being in contact with actresses and actors? In fact, by facing the masculine construction of both film language and history, these filmmakers have often created images that originate in unexplored spaces of experience. First of all, greater efforts should be made to screen their films, because the work of some of the best actress-filmmakers has been buried or marginalised, almost not screened, disseminated or edited, at least outside their countries of birth –in this respect we might think about the films of Kinuyô Tanaka, Aparna Sen or Juliet Berto, works by a pioneer like Lois Weber, or a classic filmmaker like Ida Lupino.

This curiosity for answering –from or against the reverse shot– by creating other images –seen from other places or with other approaches– can be noticed in the ways of filming the use of time, the intimacy of its length and its experimentation, or the signs of time as engraved in bodies, in filmmakers that either have filmed themselves as figures, image or voice, or that have made self-portraits through portraying the other or the personal space: Lois Weber, Anne-Marie Miéville, Jocelyne Saab, Chantal Akerman, Kinuyô Tanaka, Marguerite Duras, Barbara Loden, Anne Charlotte Robertson, Juliet Berto, Maya Deren, Shirley Clarke, Jackie Raynal, Carolee Schneemann, Yvonne Rainer, Marie Menken, Margaret Tait,  Forough Farrokzhad, Agnès Varda, Naomi Kawase, Rose Lowder, Marjorie Keller, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Manon de Boer, Ute Aurand, Raymonde Carasco, Rebecca Meyers, Gunvor Nelson…


 Ida Lupino

Ida Lupino