Women’s Cinema, World Cinema: Projecting Contemporary Feminisms
Patricia White is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Swarthmore College. She is the author of Uninvited: Classical Hollywood Cinema and Lesbian Representability, coauthor of The Film Experience, and coeditor of Critical Visions in Film Theory. She has worked extensively with Women Make Movies and the journal Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies.
Feminist Film in the Age of the Chick Flick: Global Flows of Women’s Cinema
This chapter challenges assumptions about the geopolitics of postfeminist culture, arguing that women directors are changing national cinema cultures and accessing international circuits by tapping into generic formulae of the “chick flick.” Jeong Jae-eun’s Take Care of My Cat (2001), part of an emergent women’s film culture in Korea, opens up gendered discourses of nation, genre, and auteurism that structure the reception of Korean cinema abroad. Lebanese director Nadine Labaki’s female ensemble film Caramel (2007) countered associations of the Middle East with violence. Her Where Do We Go Now? (2012) addressed Muslim-Christian conflict in a demonstration of the power of women’s culture. Labaki’s visibility—as actress and celebrity director—puts her at the forefront of a resurgent Lebanese and Middle Eastern film culture that is notably inclusive of women’s visions. Engaging with tropes common to popular women’s cinema, these directors enact gendered authorship and address in national and transnational frameworks.