Imperfection in Women’s Film
Unexpected Spaces of Feminine Freedom.
Now in its fourth edition, the Forum Annuale delle Studiose di Cinema e Audiovisivi, FAScinA, confirms its commitment to the multiplicity of perspectives and potential cross-overs that has been its peculiarity since its beginnings. The 2015 event focuses on imperfection in women’s film, aiming in particular, but not exclusively, at the Italian scenario.
The proceedings will be published in a volume of essays by Edizioni ETS, in the book series of the Forum delle Studiose di Cinema e Audiovisivi directed by Lucia Cardone and Mariagrazia Fanchi (FAScinA books).
Proposals (title and abstract) are to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 2nd, 2015.
The language of the Forum is Italian.
As in previous editions, in Fascina 2015 scholars of film and audiovisual media will be asked to delve into a specific key word, to be declined in each one’s own field of interests, aiming at finding a new way of reading film and media history and, most of all, at bringing to the surface the works and activities of women inside the film industry.
This year’s reflections will stem from the idea of imperfection. Site of discard and tardiness, of non-conformity to a standard seen as an absolute, imperfection can turn into a space of freedom where unexpected and unforeseen practices can be created, taking on the challenge of the potential failures, of the inadequacy to the established and institutional roles, up to their refusal and overturning. In some occasions, as shown by film and media history, this overturning has happened hinging on imperfection, on abandoning the standards so as to imagine and build film and media being different, outside of the canon, able to reflect, often because of this very distance from the usual references, the traces and the strength of the feminine difference. The history of cinema can be re-read from the women’s point of view starting from the very idea of imperfection: its traces can be followed from early cinema up to contemporaneity and to the audiovisual production of recent years, open as it is, thanks to the new technologies, to manipulations and to an inappropriate, “imperfect” use of language and its strategies.
Imperfection in Women’s Film. Unexpected Spaces of Feminine Freedom.
The key themes of the conference follow five tracks:
1. Pioneers of cinema and imperfection. We aim at observing the several failures of the feminine companies in early cinema – a world that remains mostly unknown, still to be investigated; the work of the pioneers and their coming to terms with the emerging productive standards; the attempts that many women (directors, scriptwriters, scenarists) made to enter the world of cinematic production by putting at stake their difference, either in order to match with the traditional modus operandi or, on the contrary, trying to force it, and that found themselves facing results that have been considered inadequate, imperfect indeed.
2. To narrate oneself and to recognize one’s own imperfection. The writing of the self. Through the cross-reading of different historical periods we will explore the links between media writing and writing of the self, aiming at investigating how women have used the audiovisual language to narrate and to narrate their self, often starting from inappropriate or imperfect uses of the usual models, either regarding the modes of expression, either with respect to the “life models”, to the unpredicted biographies without a script so often they have embodied and narrated.
3. Imperfect women. Women in media. We intend to scrutinize the imperfect presence of women in the media field, non only from a quantitative point of view, by examining how difficult it is for women to embark on a career in the media world, the subordinate positions they have been confined to, the strategies of “resistance” they acted out; but mostly from the point of view of the feminine difference, since the marginality in which they found themselves and the non conformity to the usual models have often allowed women – through imperfection and the risk of misunderstanding and failure – to imagine and realize unpredicted and original formats.
4. Outside the canon. Audiovisual media in contemporary art. We propose to focus on the role of imperfection in contemporary practices of women’s film, scrutinizing in particular the fields of video and new media, photography, performance and visual arts. In this hybrid space, at the border of different disciplines, imperfection appears as an explosive and challenging power in the work of the female artists, that often use the body and its excess, its exceeding the rules so as to obtain a greater impression on the audience.
5. Offcuts, remnants, discards. We aim at bringing to light the possibilities that imperfect materials, discarded and rejected, excluded as well as not taken into account in the filmic production process, have offered to the elaborations of feminine creativity. Examples of this are collages, found footage, the several and inventive practices of re-use and resewing, so close to the traditional gestures of spinning, weaving and holding together, to which a number of author have devoted themselves, with unpredictable and surprising results.