Girl Head shows how gender has had a surprising and persistent role in film production processes, well before the image ever appears onscreen. For decades, feminist film criticism has focused on issues of representation: images of women in film. But what are the feminist implications of the material object underlying that image, the filmstrip itself? What does feminist analysis have to offer in understanding the film image before it enters the realm of representation?
Girl Head explores how gender and sexual difference have been deeply embedded within film materiality. In rich archival and technical detail, Yue examines three sites of technical film production: the film laboratory, editing practices, and the film archive. Within each site, she locates a common motif, the vanishing female body, which is transformed into material to be used in the making of a film. The book develops a theory of gender and film materiality through readings of narrative film, early cinema, experimental film, and moving image art.
This original work of feminist media history shows how gender has had a persistent role in film production processes, well before the image ever appears onscreen.
Table of contents:
- List of Plates and Figures | ix
- Introduction: The Body of Medusa | 1
- 1 China Girls in the Film Laboratory | 33
- 2 Gone Girls of Escamontage | 73
- 3 Gradivan Footsteps in the Film Archive | 102
- Afterword | 129
- Acknowledgments | 133
- Notes | 135
- Bibliography | 165
- Index | 181
- Color plates follow page 84
Genevieve Yue is an assistant professor of in the Department of Culture and Media and director of the Screen Studies program at Eugene Lang College, the New School. Her essays and criticism have been published in October, Grey Room, The Times Literary Supplement, Reverse Shot, Artforum .com, Film Comment, and Film Quarterly. She is also an independent film programmer and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Flaherty Film Seminar.