It is often noted that men and women inhabit space very differently, as evidenced by the popular Tumblr account, Men Taking Up Too Much Space on the Train. Photo after photo show male passengers with legs maximally splayed and arms raised to grasp a Very Important Newspaper, while women demurely cross their arms and legs with visible signs of discomfort. It doesn't take a professional philosopher or sociologist to realize that this stark contrast between spatial expansion and contraction is not a fact of biology but a set of learned behaviors. For most women, something has broken in the unifying chain of consciousness/body/world; an institutionalized double standard ensures that men enjoy the lion's share of free, unhindered, fluid movement in space.
The films in this program demonstrate various ways in which women filmmakers have sought to engage more fully with their world, oscillating between the savage critique of social norms and the affirmation of new powers and pleasures. It goes without saying that cinema, with its disjuncture of image and sound, its capacity for metamorphosis and even the grotesque, is one of the most powerful tools we have for the reconfiguration of body and voice.
Indiscretions follows the path of U.S. avant-garde film and video from the underground of the 1960s to the academy of the 1980s. Patricia Mellencamp traces and charts the intersections of Lacanian psychoanalysis and the desiring male subject, Roland Barthes and texts of pleasure, Michel Foucault and the disciplinary society, the grotesque body and Mikhail Bakhtin, the rhizomatic alogic of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, and the female subject of feminist film theory.