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.
Curated by Seth Watter