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October 1997, Week 1


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Jenni Olson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 2 Oct 1997 19:46:45 -0400
text/plain (123 lines)
>Date:    Wed, 1 Oct 1997 07:59:38 -0500
>From:    "Dr. Chella Courington" <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Race, Class, Gender, & Sexual Orientation in Contemporary Film
>Dear List Members,
>I am teaching a junior/senior film course in the spring on Issues of Race,
>Class, Gender, and Sexual Orientation in Contemporary International Film. I
>plan to show 6-8 films. So far, I have decided to show: _Once Were
>Warriors_, _Duaghters of the Dust_, and _The Wedding Banquet_. Any ideas
>for other films? I would very much appreciate your suggestions and advice.
>Thanks, Chella Courington.
>" I feel the revolutionalizing of our continent hinges on the woman
>     Ama Ata Aidoo, in Adeola James, _In Their Own Voices_
>Chella Courington
>Associate Professor of Literature
>Huntingdon College; Montgomery, AL 36106
>[log in to unmask]
Perhaps Deepa Mehta's new film, FIRE would be appropriate.
               Fire (1996)
                                                              Asian Images
                                                              104 minutes
                                                              35mm (color)
                                                              Mehta, Deepa
               Fire sets the screen AFLAME!
               It's not everyday that an Indian-born and educated
filmmaker takes on the
               highly charged agenda of rocking the boat of gender role
assumptions that so
               definitively structure what it means to be a woman in
contemporary India;
               that is exactly what writer/director Deepa Mehta has done
with her new film,
               Fire which unravels the story of two women, sisters-in-law
trapped in
               loveless relationships in modern New Delhi. One is the
               well-weathered wife of a celibate eclectic, the other, the
new bride of the
               eclectic's brother who is still embroiled in his own
self-centered affair with
               his sex kitten of a mistress; the women turn to each other
for companionship
               and find erotic pleasure and desire in their connection.
The art direction is
               rich; the acting (led by Indian cinema diva, Shabana Azmi
and the captivating
               Nandita Das) is enrapturing; and the sardonic humor
borders on delightfully
               shocking to keep the viewer completely tantalized by the
unfolding story.
               While there are certain tropes that wear thin by the end
of the film, Mehta
               never goes overboard and it is easy to forgive a few
overly melodramatic
               scenes, especially when they are so well balanced with
tantalizing others.
               This is truly a must-see for feminists, queers and lovers
of love alike.
               --Mary Gray for PopcornQ
               Distributors for educational and non-theatrical
               Zeitgeist Films ([log in to unmask])
Jenni Olson
Producer, PopcornQ
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