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September 1997, Week 1


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Cynthia Port <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 5 Sep 1997 01:43:27 -0400
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According to Gloria Monti:
>         Sally Potter brought *Tango Lesson* to the Venice FilmFest.  I
> attended the press conference and asked a question to which she responded
> in a less than satisfactory way.  I made a comment regarding the
> the reversal of the male gaze--which I found interesting.  Potter is both
> directing and starring in the film, in which she plays a film
> writer/director turned dancer.  The camera often lingers on the male body
> performing tango sequences.  However, this reversed scopophilia is
> 1)undermined: the female is longingly gazing at a man who does not love
> the woman back; and
> 2)recuperated narratively with a happy ending.  About these two points,
> Potter said that "love is a lot more complicated than that."
>         Not what I expected from such a thoughtful director.
>         Gloria Monti
Thanks for the information about *Tango Lesson*.  Yes, my sense is that in
*Orlando*, Potter had moved far away from the aesthetic disruptions of
her early short film, *Thriller*.  And while *Orlando* can certainly be
read as a feminist project continuous with *Thriller*'s revision of
*La Boheme*, Potter's rhetoric about *Orlando*--in interviews and
quotes--seemed intent on minimizing the feminist politics of the film.
This makes me curious about why Potter has decided to withdraw *The Gold
Diggers*, which seems from my reading to be a classic for feminist film
It seems to me also that the withdrawal of a film raises interesting
questions about authorship.  More than simply allowing the film
to go "out of print" or undistributed, Potter has, as I understand it,
asked (told?) Women Make Movies not to allow their copy of *The Gold
Diggers* to be viewed. Is this a common practice among filmmakers?
Cynthia Port
Department of English
University of Pennsylvania
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the 
University of Alabama.