Gender, socialism, and European film cultures

Authored by: Anikó Imre

The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Gender

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138924956
eBook ISBN: 9781315684062
Adobe ISBN: 9781317408055


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I propose to reassess the influence of socialist ideas on the history and theory of gender-conscious filmmaking—a term I use loosely here to reference media practices that consciously reflect on the politics of gender. Of course, such a constellation involves much of the history of feminist cinema, which, in the West at least, reached its theoretical-political peak in 1970s avant-garde feminist filmmaking. The efforts of those filmmakers to resist the viewing comforts of classical Hollywood’s realism were themselves inspired by the European formalist waves of the 1950s and 60s, which were, in turn, informed by socialist politics (Kaplan 2004). But while feminism as a political movement has been closely allied with socialist ideas from the beginning (Mulvey 2004), feminist histories and theories of film have rarely and barely taken into account the gendered film and media practices of actual socialist systems.

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