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Medium Uncool: Women Shoot Back; Feminism, Film and 1968 — A Curious Documentary

Paula Rabinowitz
Science & Society
Vol. 65, No. 1, Color, Culture and Gender in the 1960's (Spring, 2001), pp. 72-98
Published by: Guilford Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40403885
Page Count: 27
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Medium Uncool: Women Shoot Back; Feminism, Film and 1968 — A Curious Documentary
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Abstract

A microhistory of the interconnections — both literal, through personal relations, and theoretical — between radical feminism and avant-garde film culture views culture as a model for politics during the 1960s. In short, radical feminism owed much of its rhetoric and practice to avant-garde film. Beginning with the screenings of Schmeerguntz, feminists moved against female stereotypes with the Miss America action (to get media coverage), documented the history of women's struggle in Newsreel's The Woman's Film (to challenge the news media), and experimented with visions of femininity through personal films and happenings (to unravel domesticity — its bliss and horror). This parallels three 1960s film practices: New Hollywood, a commercial response to the end of the studios and the rise of television (filmmaking as industrial production); documentary, to track issues within New Left politics (filmmaking as collective activity); and the Underground, a celebration of the counter-culture (filmmaking as personal vision).

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