One of the missions of #100DaysOfWomeninFilm – albeit not explicitly stated – is to take readers on a tour, highlighting the brilliant work of women in film in many countries around the world.
Today’s destination is France.
I’d like you to meet Iris Brey, a journalist, author and film critic, who’s a preeminent expert on the issues of gender, representation and sexuality in films and TV.
A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of attending the book launch of Iris’ latest opus – Le Regard Féminin (The Female Gaze), a Revolution on Screen – at a feminist bookshop in Paris. Seeing the room completely packed, with a long line of people streaming down the stairs gave me so much joy – and hope. That night, I witnessed real hunger for change, with calls for the need to move away from the hypersexualization and objectification of women on screen.
Brey’s book publisher Éditions de l’Olivier describes her book this way:
Iris Brey theorizes the female gaze, a way of filming women without making objects of them, of sharing the singularity of the female experience with all spectators, irrespective of their gender, and renewing our way of desiring by looking without voyeurism.
Here is a Q&A I did recently with Iris:
Can you introduce yourself and tell us about the projects/work you’re most proud of?
I’m an author, critic and academic. My book Le Regard Féminin (The Female Gaze) came out in February in France and I feel very grateful that I can finally share it.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t try to please men. Please yourself. And also cultivate your friendships.
Who is the woman in film who inspires you the most? Why?
Chantal Akerman. Because she was radical and brilliant. Because she wanted to tell women’s stories from their point of view.
What are your favorite films by women directors that you’ve watched recently?
I just watched Travolta et moi by Patricia Mazuy and Portrait d’une jeune fille de la fin des années 60 à Bruxelles by Akerman. Both were amazing. And the series Mrs. America just blew my mind, it’s coming out April 15th.
What can we do to find / support your work?
Buy my book! And spread some female gaze!
- Iris Brey’s Twitter profile
- The Female Gaze on Goodreads
- The Female Gaze‘s publisher Éditions de l’Olivier
So far #100DaysofWomeninFilm has featured:
- 1/100: film director Elvira Notari (Italy’s first female director)
- 2/100: American cinematographer Kira Kelly (13th, Queen Sugar, Self Made)
- 3/100: film editor Margaret Booth (the first person in the history of cinema to be named “film editor”)
- 4/100: filmmaker Madeline Anderson (the first African American female documentarian)
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