Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen

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Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, AMY! (still), 1980.

An Other Cinema: Apparatus and Histories AMY!
Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen

33 Minutes
Courtesy of Arsenal, Berlin

September 6–20, 2021

”[The film] was planned to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of Amy Johnson’s epic solo flight to Australia in 1930—to commemorate it and to comment on it. AMY! is neither a drama nor a portrait in the conventional sense, but an assembly of sounds and images which evoke the subject through historic documents and relics, re-enactments and metaphors. The film also asks the underlying question: What is a heroine? We want to enquire into the idea and image of the heroine, not in an explicitly theoretical way—though the film has a theoretical background—but by putting fragments on display to suggest both the frustrations from which heroism is born and to which it is condemned, and at the same time something of the exhilaration it provides for the heroine herself and for others. Formally, our points of reference are Maya Deren and Gertrude Stein.” (Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen)

AMY! is presented as part of the program An Other Cinema: Apparatus and Histories, curated by Lukas Brasiskis and designed to precede the online symposium The State of the Moving Image (September 17–19).

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

Film, Image, Feminism
Documentary, Experimental Film, Video Art
Return to An Other Cinema: Apparatus and Histories

Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen are filmmakers and theorists who collaborated on a number of films between 1974 and 1983. Both educated at Oxford University, their books and essays on cinema developed from the concerns of radical politics and thought in the aftermath of the political upheavals of 1968. Their writings have pioneered the use of semiotic and psycho-analytic frameworks to explore questions of representation in cinema and wider culture, particularly the political and aesthetic issues posed by feminism. Their film collaborations were developed in the context of the Independent Filmmakers’ Association, and attempted to bridge the formalist concerns of British avant-garde filmmakers and the radical political works of film collectives such as Cinema Action in order to “free up cinema for the poetics of theory.” Their trilogy Penthesilea (1974), Riddles of the Sphinx (1977) and AMY! (1980) explored myth and the representation of women, whereas later works ranged from the documentary Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti (1980) to experimental narratives such as Crystal Gazing (1981) and The Bad Sister (1983). Laura Mulvey lives in London, she is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. Peter Wollen is Professor Emeritus, School of Theatre, Film and Television, University of California, Los Angeles.


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