women in film & media
Production, distribution, reception
Anna Karina in Pierre le Fou
A donkey's life at Cannes: Anne Wiazemsky and Au Hasard Balthazar.
Eo by Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski
One of the films at Cannes this year is Eo by Polish director Jerzy Jerzy Skolimowski who shared the Jury Prize with The Eight Mountains"by Belgian directors Felix Van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch.
Eo has been compared to Robert Bresson's (French/Swedish coproduction) Au Hasard Balthazar. According to one reviewer of this film:
"Maria (Anne Wiazemsky) is a young girl living in an isolated border region of France but is growing disenchanted with her farm life as her father sinks into a depression over a legal dispute with the farm’s landowners. Maria had been in love with the owner’s son, but she finds him a bore and becomes involved with the village bad boy, Gerard, much to the chagrin of her father and the wider town. Her father had bought her a donkey when she was a child, Balthazar, and as Maria grows she begins to neglect Balthazar, who soon is sold off to a variety of owners. The fate of the donkey and of Maria is entwined through the subsequent years as both suffer at the hands of locals before her father resolves his dispute and the owner’s son comes back to make a claim on Maria."
This is such a skewed and biased reading of the film with contrary evidence shown in cinematic language. The review misreads the implications of the role of Anne Wiazemsky who said that Robert Bresson constantly harassed her on the set of the film, as we see her harassed in the film by several men. Godard married her a year later.
Delegate president and artistic director of Cannes Thierry Frémaux has declared that "Cinema Must Come into its Own" as an explanation for why there are so few women in the official competition at Cannes - and it must be added, authentic roles written for women. Does he mean that women must come into their own as a part of the primarily patriarchal history of film so that their work is no longer identified as the work of women, and for black filmmakers to come into their own so that they are no longer distinguishable as black filmmakers? If they do come into their own will they play have to play inauthentic roles written for
them like Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar? And will films like these cease to be admired when women come into their own in film?