Anna Karina in Pierre le Fou


Patricia Highsmith's 'Carol' in official Cannes selection

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as Patricia Highsmith's 'Carol' and 'Therese'
Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as Patricia Highsmith's 'Carol' and 'Therese'
Courtesy of Festival du Films de Cannes, used with permission


Todd Haynes "Carol" is at the top of the list for Anglo-American critics at Cannes but it is not a top runner for Francophiles. The biopic is artistically executed with soft filters and props from the 50's but many look like they were acquired for the movie from antique shops and do not have that fresh look that newly acquired possessions should really have. The narrative is a haunting one that touches on homophobia in the 1950s based on Patricia Highsmith's intriguing title, "The Price of Salt" (1952). 'Out' lesbians at the time were only known to each other and their private circles, and met in secret clubs.
Carol (Cate Blanchett) and her lover Therese (Rooney Mara) are both heterosexual women trapped in aimless or loveless relationships that do not inspire them. This lack of belonging and accountability is not about two women just having an intrepid affair for although they are surrounded by men throughout the film, their affinity lies with each other. This is a hard concept for many and witchhunts and claims of immorality are the results of not getting it. Leaving a man for a woman is an affront to how society has been calibrated. When Therese is asked if she is a lesbian, she adamantly denies it, so powerful is the taboo.
Cate Blanchett, producer of the film, gives one of her best performances to date. Carol is the kind of mythical creature who is clearly in a vulnerable position but does not want to put her feelings into words. Therese wants to ask her questions and eventually Carol lets her. Therese's inward intensity at the prospect of this relationship is comprised of an entourage of penetrating stares. Their relationship commands the film and is the backbone of the narrative arch that compels spectators to listen to their dialogue while off handedly taking note of the makeup, costumes, appliances, shop fronts, automobiles, and furnishings of the time.
Ultimately, Todd Haynes requires viewers to surrender to the love story. On the final days of the Cannes screenings, crowds swarmed to stand in block long queues with the high critical ratings, but it is not altogether clear that they were there to witness the silent rampages of homophobia that is part of the film's message or to watch two women in love that is still a voyeuristic thrill. There is also the time honored clever Weinstein & Co schematic involved in pushing a film like this at the box office and for awards shows. For Cannes, narratives about lesbians have been hugely successful such as Palme d'Or winner La Vie d'Adéle (2013) and Haynes is contending for the award this year.
Todd Haynes has put a lesbian relationship up front and in doing so watches to see if the two women in the relationship put it first too. They always have men to rely on and it is somewhat contrived that they are constantly being hit on so that they are (we are) absolutely sure of their choices. Therese notices other lesbians but in her upwardly mobile New Yorker wardrobe does not look like one of them. The elegant Fifth Avenue dressed Carol has had other lovers and one since she was a child (Abby -Sarah Paulson) that stands up for her as far as female bonding. But other than their affair, Carol and Therese have a hard time finding each other and making it stick. Their professional energies which involve retail buying,and doing photography for the "New York Times" seem like distractions. Their real job is each other. Therese gets an expensive camera from Carol and in turn gives her a Billy Holliday record. Materialism is a large part of this film. Will they eventually wind up sharing an uptown flat in Manhattan? How could they not?
Patricia Highsmith's novels have been put to film before. Matt Damon's Tom Ripley in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999) is far from the outwardly gay character that Carol seems to be. Todd Haynes has decided to make a proper claim to Highsmith's character's sexuality and lifestyle. It seems to work better with lesbians who have discarded their male suitors than for gay serial murderers.
"Carol" should do well because of the star wattage of Blanchett and Mara who command every scene they are in. In the end we are left with a stylistic mis en scène furnished with all the appropriate items of the time and a love story that is made totally believable by the actors. This is the kind of film that dreams are made of and the love story enchants. Unlike their characters, Blanchett and Mara are not only make believe. At the Cannes photo shoot both actresses had their hands on Todd Haynes rear end. Cate Blanchett made it clear that she had many women friends, but no lovers, a question on many journalists' minds at Cannes.


"Film International" 2014 fails the 'Bechdel test'

The last "Film International" issue that published my work, and one of the last created by former submissions editor, Liza Palmer. The title of this issue (Erotic, silent, dead) is prophetic, symbolizing the pendulum of thanatos and eros inherent in the representation of women in film.
This is a repost of an article on "Film International" (FINT) from August 2014 primarily because the only response to it by the current editor in chief Daniel Lindvall was to request a correction about his attendance at a 2004 film conference in London. This is when the new FINT was introduced by Intellect, its publishing house. Secondly, because at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, something is finally being done about the underrepresentation of women in film. This was raised by Jane Campion at last year's festival which I wrote about, an article that "Film International" rejected.  This year at Cannes there were seminars with women in film sponsored by the festival and different cultural organisations (Créteil Films de Femmes organized one event on May 18). It is exciting to learn at these meetings that the Bechdel test is now used in many countries today, a test that is an index of how women are represented in film. The theatre operator of "Bio Rio" in Stockholm where the Bechdel test was first launched in Sweden, Ellen Tejle, was at the May 18th meeting. Daniel Lindvall agrees with the test but argues that some films that pass the test "aren't good enough".

"The Bechdel Test, sometimes called the Mo Movie Measure or Bechdel Rule is a simple test which names the following three criteria: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man. The test was popularized by Alison Bechdel's comic Dykes to Watch Out For, in a 1985 strip called The Rule. For a nice video introduction to the subject please check out The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies on"

Both the underrepresentation of women in film and the Bechdel test, which has amplified this reality, continue to be relevant. And "Film International" continues to be a bastion of film criticism by men. Held to the same criteria of the Bechdel test for the presence of women in the publication, FINT would not pass.

Original post, August 2014

After almost 10 years of writing for "Film International", I will no longer submit film criticism or reports. Since 2014, the newly installed content editor, Jacob Mertens - a white male under 30 working under the editor in chief since 2004 Daniel Lindvall, wants webzine articles to be 'bloggish length', 500-750 words and doesn't want to edit content but take in material ready to print. The distinction between a blog and a webzine has since been obliterated. Mertens is distinguished for publishing his own work and and the work of primarily male writers.  

Liza Palmer, the previous FINT editor since 2003, resigned in May 2013 and was exceptionally adept in printing articles about marginal representation and unique women film festivals and film culture. Veteran writers prior to Mertens could suggest a topic and it was usually published.  The reward for writing pieces requiring assembly in the FINT webzine, according to Mertens, is “being published’. Editorial work for him means 'coddling' writers. Editorial work for Mertens is just plain work that he doesn't want to do. 
"At Intellect, we are committed to fostering original thought and widening critical debate in both emerging and established subjects. We offer an unbiased platform and are committed to representing our authors’ voices authentically, without imposition of personal ideas or opinions". Mark Lewis.
“Film International (FINT) - Thinking Film Culture since 1973" – was originally published in Sweden (Filmhäftet. a high quality Swedish language print journal) but was adopted by Intellect Ltd. (UK) in 2003 and became an English language journal. Actually "Film International" can only claim the "Thinking Film Culture" part of their slogan from 2003, not earlier. Michael Tappert was the editor in chief of "Filmhäftet" from 1998-2002 and the new "Film International" from 2003-2004. The new format was announced at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference in London in 2004 where "Intellect" was one of the exhibitors.

The mission statement of "Film International" is one and the same for all "Intellect" journals: "We wish to bridge the gap between the academy and the outside world, and encourage the participation of scholars from a variety of disciplines".  "Intellect’s" managing editor Mark Lewis, informed me that there are 22 male and 16 female editors for their various journals of academic culture in popular media. FINT currently has two male content and review editors. There are very few women writers, especially those who focus on the matrix of gender, race and class in the representation of women.

"Films and culture are biased in so many other ways, in favour of the middle-class, straight, white male and the glossy world-view of corporate capitalism". 
"Bringing Jacob's age, skin colour and gender into this was simply uncalled for. Daniel Lindvall.
Daniel Lindvall is a Marxist and Marxism’s problematic relationship with feminism is well known. His key areas of interest are class, realism, modernism, the avant-garde, cultural politics, imperialism, and the labour movement. Gender is not on the list, nevertheless, he is aware of the right things to say about it:  "Films and culture are biased in so many other ways, in favour of the middle-class, straight, white male....". This rather vacuous comment defines his editorial practice at FINT since Liza Palmer resigned.  With Lindvall and Mertens now at the helm of FINT's content, the webzine/quarterly journal is an almost exclusively male bastion. Given the present editorial team, FINT is no longer a journal featuring significant contributions by women or about gender. It is important to continually update the status of today's film journals and webzines regarding gender representation.

In a recent editorial in FINT, Lindvall identified himself as a supporter of the gender equality program in Sweden for films screened in select theaters.  The Bechdel Test is named after the lesbian graphic novelist Alison Bechdel, where films involving two women who speak about something other than men on screen receive an “A” equality stamp.  This stamp is visible for spectators of the screened film.  

According to Lindvall, Bechdel is an "easy-to-use test that very clearly reveals the gender inequality in our film culture as a whole. The fact that little has changed, in terms of numbers, when it comes to female under-representation on the screen over the last six decades, is reason enough for me to support the use of the Bechdel test as a guideline by cinemas and public funding bodies alike". But there is a caveat:  some of the films that pass the test aren't "good enough", he adds. To this kind of logic three Swedish women disagree, Anu Koivunen,Ingrid Ryberg and Laura Horak:

“Instead of rejecting the Bechdel test and the A rating as simplistic, critics should focus on the obvious. What does it mean that, in film, women can barely be imagined to have important things to say to each other? Does this have anything to do with implicit criteria of quality and taste? Why not take the challenge to push one's imagination outside the conventions that come most easily to mind? This is a call for producers, distributors, critics and audience alike”. The Guardian, Aug 27, 2013.

The real issue of the underrepresentation of women is a core issue today so the patronizing rhetoric of an armchair feminist such as Lindvall is counterproductive. At a Cannes Film Festival women in film seminar (2015) it was announced that the Bechdel test is now being use by many countries. Cannes gets very skirmish about this but basically does very little to change this. Since FINT has virtually no women writing in film any more or has a particular gender focus, the webzine does not pass the Bechdel test either Merten's content choices favor articles about male directors, by male writers. (See below for recent list).

FINT review editor Jacob Mertens bringing up gender bias is "petty" 
Mertens does not acknowledge how demographics marginalize women writers at FINT.  Both Mertens and Lindvall represent a paradigm shift in the quality of the journal since 2013 regarding the representation of women. The new FINT online site and journal can be more appropriately called  "Film Culture since 2013 not 1973. Lindvall claims Mertens is "a much better writer and editor than most experienced and educated writers and editors with PhDs twice his age". (Mertens received his BA in Film Studies from University of North Carolina in 2012).

Is FINT oblivious is to its own middle class, straight, white male bias?  When given the opportunity to address gender inequality, Lindvall ignores the under representation of women working in the male dominated world of film and film criticism. 

Intellect's Mark Lewis, like Lindvall, supports a relatively inexperienced editor while claiming that "Intellect" takes gender discrimination questions “seriously’. We know how hard it is to prove gender inequality even when under representation is so glaringly apparent, but it is clear from recent correspondence with FINT, that men support men - from writers, to editors, to publishers.

Before Liza Palmer resigned in May 2013, inequality was not an issue at FINT. Since Jacob Mertens took over, the five most recent festival reports were written by men, the 10 most recent features were written by men and of the 23 most recent online articles, only two were written by a woman. 

I wrote 17 articles for FINT online last year, all published by Mertens. Twelve of the articles were 'Cannes dailies', as well as four articles from the Venice Film Festival. This was probably one of the first times FINT did a daily Cannes chronicle and Mertens was excited about it.  One of my articles, accepted by Palmer , was never published in the FINT print journal; Mertens claimed it "fell through the cracks". This year, two online articles from the Cannes Film Festival were accepted and not published.  He claimed it was too much work for him but the reviews were about the sexism at Cannes and because of that , he wrote, "the question then becomes whether this is the right fit for your work". It has been for as long as Liza Palmer was editor but not since the webzine continues to feature a predominately male gaze. 

I am member of FIPRESCI and the Swedish Film Critics Association and accredited film critic, such as at Cannes. I was a member of the Cannes Queer Palm Jury (2012) with Julie Gayet as president. An article on that experience was published by FINT under Liza Palmer.  Other articles were published by Liza Palmer when the journal exemplified diversity. 

Jane Campion and the women of the 2014 jury © Festival de Cannes

The articles about sexism at the Cannes Film Festival and a focus on the contributions of women were excluded by Mertens. With Jane Campion at the helm this could at last be taken seriously. A review of Olivier Assayas’ film “Clouds of Sils Maria” (France 2014) , a complex meta-lesbian feature, was also rejected.  Both were immediately published by Agnès Film.

Cannes seems able to justify that less than 10% for the official selection and only 20% of the films in other divisions are made by women. The organizers claim they take in "good films", not films based on gender. What then explains the invisibility or under representation of women at Cannes? Or that women make up less than 10% of the writers at FINT?  When men are threatened by challenges to their bias, they can always claim women are not good enough. As long as this practice continues, it is important to bring it out in the open.  

FINT - MOST RECENT ARTICLES SINCE MAY 2013: (two articles written by women; Articles in red about male directors  - 'Merten's male gaze'. Seven of the 23 films on this list were reviewed by Paul Risker. Mertens claims that he wants a spectrum of topics and writers, a hodge podge of information. The feel of FINT nowadays conveys this recipe -- all except the 30% written by Risker. 

1.           The Corman Legacy Continues:An Interview with Evelyn Maude Purcell (Anna Weinstein)
2.            Gaming the Future: An Interview with
 Jeremy Snead on Video Games: The Movie
Forsaken Son: Richie Mehta’s Siddharth
 Borgman (2013)
5.            The Epic of Everest:
 Closing the Gap Between Man and the Impossibly Distant
6.            The Past As It Is:Agnieszka Holland’s Burning Bush (
Paul Risker)
 John Sayles to Attend First Annual REEL EAST FILM FESTIVAL in New Jersey, August  22- 23rd; Deadline for Short Film Series Announced
8.            The Cold Lands, Cold Indeed (
Tom Gilroy)
9.            The Art of the Steal: Joyous, Clever, and Fun
 (Jonathan Sobol)
10.          Cutting Room Cleanup: Junger’s Korengal
 (Sebastian Junger)
11.          Sorcerer (1977)
 (William Friedkin)
12.          Bring Me
 the Head of Alfredo Garcia: Peckinpah the Dramatist
13.          Finding Fault with The Fault In Our Stars
 (Josh Boone)
14.          Shoe-String Initiative: An Interview with Nikki Braendlin 
 (Anna Weinstein) (also one of the  most recent interviews)
 Life As He Saw it ( about Roger Ebert ) - Paul Risker
16.          Seeing Your Doppelganger Can Only Spell Trouble: Enemy (2013)
 (Denis Villeneuve)
17.          AFI Docs Film Festival 2014
18.          Escaping Type: An Interview with Aubrey Peeples (
Paul Risker) (recent interview)
19.          The Good Neighbour (2013)
 (Jacob Vaughan)
 He Who Awakens Dreams: An Interview with Doug Jones
21.          Multicultural Middle-earth: Constructing “Home” and the Post-colonial Imaginary in
 Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings
22.          Cinema that Goes to Eleven:
 Mike “McBeardo” McPadden’s Heavy Metal Movies (2014)
23.          Weekend: Goodbye to Language 2D

FINT - MOST RECENT ARTICLES (two articles written by women) 


Here is a list of the top 5 online articles, all written by men for "Film International":

The 2015 San Francisco International Festival Report
By  Mark  James.
The Agony of Woman in Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
By Christopher Sharrett.
Steve Hoover and Danny Yourd on Crocodile Gennadiy: A Tribeca Interview
A Place in Myth: Portia Doubleday on After the Ball (2015)
By Paul Riser
Nothing Lost in Times Regained: On the Restored Apu Trilogy
By Paul Riser

The present print issue written by two women, 14 men. Reads like a Cannes lineup.

Naked for Lunch: Alex Radivojević interviewed
by Rajko Radović
Redefining the Self: The Human Centipedeand physical spectatorship
by Laura Wilson
Family, Gang and Ethnicity in Italian-themed Hollywood Gangster Films
by Silvia Dibeltulo
A New World Is Coming: Visiting with Godfrey Reggio
by John Malkin
A Queer Reading of Nuevo Cine Mexicano
by Oscar A. Pérez
Turning Japanese: From Sideways to Saidoweizu: An examination of a Japanese remake of a Hollywood film
by Jeffrey L. Griffin
Like a Mirror Walking Alongside a Road: An interview with Volker Schlöndorff
by John Duncan Talbird
A Rebel Rides Again: An interview with Monte Hellman on The Shooting (1966) and Ride in the Whirlwind (1966)
by Matthew Sorrento
Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia: A conversation with Nathan Dunne
by Noah Charney
Life Regained: An interview with Michael Rossato-Bennett on Alive Inside(2014)
by David A. Ellis
Review: The Fictions of Finance in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis
by James Slaymaker
Criterion Core: The Sound of Silence (Safety Last!City LightsMaster of the House)
by Brandon Konecny
Around the Circuit: Toronto International Film Festival
by Barry Keith Grant
Parting Words: The Problem with Perfection
by Jacob Mertens


Asia Argento brings red magic to Cannes Un Certain Regard with 'Misunderstood'

It proved extremely reliable to pay attention to the press dossier for "Incompresa" (Misunderstood, Italy/France 2014) directed by Asia Argento that debuted in Un Certain Regard on May 22 at the Cannes Film Festival. The film is not autobiographical but fictional and Argento leads critics away from facile assumptions: ”Alright, let’s start by dispelling any misunderstanding. There is no point in drawing any parallels between Aria (the lead character of the film played by Giulia Salerna) and Asia”.

The third time director is the daughter of legendary helmer Dario Argento and the leading lady in many of his gothic horror films, Daria Nicolodi. Asia executed a memorable performance in "The Stendahl Syndrome" (Italy 1996) directed by her father, playing Detective Anna Manni, a cop that transforms after an attack by a sadistic serial murderer. She wisely chose the Cannes best actress award winner Charlotte Gainsbourg for the lead in "Incompresa". On Twitter, Asia Argento lists herself as "Ex actor, Filmmaker Screen & Song Writer Red Witch Poet Priestess".

Aria’s parents ’Mother’, a classical pianist (Gainsbourg) and ’Father’, a famous movie actor (Gabriel Garko), have separated. Lucrezia, the first born in his first marriage goes with him, and Aria and Angelica stay with Mother. Aria soon finds herself a go between for their moods, incurring the ilk of her superstitious father and her increasingly feral mother.

Mother’s many lovers include drug dealers, punk rockers and greasy Casanova’s with money. To her daughter’s question about why so many men love her, Mother answers that she is a witch that practices “red magic”, the magic of love. Father tosses Aria back to her mother when black cats, pigeon fathers and broken mirrors change his luck, but takes her to a rock concert when her presence helps him land a role in art cinema. The realities of life are beyond the clever maneuvers of a nine year old but she will learn about that later. As for now, she is honest about the boy she wants, the clothes she wants and her wish for peace between her parents. Giulia Salerna is excellent as the child who must grow up before becoming an adult.

The maestro skills of Argento are detectable in every crevice of the breathtaking mis en scéne, cinematography, editing and sound by her talented crew.The script is by Argento and Barbara Alberti and Asia composed some enchanting original music.

The Italy that loves the family and Roman Catholicism depicted in national cinema know that Argento follows a strong tradition of trailblazers that have departed from sacrosanct imagery including Pasolini, Rossellini and Fellini. Marcello Mastroianni’s gesture on the official Cannes poster this year may not be ‘the finger’ but Argento knows how to do that too, as evidenced by her humorous posturing on the steps of the Cannes “Palais de Festival” last year and a production photo for "Incompresa".

"Incompresa" is a compression of image and sound that is both artistic and precocious. The colorful characters and mischievous dialogue show how children can be cruel to each other, those who might have parents repeating the insanity of their own guardians. Aria is surrounded by the best and the worst types, and also winds up embodying the best and worst of her lovable parents.


Swedish Cinemas have a new feminist movie rating


Nov 6, 2013

Folkets Bio in Sweden ( film exhibitor and distributor)  puts an A symbol next to films they screen that feature two women or more who speak about something other than men! Bravo!
This test was invented by graphic artist Alison Bechdel.

This is a great article. Only in Sweden has something been done to officially change gender discrimination. Hynek Pallas, a Swedish journalist received money from the Swedish Film Institute to make a film about Ingmar Bergman (so many films about Bergman......) so he is hardly in a position to criticize this policy (article comments taken down). What he is really attacking is Anna Serner, the CEO of SFI who alone at Cannes spoke about how Sweden was making efforts to put more women behind the camera. (
Age old arguments by skeptics and cynics will do nothing to change the situation and just assures it will continue.

Sweden does not have "gender madness" as  Swedish mathematician Tanja Bergkvist asserts- - there is gender equality and if that is madness more of it! The two critics seem to forget the goal of this program: movie watchers rarely see "a female superhero or a female professor or person who makes it through exciting challenges and masters them... The goal is to see more female stories and perspectives on cinema screens." Most of Bio Rio's audience (Stockholm cinema house)  is young, and the critics seem to belong to another generation that expect equality to jump out of a hat like a magic rabbit. The point is also not that a Harry Potter film or a Bigelow film doesn't pass the test: the point is getting people to think and this is a great incentive. 

Jada Pinkett Smith seems to have her eyes open already.

"Here we are sitting and talking....about something other than men."

A mark on films shown in Sweden from Alison Bechdel, graphic artist. 


Jacqueline Bisset wins Golden Globe for "Dancing on the Edge"

Bisset accepting her award at the 2014 Golden Globes
Talk show hostess Queen Latifah told Jacqueline Bisset on her show Jan 21 that she "set the bar" for sincerity and depth at the awards show for the 20th Golden Globes. It was claimed by some media that she gave a "bizarre speech" as best supporting actress in a miniseries or motion picture made for television, "Dancing on the Edge" on Jan 12.
Jacqueline Bisset is not only a brilliant actress but eloquent woman. As she explained to Latifah, her category was supposed to come up at the top of the show (Golden Globes), and came at the end, without receiving refreshments and dinner. And she didn't expect to win.
In her acceptance speech, she was obviously flustered and on the verge of tears, nothing unusual for a winner, but she came through with her "Scottish stock" (her father was born in Scotland) as she explained to the audience. Bisset who turns 70 this year had some wisdom to share from her long career including practicing forgiveness, something that is well advised in the competitive entertainment business.
British born Jacqueline Bissett has worked consistently throughout her career which began in the late 60's where she played opposite actors such as Steve McQueen in Bullitt (1968), Peter Sellers and David Niven in the James Bond spoof Casino Royale (1967) and Jean Pierre Léaud in François Truffaut's Oscar winning best foreign language film "Day for Night" (1973).

Jacqueline Bisset as Lady Cremone, "Dancing on the Edge"
Bisset is one of the highest paid actresses in the world. During the last three decades she has primarily worked in television and made for TV films as well as several motion pictures. In 2012 she starred in Bernard Rose's "Two Jacks" (2012) as the older Diana (played by Sienna Miller), an adaptation of a Tolstoy short story about two generations of a Hollywood family, and in 2005 she played the role of a cruel school mistress in John Irvin's "The Fine Art of Love: Mine Ha-Ha", which debuted in Venice with art direction by Dante Ferretti.
When she was in San Francisco in 2001 for Sleepy Time Gal (interviewed by Movie Magazine International) the good natured actress as a gesture of solidarity sold movie tickets to her film in the box office at "The Roxie".  In the film set in San Francisco, she plays a dying ex-radio disc jockey.
In the behind the scenes gathering with Bisset and the press following her award at the Globes, it is clear they have really not much to ask her, and which is their loss,  because what she did say was intelligent and thought provoking as a distinguished veteran actress.
Perhaps the press backstage at the Globes did not see the fantastic miniseries "Dancing on the Edge" by the BBC directed and written by Steven Poliakoff, nominated for best miniseries or a motion picture made for television.
Bisset commands every scene she is in in the miniseries. She plays Lady Livinia Cremone, a semi reclusive member of the aristocracy who has lost her husband and sons in during WW1. She later is drawn out into society as the patron of the arts she has always been. Bisset appears in the 2nd through 5th episodes.
The miniseries "Dancing on the Edge" is set in 1930 after the Depression in a palatial hotel where Louis (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his jazz band perform for the dowagers and upper class of London. Getting to know the characters is what makes this miniseries enchanting. All give great performances, such as Jacqueline Bisset and Ejiofor,  and it is hard to not get attached to them. Racism is at the forefront of this story about black jazz musicians in a country where the BBC wouldn't play jazz on the airwaves until a member of British Royal Family took a liking to the band.


Maria Klonaris, Greek experimental artist, passes away in Paris January 13.

Maria Klonaris, born in Cairo, Greek installation artist, video artist, experimental filmmaker and photographer from Paris passed away on Jan 13. Klonaris and her partner Katarina Thomadaki left Greece for France during the junta in 1975. 

Klonaris and Thomadaki's "femininité radical" and "cinéma corporel" (cinema of the body uses structured space in ritual form combining sound and image with different technologies. Their oevre has been shown at several venues such as Centre Pompidou in Paris, the British Film Institute, the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, and Créteil Films de Femmes. 


Née au Caire, de parents grecs et médecins, ayant grandi à Alexandrie, puis à Athènes, Maria Klonaris fit dabord des études en anglais à luniversité, et de scénographie à l'école des beaux-arts dAthènes, avant de partir à Paris, où elle suivi, à la fois, un enseignement dEgyptologie à lEPHE, de cinéma expérimental et esthétique à Paris 1, et ultérieurement dinfographie àlENSAD.
Mais sa vie, dès avant leur installation à Paris en 1975, rejoint celle de Katerina Thomadaki. A Athènes, elles dirigent le Théâtre des 4 puis lespace de recherche théâtrale. A Paris, cest le cinéma expérimental dans lequel elles sengagent à deux fondant leur pratique dans un prolongement de leur vie ensembleet réciproquement. Klonaris/Thomadaki, avec une  barre entre les deux noms, cest aussi comme un trait dunion. Un trait dunion, qui relie la projection filmique à son dispositifélargi à linstallation, et à une problématique corporelle, nourrie des abstractions de la pensée critique,  en rupture avec un cinéma narratif dominant de la distance voyeuriste .  Celui de Klonaris/Thomadaki porte au contraire, dans son extension même à la peau, la revendication dune « féminité radicale » : un questionnement de la frontière, symbolisée par la différence sexuelle : entre les genres, entre les disciplines, entre lart et la vie, entre les gens.  Et dabord, « entre-nous », dans la plasticité d'une production qui, sans cesse «filme les identités sexuelles comme une complexité en mouvement »remet en cause la singularité dun auteur, rend sa liberté à la circulation entre lintérieur et lextérieur et sancre dans une généalogie où on trouve aussi bien Claude Cahun/Marcel Moore, que les pratiques queer de Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz
Dans leurs œuvres plastiques et  leurs livres, elles forgent ainsi le concept de "corps dissidents" dont les motifs sont d'abord lhermaphrodite, lange,  les jumeaux,  l’« inquiétante étrangeté », le « monstre ».  Cest à la disposition des récits et les images mythiques (en particulier ceux de la Grèce ancienne) que Klonaris/ Thomadaki mettent les technologies dont elle font usage. De nombreux essais critiques s'en font l'écho, par Marie José Mondzain, par Marina Gržinić, ou par Nicole Brenez, qui célèbre la capacité des cinéastes à (nous) plonger « dans un monde envoûtant, aux limites de lhypnose ou de la transe »
Les œuvres de Klonaris/Thomadaki ont été présentées dans de nombreuses institutions, tels que le Centre Pompidou, le musée dArt moderne de la Ville de Paris et la Cinémathèque française (Paris), le MoMA (New York), la National Gallery of Art (Washington), le British Film Institute et la Tate modern (Londres), la Fondation Joan Miro (Barcelone), la Kunsthalle Wien, la Pinacothèque dAthènes... Trois de leurs films les plus importants ont été restaurés par les Archives françaises du film du CNC avec la BnF et le 16 novembre 2012, la BnF consacrait une manifestation à Maria Klonaris et Katerina Thomadaki, rendant visibles leur fonds darchives.
En décembre 2012, le centre audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir programmait deux films de la série Portraits, lun par Katerina Thomadaki, lautre par Maria Klonaris.. Maria Klonaris était venue au cinéma Latina et c'est là que nombre d'entre nous l'avaient rencontrée pour la dernière fois.
Le 13 janvier dernier, elle s'est endormie et ne s'est pas réveillée. 

                                                           Unheimlich @klonaris/thomadaki

Katerina Thomadaki fait part qu'une messe orthodoxe sera célébrée le 21 janvier 2014 à 14h30 en l’église Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, 79 rue Galande, Paris 5e.Le rituel sera suivi d'un recueillement à 16h00 en la salle Mauméjean du crématorium du cimetière du Père-Lachaise. Un hommage sera rendu à Maria à l'église et au crématorium.