The conversation surrounding the value of a film is not always an inclusive one. The vast majority of film critics are white men and the imprimatur of the reviewer can determine who sees a film and how a film is received, which ultimately impact its box office results.
Does the gender identity of the critic matter? How have women navigated their career paths in this male-dominated field? We will explore these questions and more in a panel discussion following the screening of What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael, featuring the New Yorker film critic who was known for biting reviews that frequently went against the opinions of her contemporaries.
HerStory programs are generously supported by the San Francisco Jewish Women's Fund, a program of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.
Head on over to Spark Arts Gallery following the film, and join in the post-film conversation on feminism and film criticism. How do issues of equity and inclusion impact the field? Is the film industry leading the charge for change?
Karen Davis is Senior Film Programmer for the Mill Valley Film Festival and Professor Emerita of Cinematic Arts at California State University, Monterey Bay. She is a recipient of two Fulbright awards for creative scholarship activity in Paris at the French National Film Academy (FEMIS) and the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant for her work in film and digital media. She has taught at Vassar College, UC Santa Cruz and at the University of California at Davis. Her scholarly work has appeared in the journals "World Art", "Afterimage", and other publications.
Betsy Bozdech is the executive editor of ratings and reviews at Common Sense Media, where she has worked since 2006. Her online editorial career also includes stints at BabyCenter.com, Reel.com, Emode.com, AOL's Digital City, and Netflix. While at Common Sense, Betsy has spoken at international conferences, served as a film festival panelist and juror, interviewed filmmakers and actors, and much more. She has bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University and is a member of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists and a lifelong movie fan.
Faridah Gbadamosi is a freelance writer from New York City. Her favorite topics include pop culture, social media, intersectionalism, independent film and Korea dramas. If she had to make a list of movies to watch on her last day on Earth the list would include (but be not limited to) Black Orpheus, Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, and The Beauty Inside, which she feels sums her up pretty well.
Ruthe Stein is the movie correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle. She has covered the film industry for the Chronicle for 20 years, writing reviews, celebrity profiles and industry trend stories. She regularly covered the Sundance Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Academy Awards. In 2009 she created the Mostly British Film Festival in San Francisco, a celebration of cinema from the UK and beyond. She has a bachelor's and master's degree from Northwestern University.
Meredith Brody, a lifelong cinephile, has worked in many aspects of the film business: as a film festival programmer and publicist, as a development executive, and as a screenwriter. She has written for every film magazine there is (and some that aren't anymore), including Cahiers du Cinema, Film Comment, Empire, and Premiere, as well as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times. the Village Voice, and the LA Weekly. She has been a screener and juror for many film festivals, including Telluride, the AFI festival, the Ashland Independent Film Festival, Cartagena, and San Miguel de Allende/Guanajuato. She writes for the websites Indiewire, RogerEbert.com, and EatDrinkFilms.
Pauline Kael is among the most famous and divisive film critics of all time. Her praise helped uplift the careers of Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and others, while her putdowns left lasting wounds. She was a pioneering woman in a male chauvinistic world. This nuanced portrait captures her complexity while revisiting late-twentieth-century cinema through her lens, using ample film clips, never-before-seen archival, wide-ranging interviews and her writings voiced by Sarah Jessica Parker.Read More
Stage manager Rachel Gurner still lives in her childhood apartment - along with her off-kilter actress sister, Jackie; eccentric playwright father Mel; and deadpan preteen niece Dodge - above the tiny theatre they own and operate. Level-headed and turtleneck-wearing Rachel is the only thing standing between her family and utter chaos. Then, in the wake of a sudden family tragedy, Rachel and Jackie learn their presumed-deceased mother is actually alive and thriving as a soap-opera star. Now the sisters' already-precarious balance turns upside down, and Rachel must figure out how to liberate herself from this surreal imbroglio. Co-writer/director/star Hannah Pearl Utt is a triple threat with an impeccable sense of timing and a flair for juxtaposing unpredictable elements. Just as pragmatic Rachel and off-the-wall Jackie seem to hail from different planets while inhabiting the same universe, so too do the film's over-the-top moments and characters coexist alongside subtle, grounded ones. Equal parts madcap comedy, adult coming-of-age story, and poignant drama, Before You Know It gleefully defies categorization, and that is its genius.Read More
Maria Linde, a free-spirited, Jewish Polish Nobel Prize winner, lives in Tuscany surrounded by warmth and chaos in her family's villa. A loving mother and grandmother, she also fosters a secret flirtation with the much younger Egyptian man who runs a nearby seaside inn. After a terrorist attack in Rome, Maria refuses to succumb to the hysterical fear and anti-immigrant sentiment that quickly emerge, deciding in her acceptance speech of a local honor to boldly decry Europe's eroding democracy-but she is unprepared for the public and personal havoc her comments wreak.Read More
14 year old Jewish Mina, is trying to navigate between a surreal routine dictated by the civil war in Ethiopia and her last days of youth with her Christian boyfriend Eli. When she discovers that her family is planning to immigrate to Israel and escape the war, she weaves an alternate plan in order to save Eli. But in times of war, plans tend to go wrong. Marsha's coming of age film debut film is based on her childhood memories of a civil-war-torn Ethiopia.Read More
A young Jewish woman from Mexico City finds herself torn between her family and her forbidden love with a non-Jewish man.Read More
Some seventy years ago, gynecologist Dr Carl Clauberg conducted sterilization experiments in Auschwitz on women and girls.Were German companies Schering and Siemens involved in these crimes? Most of the few women that survived became sterile, only some could later still bear children. Clauberg's cruel research on birth control and infertility is part of the medical canon to this day.Read More
$110 JFI Members / $130 General Public
The 10-Flix Voucher Package can be redeemed for 10 regular priced tickets to any 10 programs of your choice (not good for Special Programs except Centerpiece Films, and the Freedom of Expression Award Presentation. Share with family and friends, fully transferable. Great for gifts!