Programmed by Francesca Lambert
Spanning diverse cultures and genres, this series showcases feature films by international women directors about women protagonists. Focusing on their heroines' narratives and journeys of (self-)discovery, the films include teenage coming-of-age tales and stories exploring familial and social relationships, some with strong autobiographical elements, and all told from a cinematically underrepresented point of view.
(Agnès Varda, 1985) · As writer-director-narrator, Agnès Varda first introduces us to Mona (Sandrine Bonnaire) frozen to death in a ditch in the French countryside. The rest of the film, through "interviews" with those who had encountered her and flashbacks of Mona's activities leading to her demise, paints a splintered and evocative portrait of this captivating, enigmatic, inconsistent and stubborn young Parisian secretary-turned-drifter in search of her freedom.
runtime: 105m format: 35mm
(Claudia Llosa, 2005) · "God is dead, he can't see us! There are no sins during Holy Time." Set in an isolated Peruvian village during an anarchic Easter festival, Claudia Llosa's debut stars Magaly Solier as the eponymous 14-year-old protagonist whose world is shaken up by the arrival of an unwelcome stranger from Lima. Dazzling religious rituals and gorgeous cinematography contrast with the menacing and disturbing goings-on as Madeinusa's coming-of-age takes unexpected turns.
runtime: 103m format: 35mm
(Dee Rees, 2011) · Alike, (Adepero Oduye) a good student with a flair for poetry, navigates her Brooklyn high school, social stigma, and tumultuous family life as she firmly embraces her lesbian identity. Dee Rees draws on autobiographical elements to chronicle Alike's first love, first heartbreak, and the difficulties of growing up and remaining true to oneself in this coming-out and coming-of-age film that is refreshingly optimistic and moving without being saccharine or predictable.
runtime: 86m format: DCP
(Kelly Reichardt, 2008) · Wendy is Alaska-bound in her dilapidated Honda with her beloved dog Lucy when a series of increasingly dire misfortunes traps her in a small, unfriendly town in Oregon. This simple premise, explored with great nuance and economy by writer-director Kelly Reichardt, slowly crescendos to its quietly heartbreaking and haunting conclusion, anchored by a masterful performance by Michelle Williams as the downtrodden yet determined heroine.
runtime: 80m format: 35mm
(Nadine Labaki, 2007) · A neighborhood beauty salon in Beirut serves as the backdrop for Nadine Labaki's first feature, a light-hearted and poignant romantic comedy that chronicles the daily struggles and triumphs of five women. Exploring questions of repressed sexuality, societal conservatism, and familial duty, Caramel is a tale of solidarity and sisterhood that serves as a safe haven in a changing society caught between patriarchal tradition and Western modernization.
runtime: 95m format: 35mm
(Catherine Breillat, 2001) · Twelve-year-old Anaïs (Anaïs Reboux) is fat, while her sister, 15-year-old Elena, is lithe and beautiful, a budding object of male desire. At the French seaside on family holiday, Anaïs witnesses Elena's brutal seduction and corruption. Catherine Breillat's controversial film offers an unsettling, uncompromising look at the complicated bonds of sisterhood and the power relations surrounding female adolescent sexuality, culminating in an infamous shocker of an ending.
runtime: 86m format: 35mm
(Ana Lily Amirpour, 2014) · In the Iranian ghost-town of Bad City, bad men must reckon with The Girl (Sheila Vand), a lonesome, chador-clad skateboarding vampire. Prowling the dead-end town's underbelly, The Girl falls in love, against all odds, with a boy. Beautifully shot in radiant, inky black-and-white entirely in southern California, Ana Lily Amirpour's genre-bending, idiosyncratic, super-cool debut features a standout soundtrack, soulful, moody, and hypnotic.
runtime: 107m format: DCP
(Lynne Ramsay, 2002) · Morvern (Samantha Morton), a grocery clerk in a desolate Scottish town, wakes on Christmas morning to find that her boyfriend has committed suicide. Instead of honoring his last wishes, she submits his unpublished manuscript as her own and uses his funeral money to go on a trip to Spain with her best friend Lanna. Arrestingly shot, Morvern's journey is bold, poetic, and at times surreal, a story about grief, change, and the inscrutable parts of human experience.
runtime: 97m format: 35mm
(So Yong Kim, 2008) · So Yong Kim directs two remarkable, unselfconscious leads as precocious seven-year-old Jin and her younger sister Bin. When the children are abandoned by their mother, who promises to return once they have filled up the piggy bank she leaves them, they must learn to grow up and fend for themselves. Based partly on the director's own experiences, Treeless Mountain is a sensitive, wrenching, and yet unsentimental portrayal of the loss of childhood.
runtime: 89m format: DCP
(Jane Campion, 1993) · Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter), a mute Scotswoman, is sold by her father into marriage with a New Zealand frontiersman. When she arrives, she must fiercely and unconventionally bargain to keep her beloved piano. Michael Nyman's haunting original score and the lush scenery play as big a role as the incredible lead performances (including a young Anna Paquin as Ada's daughter Flora) in this epic story of love, desire, sexuality, and the power dynamics therein.
runtime: 121m format: Digital