Thursday 21 May 2015

What Do Women Want?... More to watch!

Setting up What Do Women Want? event at Hay Parish Hall
What Do Women Want? was the rather blunt title of a special event at this year's Festival of British Cinema at Hay-on-Wye. Professor Ian Christie explored the fascinating legacy of the neglected British women filmmakers of the 1940s and 1950s with tantalising clips of their work. The audience was left wanting more: more to view, more to find out.

Ian Christie with Festival Director Naomi checking presentation notes
Radio 4's Today programme was due to run an item on the event so that sent me, as Borderlines Press Officer, scurrying around for useful contacts a day or two before the festival. Typically the piece was bumped from the 'arts & entertainment' slot - by the death of Leonard Nimoy ('Mr Spock') the day before. But I did discover some interesting details to add to the information Ian Christie provided during the presentation. Of the five woman filmmakers featured in the programme, only Lorenza Mazzetti survives, redoubtable and living in Rome.

So please follow the links below if you want to find out more.

Ruby Grierson

Biography on BFI Screenonline includes link to Film and TV credits
Today We Live (with Ralph Bond, 1940, 23 minutes) and They Also Serve (1940, 10 min) available to view at BFI Mediatheque (Housewives' Choice collection) and on 4 disc Land of Promise BFI DVD

Kay Mander

Kay Mander filming How To File (1941)

Biography on BFI Screenonline includes link to Film and TV credits and extracts from BECTU interview with Sidney Cole
BFI obituary
Guardian obituary
One Continuous Take is a compilation DVD by Paramint featuring many of Mander's films plus a documentary on Mander and her work made in 2001 by Dr Adele Carroll 
Homes For the People (1945, 23 minutes) available to view at BFI Mediatheque (The Promised Land Collection)
A Plan To Work On (1948, 34 minutes) on  4 disc Land of Promise BFI DVD

Jill Craigie

Biography on BFI Screenonline includes link to Film and TV credits
Guardian obituary
The Way We Live (1946, 64 minutes) complete film on YouTube
Blue Scar (1949, 90 minutes) Welsh mining drama, held in BFI Collections
To Be a Woman (1951, ) available on Disc 1 of 4-part BFI DVD box set Shadows of Progress

Muriel Box
Muriel Box on set of To Dorothy a Son with Shelley Winters


Biography on BFI Screenonline includes link to Film and TV credits
The Seventh Veil (Oscar-winning screenplay with Sydney Box, 1945, 94 minutes) entire film available on YouTube
The Good-Time Girl (screenplay, 1948, 93 minutes) entire film available on YouTube
The Happy Family (1952, 86 minutes) available on DVD
To Dorothy a Son (1954, 82 minutes) available on DVD

Simon and Laura (1955, 85 minutes) available on DVD
The Passionate Stranger (1956, 93 minutes), available on DVD

Subway in the Sky (1959, 84 minutes) available on DVD
Rattle of a Simple Man (1964, 92 minutes) available on DVD
Moviemail has a web page devoted to Muriel Box DVDs
Observer article on Muriel and Betty Box by Rachel Cooke, author of Her Brilliant Career, Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties
Transcript of interview Sidney Cole available to download from BECTU History Project (see Documents link top right)

Lorenza Mazzetti

Together (1956) on 3-part BFI DVD box set Free Cinema, also available to view at BFI Mediatheque (London Calling collection)
Lorenza Mazzetti on Paolozzi is a film by Gilly Booth and Chris Horrocks to accompany a major Eduardo Paolozzi retrospective in Chichester in 2013. Artists Paolozzi and Michael Andrews played deaf mutes working in the London docks in Together.

Other Links
It is also worth searching for material on the BFI Collections website. Film material can be ordered to view in the Reuben Library at BFI Southbank or elsewhere.

A Woman's Work is a monthly event to highlight the work of women in the film industry founded and  run by actor/writer/director Kate Hardie at the ArtHouse Croydon. Director Carol Morley talked about Muriel Box's career alongside a screening of The Happy Family in December.
Women's Film and Television History Network  UK/Ireland
Women in Film and Television UK
Bird's Eye View is no longer active as a film festival but still runs training and preview screenings

Happy viewing!

Jo Comino,
Borderlines Press and Marketing