This year, Mudbound DP Rachel Morrison made history as the first woman nominated for the Best Cinematography Oscar, a triumph that also underscored the troubling issue of gender inequality in the film industry. Few jobs on a movie set have been as historically closed to women as that of cinematographer—the persistence of the term “cameraman” says it all. Despite this lack of representation, trailblazing women have left their mark on the field through extraordinary artistry and profound vision. As seen through their eyes, films by directors like Claire Denis, Jacques Rivette, Chantal Akerman, Ryan Coogler, and Lucrecia Martel are immeasurably richer, deeper, and more wondrous. Featuring in-person appearances, this international two-week series spotlights the amazing work of such accomplished female cinematographers as Agnès Godard, Natasha Braier, Kirsten Johnson, Joan Churchill, Maryse Alberti, Ellen Kuras, and Babette Mangolte, while also posing the question: is there such a thing as the “Female Gaze” at all?
Organized by Florence Almozini, Tyler Wilson, and Madeline Whittle.
Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique; UCLA Film & Television Archive; Mathieu Fournet and Amelie Garin-Davet, Cultural Services of the French Embassy; Institut Français; Stella Artois; NYLO; Agnès Godard, Natasha Braier, Joan Churchill, Ashley Connor, Meredith Emmanuel, Ellen Kuras, Hélène Louvart, Babette Mangolte, Rachel Morrison, and Kirsten Johnson.
Download The Female Gaze brochure or read below.
Introduction by cinematographer Agnès Godard on July 26Godard’s textured cinematography casts a lovely gossamer spell on Denis’s delicate film, which begins in the territory of Renoir’s La Bête humaine and develops into an enchanted evocation of Ozu’s Late Spring.
Q&A with cinematographer Joan ChurchillChurchill shot and co-directed this documentary about America’s first female serial killer, Aileen Wuornos, whose escalating madness is unsparingly depicted as she approaches execution.
Cinematography by Irina LubtchanskyLuminously photographed by Irina Lubtchansky in the open-air splendor of the south of France, the final film from arch gamesman Jacques Rivette is a captivating variation on one of the themes that most obsessed him: the ineffable interplay between life and performance. An NYFF47 selection. Screening with Sarah Winchester, Ghost Opera.
Cinematography by Hélène LouvartEliza Hittman follows up her acclaimed debut It Felt Like Love with this sensuous, sensitive chronicle of sexual becoming, in which a Brooklyn teenager (breakout star Harris Dickinson) spends his nights exploring the world of online cruising.
Q&A with Agnès Godard · Opening Night ReceptionThis retelling of Billy Budd, set among a troop of Foreign Legionnaires, is one of Denis and Godard’s finest collaborations: a sensuously photographed story of misplaced longing and frustrated desire.
Cinematography by Babette MangolteVisionary cinematographer Babette Mangolte allows viewers to peer through the lens of her camera in this heady consideration of the complex relationship between photographer, subject, and viewer.
Cinematography by Kirsten JohnsonJohnson’s directorial debut feature is a self-portrait of an artist who has traveled the globe, venturing into landscapes and lives that bear the scars of trauma both active and historic.
Cinematography by Sabine LancelinAkerman’s interpretation of the fifth volume of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time is by turns an exacting take on dysfunctional love and a ferocious example of tonal control.
Cinematography by Maryse AlbertiRyan Coogler takes the Rocky legend into the 21st century as Michael B. Jordan’s gutsy Adonis Johnson—son of Apollo Creed—sets out to prove he’s got what it takes to be the next champ.
Cinematography by Kirsten JohnsonWhile studying cinematography at La Fémis in Paris, Johnson shot this portrait of one of the most influential and iconoclastic figures of the 20th century.
Cinematography by Jeanne LapoirieAn arrangement between a French businessman and a young Ukrainian male prostitute begets a home invasion and then an unexpectedly profound relationship in this absorbing, continually surprising film by Robin Campillo (BPM: Beats Per Minute).
Cinematography by Ellen KurasThe high-contrast handheld camerawork of Ellen Kuras enhances the whiplash sense of disorientation in this heart-wounding, time- and space-collapsing journey through memory and a star-crossed romance gone sour.
Cinematography by Céline BozonExquisitely shot by Céline Bozon (director Serge Bozon’s sister), this unclassifiable hybrid of war movie and movie musical is truly unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
Cinematography by Rachel MorrisonRachel Morrison’s gripping, exploratory Super 16 camerawork explores the unseen complexities in the life and tragic death of Oscar Grant in Coogler’s remarkable debut feature.
Cinematography by Caroline ChampetierCaroline Champetier’s moody lensing creates the feeling of an all-enveloping universe operating according to its own paranoid logic in this tale of four female acting students who share an apartment that may or may not be linked to a criminal conspiracy.
Cinematography by Barbara AlvarezBarbara Alvarez imparts a restrained—and very strange—spatial texture to Martel’s excitingly splintered third feature, about a woman (María Onetto) in a state of phenomenological distress following a mysterious road accident.
Cinematography by Caroline ChampetierCinematographers Caroline Champetier and Yves Cape both lensed this unclassifiable, shape-shifting, expansive movie from Leos Carax about a man named Oscar (Denis Lavant) who inhabits 11 different characters over the course of a single day.
Cinematography by Josée DeshaiesFilmed with a mixture of casual detachment and needlepoint precision by Josée Deshaies, Bonello’s House of Tolerance is a gorgeous, opium-soaked fever dream of life in a Parisian brothel at the turn of the century.
Cinematography by Agnès GodardAgnès Godard has never been more focused on the visceral than in Denis’s laconic drama about an aging man (Michel Subor) who leaves home in pursuit of a heart transplant and his estranged son.
Sneak Preview! · Q&A with director/cinematographer Reed MoranoPulling double duty as director and cinematographer, Reed Morano evokes the melancholic beauty of the apocalypse with this gorgeous and strange drama about a misanthrope (Peter Dinklage) savoring the solitude of the end of the world—until someone else (Elle Fanning) arrives.
Cinematography by Babette MangolteThe monotonous daily routine of a Brussels housewife is transformed with dread and suspense in Akerman's monumental masterpiece.
Q&A with cinematographer Natasha BraierCapturing the striking beauty of Lima’s outskirts, Llosa's second feature follows a woman who suffers from a traumatic curse passed on to her by her mother, a rape victim.
Sneak Preview! · Q&A with cinematographer Ashley ConnorA teenage girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) forms an unlikely family after being sent to a gay conversion therapy center. A FilmRise release.
Q&A with cinematographer Natasha BraierIn this nightmarish take on the contemporary fashion world, an aspiring model (Elle Fanning) moves to Los Angeles, where her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women.
Cinematography by Rain LiAt once a dreamlike portrait of teen alienation and a boldly experimental work of film narrative, Paranoid Park follows a withdrawn high-school skateboarder as he struggles to make sense of his involvement in an accidental death.
Cinematography by Hélène LouvartHere revolutionizing the dance film just as he did just as he did the music documentary in Buena Vista Social Club, Wim Wenders began planning this project with legendary choreographer Pina Bausch.
Cinematography by Caroline ChampetierCinematographers Caroline Champetier and William Lubtchansky telegraph a freewheeling, anything-goes sense of play, as well as a creeping surveillance paranoia, in one of the most elaborate of Jacques Rivette’s sprawling, down-the-rabbit-hole cine-puzzles.
Cinematography by Diane BaratierAt the age of 88, Éric Rohmer bid adieu to cinema with this enchanting, sun-dappled mythological idyll, which brims with all the vitality and freshness of youth.
Cinematography by Sabine LancelinLancelin evokes the sublime and fantastic in Oliveira’s magical tale of a young photographer desperately in love with a woman he can never have, except in his dreams.
Cinematography by Claire MathonMathon captures naked bodies and hardcore sex with the same matter-of-fact sensuousness that they bring to ripples on the water and the fading light of dusk in this exploration of death and desire around a gay lakeside cruising spot.
Cinematography by Ellen KurasOne of the most daring works to emerge from the New Queer Cinema movement of the early 1990s, Swoon offers a radical, revisionist perspective on the infamous Leopold and Loeb murder case.
Cinematography by Akiko AshizawaThe elegant long shots of DP Akiko Ashizawa toy with the meticulous framings of Ozu in Kurosawa’s unexpected—but wholly rewarding—foray into melodrama-cum-black comedy about secrets and deceptions within a seemingly average Japanese family.
Cinematography by Crystel FournierSciamma’s warmly empathetic tone is perfectly complemented by the soft-lit impressionism of Crystel Fournier’s glowing cinematography in this sensitive, heartrending portrait of what it feels like to grow up different.
Free screening!Todd Haynes’s delirious rock opera about a journalist (Christian Bale) hired to reconstruct the sordid life story of the failed glam star (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) he’d idolized as a young man is as colorful, noisy, and chaotic as Haynes’s Safe had been clinically restrained. An NYFF27 selection.
Cinematography by Hélène LouvartAlice Rohrwacher’s sophomore feature, a vivid yet mysterious story of teenage yearning and confusion, conjures a richly concrete world that is subject to the magical thinking of adolescence.
Free and open to the public! · Sponsored by HBO®Join us for an hour-long conversation with cinematographers Natasha Braier, Ashley Connor, Agnès Godard, and Joan Churchill as they discuss the series and reflect on their careers and influences, and how they approach their craft.
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