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How TCM’s ‘Women Make Film’ Makes Up for Film Education’s Exclusivity

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01.09.2020

Mark Cousins‘ extensive fourteen-hour documentary Women Make Film receives the showcase it deserves courtesy of Turner Classic Movies starting the first week of September. As part of a four-month-long program, the documentary has been split into episodes focused on different aspects of filmmaking, and it feels like the most exciting lecture you could ever have in film school. If only any film school was so exhaustive. Fortunately, TCM has been educating viewers on film history for years, and this new program expands that reach to filmmakers who tend to be left out by most curriculums.

Cousins’ concept for Women Make Film is to take audiences on a road trip through cinema by exploring film theory and filmmaking techniques using only clips from movies made by women, including Claire DenisBeau Travail (1999) and Vera Chytilová‘s Daisies (1966), as examples. With lovely narration by Tilda Swinton, Jane Fonda, Sharmila Tagore, and others (rather than Cousins doing voiceover himself as usual), aspects of filmmaking normally limited to formal film school courses are discussed in an accessible, yet fascinating way. And women who are usually left out of documentaries about movies and moviemaking are given the spotlight they’ve never received before.

Beyond seeing the clips that are featured in the documentary, viewers also get a chance to see one-hundred movies from among those highlighted in the series in their entirety via TCM. For many of the slated movies, this will be their first time on the cable channel. And some of the films, such as Ana Mariscal‘s El Camino (1963), Nadine Trintignant‘s Crime Thief (1969), and Gilda de Abreu‘s O Ebrio (1946), will be making their US debut during this programming. Hosts Alicia Malone and Jacqueline Stewart will be showing up between episodes and films with talks featuring special guest filmmakers, as well. This in-depth look at........

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