Films for the Feminist Classroom: “The Owls”
July 30, 2010
FFFC, a new on-line journal that is a side-project of SIGNS, has just published my article, “A Lesbian Collective Aesthetic: Making and Teaching The Owls.” By including the written and documentary voices of several of the cast the crew in the article, I attempt to reproduce the “lesbian collective cinema aesthetic” that I discuss as central to the film within my “written” cinema criticism:
The essay is about making, teaching, and learning from lesbian cinema. I focus on making (and then teaching) our “generational anthem for Older Wiser Lesbians [OWLs], aging revolutionaries in a world they cannot control.” How our conversational, open-ended, film-based making is our “lesbian collective aesthetic.” Which is to say that, while most understandings of cinema aesthetics look primarily to film form and content (style and story), in the essay I suggest that the extra-textual feminist processes of collectively making (by first discussing and leaving room for multiple interpretations) lesbian cinema and identity and then critically and communally teaching (and then conversing again) about the practices of making cinema (and identity) are of greatest importance for me as an activist scholar, educator, and filmmaker, as well as for the collective of sixty-plus queers who participated in making the film.