Sunday, May 20 at 7:30 pm
Reexamine, Reclaim, Redefine: Anything You Want To Be & Joe and Maxi
Screening to be followed by discussion with Maxi Cohen, Liane Brandon, and Deirdre Boyle
Next in our co-presentation with the Women’s Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) and New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT), From the Vault: Women’s Advocacy on Film, is a double feature on the development of young women in the midst of societal pressures and stigmas. The first film, Maxi Cohen’s Joe and Maxi, is an intimate portrait of a father-daughter relationship, both autobiographical and universal in its emotional exploration of the family unit. The feature will be followed by Liane Brandon’s groundbreaking short Anything You Want to Be, which finds humor in the common stereotypes that dictate the opportunities and career choices available towards young women.
We are happy to be welcoming back Brandon to discuss her short after the screening!
Joe and Maxi
Maxi Cohen, 80 min., 1973
This film is an intimate and revealing portrait of the relationship between a father and daughter. Begun as an attempt to get to know her father, Cohen’s film ended up dealing with diagnosis of cancer and subsequent death. A breakthrough verité film, it portrays universal emotions while exposing family interactions and raising ethics issues involved in documentary filmmaking.
Anything You Want to Be
Liane Brandon, 8 min., 1971
ANYTHING YOU WANT TO BE is one of the very first “Women’s Liberation” films in the country – and it was instrumental in spreading the word about the Women’s Movement across the US. Shot in 1970, it is a humorous film about a teenager’s collision with sex-role stereotypes. In a series of comical vignettes, a bright high school girl finds that, despite her parents’ assurance that she can be “anything she wants to be,” she is repeatedly foiled by social expectations and media stereotypes. As a part of the growing women’s movement, this film helped give voice to a generation of women whose expectations, opportunities and career choices were extremely limited.
Maxi Cohen is an award-winning artist and filmmaker based in New York City. Her films, photographs and multimedia installations have been exhibited internationally and are in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum for American Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Her films have played in movie theatres, film festivals and television around the world.
Liane Brandon is an award winning independent filmmaker, photographer and University of Massachusetts/Amherst Professor Emerita. She was one of the first independent women filmmakers to emerge from the Women’s Movement. She is a co-founder of New Day Films, the nationally known cooperative that pioneered in the distribution of feminist/social issue films and videos.
Her classic films include Anything You Want To Be, Betty Tells Her Story, Once Upon A Choice, and How To Prevent A Nuclear War. They have won numerous awards and have been featured on HBO, TLC, USA Cable and Cinemax. They have also been presented at the Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and other venues. Betty Tells Her Story was nominated for inclusion in the National Film Registry and Anything You Want To Be was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Her photography credits include production stills for the PBS series American Experience, Nova, American Masters and the upcoming American Masters bio of Edgar Allan Poe. Her photos have been published in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe and many other publications.
Deirdre Boyle is a media critic and historian who has written numerous essays, reviews, and interviews on independent media for such publications as Afterimage, Cineaste, CineAction, Film Quarterly, Frameworks, Millennium Film Journal, Short Film Studies, Wide Angle, among others. She is the author of Subject to Change: Guerrilla Television Revisited (Oxford Univ. press), a history of Seventies’ video collectives, and Video Classics: A Guide to Video Art and Documentary Tapes (Oryx Press) among other books. She is currently writing Ferryman of Memories, a book on the films of Rithy Panh, Cambodia’s leading filmmaker, media activist, and genocide survivor.