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Chick Flicks : Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement Paperback – September 30, 1998


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Chick Flicks : Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement + Points of Resistance: Women, Power, and Politics in the New York Avant-garde Cinema, 1943-71 (2d ed.) + Women's Experimental Cinema: Critical Frameworks
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books; 1St Edition edition (September 30, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822321211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822321217
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Although the title leads readers to expect a titillating look at Caged Heat-type exploitation films, this book is instead an exploration of "cinefeminism" and autobiography, an attempt to "interrogate changing interests and shifts in popular culture." The author, a cultural critic who has been published in the Village Voice, New York, and Out, ruminates on her experiences working the feminist film society and festival circuit in the heady days of the 1970s, shares her thoughts on the controversial legacy of Nazi documentarian Leni Riefenstahl, and discusses the knotty issues of sex, politics, and pornography in a review of Not a Love Story. Rich also gives her slant on the lesbian classic Maedchen in Uniform (1931), and two chapters describing time spent interviewing and hanging out with Julie Christie are the book's highlight. On the other hand, these collected essays need a tighter focus, the autobiography could be pruned by half, additional essays on recent noteworthy films should have been added, and declarations that the author was "dazed, possessed, virtually levitated" by a film don't add to the reader's appreciation. The book's appeal is limited to large academic collections on the feminist film movement.?Stephen Rees, Levittown Regional Lib., PA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

“Ruby Rich reinvents both herself and her approach to film criticism, in a fascinating book that alternates autobiography and theory. She is wise and funny at the same time, never dogmatic, always allowing her discovery process to remain in clear view.”—Roger Ebert


“This collection of writings by B. Ruby Rich is sure to become a classic. She has proven herself to be a courageous guide into uncharted aesthetic and political territory and, in describing so eloquently what she finds there, she does what critics aspire to but rarely achieve: she both educates and entertains.”—Sally Potter, director of the films Orlando and The Tango


“This is a remarkable book. Rich has written a memoir that encourages the reader not only to see the original essays in a new context but also and especially to understand the development of an intellectual and political moment with all of its complications and personal investments.”—Judith Mayne, author of Cinema and Spectatorship

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
Rich's book is a riveting collection of her essays about film and feminism, but it is much more than that too. Introducing each essay is a memoir that tells us what was happening in her life at critical moments as feminism and women's film were developing in the sixties and seventies. This mix makes the history personal and compelling and adds life and context to her classic essays. B. Ruby Rich is a journalist, cultural critic and professor of film whose articles have appeared in the Village Voice, Elle, Mirabella, The Advocate, Out, Time Out New York and many other places. She is funny, engaging, and wonderfully brings the history of feminism and film up to the present moment.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
Writing about women as spectators of Hollywood cinema, B. Ruby Rich once protested that the choices have been "to identify either with Marilyn Monroe or with the man behind me hitting the back of my seat with his knees." I love that description not just for its immediacy and visceral thump, but because it originally appeared in the New German Critique, a formidable academic journal. Since B. Ruby Rich is neither a Ph.D. nor a full-time academic, her appearance in this journal and her respectability in film scholarship are reasons for optimism about the inclusion of multiple voices in and about feminist film criticism. Rich introduces her book Chick Flicks: Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement with a heartening invitation for such inclusion. "I sincerely believe," she says, "that the people who read GLO: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (the academic journal where I have edited film and video reviews) and the people who mob the Sundance Film Festival (where I serve on the selection committee) have something to say to each other." This statement reveals Rich's facilitating voice and her remarkable comfort in very different cultural locations. Rich has earned the right to reminisce about the feminist film movement because she has "been there," from Sundance to academic editorial boards, but has not camped permanently in any chic or safe spot. Rich's reviews and essays have appeared in widely-used film theory anthologies and in popular media, including public radio, the Village Voice, Sight and Sound, the Advocate, and Elle.Read more ›
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
Perhaps Chick Flicks' greatest strength is the number of ways in which it can be read: as a professional retrospective strewn with delicious gossip, a personal diary of hindsight recollection and revision, a copious document of 70s and 80s feminist film culture, a historical memoir and a memoir of history. But more than anything, it is a textbook for the very reeducation Rich has so enthusiastically championed. ... Chick Flicks is a model of polically rooted, socially coonscious, intellectually challenging--but not intellectually alienting -- cultural criticism. ... The interplay of Rich's personal reconstructions and past and present criticism turns Chick Flicks into Rich's own proactive feminarrative, her own contribution to feminist history that propels itself forward by remembering the past in empowering detail, naming names, giving voice, claiming experiences.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
Rich is a major figure in recent feminist film history, so it's great to see her book out. Still, I'm not sure that the combo (old essays + autobio narrative) works. Like a lot of people, I just read the personal/dishy stuff. The essays on their own didn't seem to hold up, or maybe they get lost in the flow.
Of course, I appreciated learning the context for the texts, but I felt they could have been better as two separate books (since Rich clearly has a lot to say about her past).
The only flaw was that the author sometimes seemed to have so many axes to grind, even 20+ years later. She's so committed to her view of herself as an outsider/underdog that, when you realize she's been the head of a major funding agency, you get a little suspicious. She's so aware (often justly) of the flaws of other people's positions, but you wonder what she leaves out.
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