Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962, Agnès Varda)
Yo, La Peor De Todas, 1990, Maria Luisa Bemberg
Warda - “Chante la vie chante” from Ah ya Leil ya Zaman
Ah ya Leil ya Zaman (1977, Aly Reda)
house of psychotic women, 1974, carlos aured
" …Sited both in and outside the movie theatre, that oblique positionality is instrumental in sustaining ongoing global constructions of white, western political authority, and, as culture critic Susan Jeffords suggested, is both interactive with and conducive to the larger multinational global remappings of late capitalism. … Thus, the film imagines, and creates, a viewing subject positioned directly at the center of its act of constructing history, a viewer who is also constructed by the film as the exclusively white western subject of a colonialist present."
Romanticizing Colonialism: Power and Pleasure in Jane Campion’s The Piano, Reshela Du Puis
Nine years after first viewing Black Narcissus, the character of Sister Ruth remains important to me. She is not really too sympathetic…she is spiteful, bitter, and hateful…she and Clodagh are somewhat pitted against each other as personifications of good and evil because even though they both have doubts and insecurities, Clodagh suppresses hers and puts her duty first while Ruth lets hers consume her. Black Narcissus is a melodrama and a very overt one but I honestly think that Sister Ruth is a very fine character and one of the best examples of an hysterical woman, an angry woman, an ugly woman, a real ‘madwoman’ in western cinema. I remember when I first saw the film that something I loved was how I was conscious that her ultimate ‘evilness’ emerged from herself.
I felt that I had seen many films, classic and contemporary, in which women were evil for no reason…they wanted to cause disharmony and ruin lives for no apparent reason and also seemed all-powerful. Watching Black Narcissus…it was apparent to me at all times that Sister Ruth’s crippling insecurity and self-hatred informed all her decisions. Her paranoia and loneliness were present in every shot of her running around furtively in the technicolor chiaroscuro of the palace; every close-up of her giving a sickly smile. I saw these neuroses eat away at her until they finally drove her truly Mad…Mad with a capital “M” because she turned into a classical Madwoman. Her entire last scene…her applying the lipstick slowly and defiantly in front of Clodagh…being rejected by Mr. Dean…emerging from the doors with those red eyes and deathly pale lips…is like a carefully orchestrated visual “mad song”; as potent as “Il dolce suono” from Lucia di Lammermoor. I love Sister Ruth and I am thankful that she was a formative part of my earliest days of watching and loving movies. She will always have a place in my personal “House of Psychotic Women”.
- Z (visualtraining)