Sidebar - film programme


City of Women would also like to draw your attention to the following events taking place at the time of the festival:

Wednesday , 4th October 10pm
Amateur (Amater)

Hal Hartley,
105 min., USA, 1994.
followed by a Q&A with: Elina Löwensohn
Slovenska kinoteka, Miklošičeva 28, Ljubljana.
Silent film with live music accompaniment
Slovenska kinoteka, Miklošičeva 28, Ljubljana.

Silent films with live music accompaniment (Kino-Uho): LOUISE BROOKS

Wednesday, 11th October, 9pm
Tagebuch einer Verlorenen

Georg Wilhelm Pabst,
109 min., Germany,  1929.
Music accompaniment: Marco Dalpane (piano), Raniero Gaspari (sampler)

Thursday, 12th October, 7pm
Lulu, Die Büchse der Pandora

Georg Wilhelm Pabst,
109 min., Germany,  1928.
Music accompaniment: Marco Dalpane (piano), Ugo Mantiglia (violin). Composed by: M. Dalpane & Giorgio Casadei.

Friday, 13th October, 7pm
Prix de Beauté

Augusto Genina, 108 min., France, 1930.
Glasbena spremljava/ music accompaniment: Marco Dalpane (piano), Ugo Mantiglia (violin). Composed by: M. Dalpane.

Organised by: Slovenska kinoteka / Kino-uho

Louise Brooks: A Deconstructive Vamp

Louise Brooks never made it to the talkies: she was writing instead. This unique case of a woman's career in the movies is too often overshadowed by other spectacular aspects and turns: her iconic position, her exceptional work in Europe with Pabst, her miraculous resurrection, her late cult. Nothing could be more tempting for a feminist analysis than this woman, silenced by the contemporary technique of the production of images, and writing at the same time, as a living Marguerite Duras metaphor. Voiceless, but reading and writing, Louise Brooks re-incarnates the cultural repression of women, and the gendered anthropological status of reading and writing practices.
Her own deconstruction of the vamp image lies in pleasure. The »punishment« of a vamp or a bad girl in her movies is neutralised by the unashamed presence of pleasure and irony. A vamp in the early American and European movies is a challenge to masculinity and male social/sexual dominance, a figure produced to match the rise of women's power and presence in public. This figure is produced by men and for a predominantly male audience, initially to match the women's movement and emancipation, and then, on a much larger scale, to respond to post-World War I male fears and traumas. Among them, castration is dominant, clearly linked to the frontline and trench warfare, and to the dangers from underground (mines, shells, bombs). Therefore, sexually demanding women, vamps, should be destroyed in each and every movie, in order to please the sexual fantasy, to ease the social discomfort of men and their post-traumatic condition, and to scare off possible vamp candidates among women. In such a narrative context, a reading-writing vamp was extremely subversive. Louise Brooks combined the force of independent intellectuals and the sexually liberated, the two most dangerous species among women.

Perhaps the most evident presence of the male culture's reaction to Louise Brooks, and also of the persistence of the post-traumatic condition, is the use of her icon in comics, especially as Guido Crepax' Valentina in the 70's and 80's. Two elements in the Valentina invention are persistent – a lack of words and irony. Valentina enjoys sex, especially when she is dominated (sado-masochistic folklore added), but scarcely utters words, and never smiles. She is a perfect sexual object, without autonomy. The obvious »cannibalising« of the Louise Brooks' icon can be read here, in the attempt to annihilate the deconstructive vamp's innovations. Valentina simply appears in images which were not acceptable in vamp-movies, the censored and/or imagined scenes. More silenced than ever, this exuberant boyish fantasy tries to destroy the dangerous link between intellectual and sexual independence, and at the same time, it tries to destroy cultural memory, and therefore contemporary women's use of Louise Brooks' strategies.
As a kind of »cultural dissident« Louise Brooks critically scrutinised Hollywood in her collection of autobiographical essays Lulu in Hollywood (1982). Her self- marginalisation is a brilliant example of a feminist strategy of gaining the other kind of power, which should be exemplified in times of creeping banalities, ghost-writing and gossip when it comes to popular culture. Elite and/or academic writing on popular and movie culture has never been so close to this kind of disaster, and there is almost nothing but this kind of disaster in today's Slovene writing on popular culture. Re-viewing and re-reading Louise Brooks could be a good educational project if it is oriented to this field of cultural production. As this is not the case, Louise Brooks remains an inspiring feminist icon, challenging the conservative backlash, confirming women's memory, and initiating the ever-engaging debate on gender, reading and writing.
Svetlana Slapšak

Date and time of event: 
Oct 04th 22:00
Place of event: 
Slovenska kinoteka
Date and time of event: 
Oct 11th 21:00
Place of event: 
Slovenska kinoteka
Date and time of event: 
Oct 12th 19:00
Place of event: 
Slovenska kinoteka
Date and time of event: 
Oct 13th 19:00