Writers on Film

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Lynne Sachs: Portrait of a Filmmaker Who

Season 1, Ep. 23

John Bleasdale talks to Lynne Sachs, the Memphis born, Brooklyn based filmmaker on the eve of a season of her works being streamed on the Criterion Channel. Since the 1980s, Sachs has created cinematic works that defy genre through the use of hybrid forms and collaboration, incorporating elements of the essay film, collage, performance, documentary and poetry. Her films explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences. With each project, she investigates the implicit connection between the body, the camera, and the materiality of film itself.

 

Over her career, Sachs has been awarded support from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NYFA, and Jerome Foundation. Sachs has made 40 films (including Tip of My TongueYour Day is My NightInvestigation of a Flame, and Which Way is East). Her films have screened at the Museum of Modern Art, Wexner Center, the Walker, the Getty, New York Film Festival, and Sundance. In 2021, Edison Film Festival and Prismatic Ground Film Festival at Maysles Documentary Center awarded Sachs for her body of work.

 

Sachs is also deeply engaged with poetry. In 2019, Tender Buttons Press published her first book Year by Year Poems. In 2020 and 2021, she taught film and poetry workshops at Beyond Baroque, Flowchart Foundation, San Francisco Public Library, and Hunter.  www.lynnesachs.com


After comprehensive career retrospectives at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2020 and the Museum of the Moving Image in 2021, the Criterion Channel is delighted to announce that director Lynne Sachs’ films will join the Channel in October 2021 along with a newly recorded director interview exploring her works. Sachs will be making her the Criterion Channel debut with seven earlier works followed by her latest feature, Film About a Father Who, recently released theatrically by Cinema Guild and receiving its exclusive streaming premiere with the Criterion Channel. 

 


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Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Melanie Williams on A Taste of Honey

Season 1, Ep. 104
Melanie Williams is Professor in Film and Television Studies at the University of East Anglia, UK. A specialist in British cinema, her publications in this area include British Women’s Cinema (2009), Ealing Revisited (BFI, 2012), David Lean (2014), Female Stars of British Cinema: The Women in Question (2017) and Transformation and Tradition in 1960s British Cinema (2019).A Taste of Honey (1961) is a landmark in British cinema history. In this book, Melanie Williams explores the many, extraordinary ways in which it was trailblazing. It is the only film of the British New Wave canon to have been written by a woman – Shelagh Delaney, adapting her own groundbreaking stage play. At the behest of director Tony Richardson and his company, Woodfall, it was one of the first films to be made entirely on location, and was shot in an innovative, rough, poetic style by cinematographer Walter Lassally. It was also the launchpad for a new type of young female star in Rita Tushingham.Tushingham plays the young heroine, Jo, who finds she is pregnant after her love affair with Jimmy (Paul Danquah), a Black sailor. When Jimmy's ship sails away, Jo is comforted and supported by her gay friend Geoff (Murray Melvin), while her unreliable mother, Helen (Dora Bryan), has her own life to lead. Candid in its treatment of matters of gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality and motherhood, and highly distinctive in its evocation of place and landscape, A Taste of Honey marked the advent of new possibilities for the telling of working-class stories in British cinema. As such, its rich but complex legacy endures to this day.