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Log in through your institution. Cultural Critique provides a forum for international and interdisciplinary explorations of intellectual controversies, trends, and issues in culture, theory, and politics. Emphasizing critique rather than criticism, the journal draws on the diverse and conflictual approaches of Marxism, feminism, psychoanalysis, semiotics, political economy, and hermeneutics to offer readings in society and its transformation.


Added: Parks Rickard - Date: On September 16,Melissa Thompson shared a video of film producer Harvey Weinstein sexually harassing her during a business pitch. Thompson was raped by Weinstein following the meeting. I suppose I should say that Thompson alleges that she was raped by Weinstein. But I will not watch the video, and I do not say alleged, because I believe her.

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And it should not be necessary. It is a reminder that as a society, we have failed to truly believe survivors. It is also a reminder that MeToo is not a phenomenon that happened in the abstract. This is our present, and it is messy and difficult. I am writing this and speaking to you as a film critic. I am writing this and speaking to you as a film scholar. As a teacher. As someone who has loved going to the movies and been invested in the joy of cinema since they were. Back in May, I watched as scores of film critics threw their so-called ethics out the window and flocked to see the new Lars von Trier film while we were at Cannes.

This is my solution to the problem of abusive men in the film industry: imperfect, personal, professional, emotional, logical, irrational… and angry. Yes, this article is angry, because this article is me, and I am fucking furious. It may seem unorthodox for an academic and a woman to be so viscerally emotive. To notice me — yes, me — so that you look beyond the headlines and see what your love for Alfred Hitchcock or Roman Polanski or Woody Allen looks like from the other side.

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Last summer, I was tasked with teaching a second-year undergraduate course to film and television students. In my experience, historical surveys including on modules I have delivered in the past have all tended to look the same. All of the films and television shows will be directed by white men. All of them. Of the readings, only a handful will be by women scholars.

There will be no people of colour represented. At all. This time, I decided to do things differently and ensured that feminist and postcolonial perspectives were prominent. I envisaged that the course would include a mix of men and women on the screening list.


Then, the MeToo movement went viral in October …. Also, like many other women, I felt sick and enraged and upset and exhausted because this was about me, too, as a survivor of male sexual violence. To teach Arbuckle is to teach Hitchcock is to teach Weinstein is, to me, to validate my own abusers in the classroom. What to do about it, then? Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most radical.

Burn it all down. No, of course, not all men. Consequently, I Text me to fuck in Trier to teach a mandatory film and television history course that only screened film and TV by women. And this is the curriculum, which was co-deed and co-taught by a colleague:. I had two reasons for doing so. First, to reassure students that yes, I write about and enjoy things directed by men and that we can simultaneously critique them. Otherwise, everything had a woman director.

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Over ten weeks, we covered: early film; Classical Hollywood; French New Wave; British heritage cinema; the avant-garde; stardom; sitcom and television drama; documentary; and Netflix. We used posters, advertisements, toys, merchandise, the daily press, photographs, music videos and press releases, among other materials, to understand the industrial, aesthetic and political contexts of film and television.

We discussed feminism, misogyny, MeToo, racism, white supremacy, queer histories, transphobia, and the natures of history, historiography and power. We questioned our privilege. And at the end of it, student engagement with the course had improved and a record of them got As. Of course, not everyone has been positive about my decision not to screen films and shows made by men.

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This was based on both my well-trained-female need to ask for permission and seek approval I asked senior male colleagues if my teaching practice was okay and out of curiosity I asked if anyone had done this before in an online space for academic women to discover what successes and challenges they had faced. I also decided to be open with students about my curation practices. To walk into a room filled with the next generation of film and television makers, critics, distributors, broadcasters, exhibitors and educators and not talk openly about abuse in the Text me to fuck in Trier of MeToo felt like a missed opportunity at best, and irresponsible at worst.

Nor am I going to give direct quotes. I was told to stop drawing attention to myself. I was told to just be quiet about it or risk a backlash.

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I was told that I was re-inscribing gender binaries and that people would see straight through me. I was told it was not appropriate. Some people also pointed out and thanks for this, I really love having to rehash this argument that the work is not the person; the art is not the artist. Come on. We inscribe our names on all of our creations: on paintings, on book covers, in the opening credits of films. Art is not free of the conditions of its production just because the conditions make us feel guilty about our consumption.

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But we should sure as hell be questioning the ethics of our enjoyment. I saw Pulp Fiction on TV recently. Once upon a time I even thought that Lars von Trier was an interesting filmmaker. I am complicated and flawed.

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I can try harder, too. Some teachers and exhibitors also say that we should continue to teach Hitchcock, Weinstein, von Trier — and problematize them. They fear that by excluding them from our canon we lose too much of our cinematic and televisual history. Heaven forbid. Indeed, the alleged and proven abusers, harassers, assaulters and rapists whose names appear in this article all named as such in the mainstream press have well over producer, director, writer and actor credits between them. On the one hand, we denounce the film industry for failing to act, and on the other, we continue to circulate and legitimise the work of abusive men in academic and exhibition spaces, as if they are not all connected.

Fuck the canon (or, how do you solve a problem like von trier?): teaching, screening and writing about cinema in the age of #metoo

We continue to review their work and to heap praise on it. As the survivors of abuse, we are less than animals. We may as well be puppets, or CGI, or invisible.

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Look at us. Look at us and learn to care.

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We also, as teachers and mentors, fail to recognise, somehow, that the people we are teaching in our classrooms today are the industry professionals of tomorrow. I am The course was delivered in My peers now run film festivals, are marketing and acquisitions managers for major studios, are producers and directors. Yeah, right.

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Do we need any more of those reminders? Fuck those men and fuck their canon and fuck their entitlement and privilege. It was about empowering all of my students to do things differently in future.

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My feelings and ideas and ethics are valuable. And, for all the negatives, I have never had so many positive responses. These are far too personal to share in any detail but related to issues of visibility, sexuality, creativity one student was inspired to make her first film! The announcement that the course would feature women directors was cheered.

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Most lectures were met with a round of applause from women students keen to make their approval known to their peers. In the classroom, women spoke all the time. The gender politics of discussions were transformed and inverted. I want all women students, all women cinema goers, all women, everywhere, to have this experience and to know the possibility of their lives being centred.

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By Steve Pond.


On September 16, , Melissa Thompson shared a video of film producer Harvey Weinstein sexually harassing her during a business pitch.


Innocuous items—a mug full of pens, a bottle of vitamins, a porcelain deer—grew in size, a grotesque sprawl that hovered, claws-raised, over the screen below.


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