Kay Bourne Arts Report – Issue #66

Contents

A FILM FOR WOMEN BY WOMEN

SINGLETON CONTINUES MAGIC ON STAGE

LOIS ROACH AND ANOTHER POWER PLAY

NOTORIOUS B.I.G. EXPLODES ON BIG SCREEN

DIDION’S ‘MAGICAL THINKING’ MAKES US THINK

‘REVOLUTIONARY ROAD” IS REVOLUTIONARY

MCKNIGHT’S ORIGINAL SONG ON OBAMA DVD

UP-COMING EVENTS


A FILM FOR WOMEN BY WOMEN

by Kay Bourne

(Click above image of CAMILLE MUSSER for ticket information to WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS)

f87079d77351e739ce0580ce415cb8cd.124.88 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #66PAMELA TANNER BOLL‘s absorbing documentary film is a feminist twist on a classic torch song: it cost her a lot but there’s one thing that she’s got — it’s her art.

The close-up-and-personal documentary “WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS” delves into the lives of women driven to make art whether or not their husbands buy into the compulsion. “He understood it to a certain point,” comments one of the women. By and large, the children more easily take mom’s sculpting, drumming, painting, or acting in stride, and some of the children are her greatest supporters, although most of them seem merely to bear with it. Never mind.

It’s hearing from the women themselves about how and why they stay true to the passion which animates them, but that art history and the art world today largely discounts, that makes Pamela Tanner Boll’s film emotionally involving and of import.

The film is also visually striking. Her camera lovingly exhibits the women’s art for the viewer; also, and even more significantly, she lingers on the women themselves as they talk and move about and make art. This time around in the art world women are not being objectified, rather they are acknowledged as human beings who are gifted and, sadly enough, too often paying a heavy price for exercising that gift.

“(Making art) was the person I wanted to be and I wasn’t and the call gets louder,” says one of the women. “I always knew there was more to me than singing a song or two before my husband preached,” says another, the wife of a minister.

“Who Does She Think She Is” screens intermittently at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston through JANUARY 18.

Two of the artists featured in the film are local: painter CAMILLE MUSSER of Cambridge and actress/singer ANGELA WILLIAMS of Providence, Rhode Island. The other spot-lighted artists are ceramist JANIS WUNDERLICH, a Mormon mother of five working out of a home studio in Ohio; sculptor MAYA TORRES, of Taos, New Mexico, a 13th generation Taosian; and printmaker/social activist MAYUMI ODA, a Japanese born graphic artist now heading a back-to-the-earth commune in Hawaii. They range in age from 27 to 65. There’ll be Q & A with the filmmaker and others following most screenings.

Interspersed with commentary by art critics and feminist scholars, these women’s biographies personalize the plight and possibilities, the history and present-day opportunities for women who strive to be professional artists. The statistics are daunting, for while a large majority of students in art schools are women, only a tiny percentage get gallery representation and at MOMA, for instance, only four per cent of the artists being shown at the time of the film’s shooting were women (versus 75 % of the nudes in the art). These points and more are pertly made in the film.

The Museum of Fine Arts Boston


SINGLETON CONTINUES MAGIC ON STAGE

by Kay Bourne

(pictured: Cheryl Singleton)

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