Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Episode #112 — Maya Montañez Smukler (Old Boyfriends)

"This is a book about a specific moment where second wave feminism
and 1970s Hollywood intersect and how that unique historical
intersection impacted women directors."

In a time of Easy Riders and Raging Bulls, the opportunities for directors of New Hollywood to make ambitious, artistic, and socially conscious movies blossomed in a way the industry had never allowed—but those outside the categories of white and male had a different story. But despite the gender disparity, sixteen daring women broke through. Some of their names are known; others in need of rediscovery. Either way, UCLA's Maya Montañez Smukler saw her goal to tell their narratives, showing how the rise of second wave feminism started the fight against the industry's sexism that continues today. In this wide ranging interview, Maya discusses her early history working for women-focused cinema organizations and how that eventually led to her book Liberating Hollywood. Peter and Maya explore the legal and cultural bookends that make up her project, and contextualize these directors in both their moment and ours. Finally, the two dive into Old Boyfriends, a truly oddball debut feature from Nashville screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury with a screenplay by Taxi Driver's Paul Schrader and an all-star cast.

0:00–3:36 Opening
4:21–1:05:42 Deep Focus — Maya Montañez Smukler
1:06:34–1:2:05 Sponsorship Section
1:12:45–1:27:34 Double Exposure — Old Boyfriends (Joan Tewkesbury)
1:27:39–1:29:29 Close / Outtake

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Notes and Links to the Conversation
—Learn more about Liberating Hollywood
—History of the UC Theatre in Berkeley 
Ray Carney's history of independent cinema includes the stories of Barbara Loden, Elaine May, and Shirley Clarke
—Gerald Peary and Karyn Kay's Women and the Cinema: A Critical Anthology
—Watch Alison Anders's Gas Food Lodging
AFI Directing Workshop for Women
Women Make Movies
—Cari Beaucheamp recently wrote about Anders's famous Miramar Summit
—The older tale of New Hollywood can be found in Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls as well as Mark Harris's Pictures at a Revolution. Recent texts expanding this narrative include The Last Great American Picture Show: New Hollywood Cinema in the 1970s and The New Hollywood: What the Movies Did with the New Freedoms of the Seventies. For more on race and New Hollywood, see here.
—The Academy's Visual Oral History Project
—The Director's Guild of America's Women's Steering Committee
—Barbara Peeters's compromised film, Humanoids of the Deep
—For more on the EEOC and Hollywood's roster system, see here.
Karen Arthur's Legacy
—Penny Allen's Paydirt and Property
—More about the collaboration between Jane Wagner and Lily Tomlin
—Jane Wagner's Moment by Moment
—Claudia Weill's It's My Turn
—Molly Haskell's From Reverence to Rape and Marjorie Rosen's Popcorn Venus: Women, Movies & the American Dream
Charles Champlin
—Rachel Syme also discusses the "Original Six" here
—Barbara Peeters's Starhops
—More about Juleen Compton
—Joan Tewkesbury's Old Boyfriends is pretty much only available now in this YouTube rip
—The script for the film is available at the Academy Library

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