Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Framing Media #4 - Hayley O'Malley on Kathleen Collins Beyond Losing Ground

Today's episode features Hayley O'Malley, a Mellon postdoctoral fellow for the Black Arts Archive Sawyer Seminar at Northwestern University, who researches black women’s art and activism. We discuss her article, "Art on Her Mind: The Making of Kathleen Collins's Cinema of Interiority,” published in Black Camera. O'Malley looks across the broad spectrum of work, much of it unpublished, by the director of Losing Ground to find an artist continually using a subjective voice to define identity beyond the grounds of race and gender. Searching through her archives, she argues for a broader understanding of Collins as a writer in search of authentic experiences and attempting to tell personal stories without necessarily falling simply into autobiography. The research thus demonstrates a better understanding of this recently rediscovered filmmaker not just as a curios side note for film history, but perhaps a defining thinker and writer who influenced a number of writers, directors, and other artists in ways we might not realize.

Notes and Links to the Conversation
—Learn more about Hayley O'Malley and her research.
—Milestone, which put out Losing Ground on Blu-Ray, put Collins's 1984 Howard University lecture online. The Blu-Ray also features Collins's medium length film, The Cruz Brothers and Mrs. Malloy.
—Kathleen Collins's work at the Schomburg Center
—Two collections of writings by  Collins are available from Harper Collins: Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? and Notes from a Black Woman's Diary
—O'Malley recently wrote about Maya Angelou and her filmmaking career here.

Theme Music: "Hot Pink" by Chad Crouch

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