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Moira teaches cinema studies and feminist film and theory at City College of San Francisco. She is one of the world’s experts on the work of Maya Deren.
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Sweden
San Francisco

 

Behind the #MeToo and #TimesUp social media campaigns

Written by Moira Sullivan

Years ago, a feminist film distributor remarked that the problem with Hollywood is that anything that can…

Big Little Lies: Female Bonding and Product Placement on the Monterey Coast

Written by Moira Sullivan 

“We see you, we hear you and we will tell your stories." -Reese Witherspoon,…

Cannes and Gender Equality, the work continues on site

By Moira Sullivan

While it may seem ironic to do so at a film festival that so seldom…

Review of Agnès Varda’s Visages Villages

Review by Moira Sullivan 

Visages Villages (2017). 89 minutes. Directed by Agnès Varda. Featuring: Agnès Varda and JR.…

Review of Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, 70th Cannes Film Festival official selection

Review by Moira Sullivan

You Never Really Were Here (2017). 95 min. Directed by Lynne Ramsay. Featuring: Joaquin…

Dorothy Arzner returns to Paris at Créteil Films de Femmes

By Moira Sullivan

Dorothy Arzner’s films were marginalized by male film historians until the advent of women’s film…

Review of Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens’s Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

Review by Moira Sullivan

Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (2016). 95 min. Directed by Alexis Bloom…

Last Tango in Paris: in Maria Schneider’s Words

Written by Moira Sullivan

Filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci first publicly acknowledged his exploitation of Maria Schneider during the filming…

The 73rd Venice Film Festival, La Biennale di Venezia: Women’s Voices in Independent Cutting-Edge Cinema

Review by Moira Sullivan 

The 73rd Venice Film Festival, La Biennale di Venezia, is one of my favorite film…

Cannes Film Festival Continues to Put Marginal Spotlight on “Women in Film”: May 11–22, 2016

Review by Moira Sullivan

After ten days of intensity, the Cannes Film Festival came to an end on May 22 with…

Review of Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles Directed by Chantal Akerman

Review by Moira Sullivan

On the occasion of the tribute to Chantal Akerman at the 38th Créteil International Film Festival, Moira Sullivan reviews…

Review of Chantal Akerman’s Les Rendez vous d’Anna

Review by Moira Sullivan 

On the occasion of the tribute to Chantal Akerman at the 38th Créteil International Film Festival, Moira Sullivan reviews…

Interview with Stig Björkman, Director of Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words

Interview by Moira Sullivan 

This piece is part of our double feature on Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words. Please see Moira Sullivan’s discussion of…

Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words: From Diary to Home Movies

This piece is part of our double feature on Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words. Please see Moira Sullivan's interview with Stig Björkman, writer and director of the film. Written by Moira Sullivan…

Fashion Statements at the 72nd Venice Film Festival: New films by Agnès Varda and Alice Rohrwacher

Written by Moira Sullivan 

Agnès Varda was a special guest at the 72nd Venice Film Festival for special…

The Swedish Gender Equality Package for Women in Film: Interview with Anna Serner, CEO at the Swedish Film Institute

Interview by Moira Sullivan

Anna Serner has been the chief executive officer of the “Swedish Film Institute” (SFI) since 2011. SFI is a national organization…

Review of Asif Kapadia’s Amy

Review by Moira Sullivan 

Amy (2015). United States, 128 minutes. Directed by Asif Kapadia. Starring Amy Winehouse, Mitch Winehouse, and Mark Ronson. Amy…

Review of Todd Haynes’s Carol

Review by Moira Sullivan

Carol (2015). France, 118 minutes. Directed by Todd Haynes. Starring Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Kyle Chandler...

Women Honored at the 68th Cannes Film Festival

Review by Moira Sullivan

This review is part of a double feature on the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Please check…

Agnès Varda Encourages “Rebelliousness” for Women in Film

Written by Moira Sullivan

This article is part of a double feature on the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Please…

Review of Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken

Review by Moira Sullivan 

Unbroken (2014). Australia, 137 minutes. Directed by Angelina Jolie. Starring: Jack O’Connell, Takamasa Ishihara, and Domhnall Gleeson.…

Jane Campion Revitalizes the Cannes Film Festival

Review by Moira Sullivan 

This review is part of a double feature on the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Please check out Moira…

Review of Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria

Review by Moira Sullivan

This review is part of double feature on the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Please check out Moira Jean Sullivan's…

Review of Kimberly Peirce’s Carrie

A remake can be a welcome addition and Peirce’s film is just that. The cinematography, mise-en-scène, art direction, and character development are modernized, making the film accessible to today’s youth, particularly the reality of cyberbullying.

Interview with Kimberly Peirce, director of Carrie

I am a daughter in a mother/daughter relationship, I have been in the girls’ locker room when the girls are acting mean and they have a particular way of doing that. I also, at the same time as you, look at how I present my gender and live. I am a tomboy.

Interview with Sini Anderson, director of The Punk Singer

Kathleen was really the strongest voice in the beginning of Third Wave feminism in [Riot Grrrl]. And really daring to be outspoken enough to say, “All women to the front.” That hadn’t been done before.

Review of Sini Anderson’s The Punk Singer

Sini Anderson’s documentary The Punk Singer is many things. It has been unfairly criticized for being a glowing highlight reel of Kathleen Hanna’s artistic, feminist, activist, and musical projects bordering on hagiography, and for not focusing enough on the larger movement of feminism or Riot Grrrl. In my view, those misguided criticisms miss the fact that the film, at once fierce and delicate, delivers feminism through a punk rock lens via the life and music of Kathleen Hanna.

La Vie D’Adèle (Blue is the Warmest Color): When a Lesbian Narrative Wins the Palme d’or in Cannes : To Be, or Not To Be, a Lesbian.

Why so many become enraptured about lesbian sex on screen is already asked and answered: it sells. It is a well-known male fantasy, but as far as a female fantasy, this depends on how the scenes are shot. Maroh has already addressed the problems. The nearly 10-minute sex scene is considered “long” by both standards, and the primary selling point of the film.

Review of Stacie Passon’s Concussion

As a storyteller, Stacie Passon wastes no time and rather than explaining everything in dialogue, her picture language is both economical and meaningful. The interior sets of the family home have a hygienically sealed cleanliness and smoothness.

Interview with Stacie Passon and Rose Troche, director and producer of Concussion

Abby’s either on her way out or on her way back in or she will continue hooking and all of the choices will be fine, but I think the central question of the film is, “ I belong to only you but you don't want me,” and that is where the film ends for me—that is the resolution and acknowledgment of the question in 93 minutes.

Interview with agnès films member Barb Morrison, score composer for Concussion

It’s always a collaboration between the director and me, and in the case of Concussion, Rose also had a lot of input on where there should be music. I’m also a big fan of using silence in a score. So I always give the film one or two viewings where I actually place silence where I think it should go. Silence can be powerful.

Review of Abdellatif Kechiche’s La Vie d’Adèle (Blue is the Warmest Color)

Reviewed by Moira Sullivan

This critical piece on the film is part of our double feature on the film La Vie…

The Marvelous Triple-Crown Winner Ellen Burstyn

Written by Moira Jean Sullivan

Ellen Burstyn received the “Peter J Owens Award for Excellence in Acting” at the 59th San Francisco International…

Based in San Francisco and Stockholm, Moira teaches cinema studies and feminist film and theory at City College of San Francisco. She is one of the world’s experts on the work of Maya Deren and is regularly invited to speak about her around the world. Moira's scholarship is published in the anthology "Maya Deren and the American Avantgarde" (2002). She attended film school  in Stockholm and at San Francisco State and has taught film production at a feminist women's college in Sweden.  Moira is a prolific writer of feminist film criticism and theory and has been published in several forums - online, radio, and print. She has attended "Créteil Films de  Femmes" since the 1980's and has written extensively about the festival for the non-French speaking public.

Photos © Moira Sullivan - 39:e Créteil Films de  Femmes closing  ceremony. Insert: Cannes Film Festival, Seminar on Gender Equality, 2016.