Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 7pm
Films from The New Woman’s Survival Catalog

155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn

Presented with Primary Information

Published in 1973, The New Woman’s Survival Catalog is a seminal survey of Second Wave feminist efforts, which, as the editors note in their introduction, represented an “active attempt to reshape culture through changing values and consciousness.”

Assembled by Kirsten Grimstad and Susan Rennie in only five months, with a nod to Stewart Brand’s influential Whole Earth Catalog, The New Woman’s Survival Catalog maps a vast network of feminist alternative cultural activity in the 1970s. Grimstad and Rennie set out on a two-month road trip in the summer of 1973, meeting and interviewing all the featured organizations and individuals, gathering information and further references along the way to complete the publication. Covering everything from arts organizations to bookstores and independent presses, from health, parenting, and rape crisis centers to educational, legal, and financial resources, the book provides a revelatory view into feminist initiatives and activism nationwide during the Women’s Movement. Styled as a sales catalog, The New Woman’s Survival Catalog comprises listings and organizational descriptions, articles, and extensive illustrations, as well as a “Making the Book” section, detailing the publication’s production.

It also includes a substantial film section, which guides browsers through a variety of the era’s independent distributors and feminist cooperatives—New Day Films, Newsreel Films, Women Make Movies, Video Women, and many others. Tonight, occasioned by the volume’s facsimile reissue by Primary Information, Light Industry co-hosts a selection of the films highlighted and made accessible by The New Woman’s Survival Catalog: Gunvor Nelson’s experimental portrait My Name Is Oona, a title listed in the expansive compendium “Films by and/or about Women,” published by the Women’s History Research Center in Berkeley; Joyce Chopra and Claudia Weill’s documentary Joyce at 34, a powerfully clear-eyed account, produced with an all-woman crew, of the co-director navigating her dual role as mother and filmmaker; Jan Oxenberg’s autobiographical Home Movie, a pioneering instance of the new lesbian cinema that would flower in the decade that followed; and The Woman’s Film, a vital document of Women’s Liberation and the stirrings of political self-understanding that the movement’s consciousness-raising groups engendered.

My Name Is Oona, Gunvor Nelson, 1969, 16mm, 10 mins
My Name Is Oona captures in haunting, intensely lyrical images fragments of the coming to consciousness of a child girl. A series of extremely brief flashes of her moving through night-lit space or woods in sensuous negative, separated by rapid fades into blackness, burst upon us like a fairy-tale princess, with a late sun only partially outlining her and the animal in silvery filigree against the encroaching darkness; one of the most perfect recent examples of poetic cinema. Throughout the entire film, the girl, compulsively and as if in awe, repeats her name, until it becomes a magic incantation of self-realization.” - Amos Vogel

Joyce at 34, Joyce Chopra and Claudia Weill, 1972, digital projection, 28 mins
“The camera closely follows Joyce during this year as she impatiently awaits the arrival of her child, takes six-week old Sarah with her on assignment, or lets her writer husband care for the child while she is on another assignment. Joyce's own thoughts and comments about her work and about being a mother convey the pressures, delights, doubts, conflicts, and compromises she experiences as she fits this new person into her daily routine and resumes her filmmaking.” - New Day Films, from The New Woman’s Survival Catalog

Home Movie, Jan Oxenberg, 1972, digital projection, 12 mins
“A simple content analysis of Home Movie will rightfully see the film as analyzing and celebrating being lesbian. Yet the form itself is significant and the title suggestive. Oxenberg uses home movies to underscore the role of the family and school as institutions that perpetuate patriarchal ideology. In the context of this film, home movies, usually a celebratory recording of family life, ironically become a condemnation of the very institutions filmed. Oxenberg celebrates not women's joining family or school but their release. Additionally, the 8mm and Super-8 footage depicting the past juxtaposed against the 16mm footage depicting the present suggests Oxenberg's historical approach to the material. The home movies’ awkward child is found later playing football and marching in a political demonstration. Freed of false constraints or ‘false framing,’ this woman has expanded the parameters of her life: from mom and dad as ‘family’ to the lesbian movement as ‘community,’ from the sideline onto the playing field. The film by its very form suggests: yes, there is socialization and, yes, there is isolation. But there is also potential for change, especially in the context of a social movement.” - Michelle Citron

The Woman’s Film, Women’s Caucus of San Francisco Newsreel, 1971, digital projection, 40 mins
“One of the first films to come out of the women's movement. Interviews with women: ‘not the women you will see, as a rule, in a women's liberation demonstration, nor NOW members. They are poor and working-class women with problems that have to do with their everyday existences. While realizing that they are made to play a supportive role to men, they know that their real oppression comes from a system that does not recognize their needs as human beings, as women, as poor people. Issues like welfare rights, workers’ strikes, the lack of day-care facilities, the Vietnam war, and racial discrimination touch their lives as does sexism in all forms.’” - Newsreel Films, from The New Woman’s Survival Catalog

Tickets - $8, available at door.

Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 6:30pm.

Special thanks to Joyce Chopra and Nellie Killian.