The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) presents a must see documentary about the journey of feminism through the allegory of the much loved and lusted after, Wonder Woman. Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines resides at ACMI for the summer holidays as part of its Long Play program.
Gathering a cast of notable women within the feminist conversation, filmmaker Kristy Guevara-Flanagan charts the history of Wonder Woman, from her beginnings in the 1940’s by a man intent on providing a strong female role model for his daughters in a male dominated superhero genre, through to her change of profession as a fashion boutique owner, wife of Superman and kitchen goddess in the 1960s; through to her heralded comeback as a feminist icon on the cover of Ms. Magazine in the 1970s.
“I loved the idea of looking at something as populist as comics to reveal our cultural obsessions, and in particular, how women’s roles have changed over time. The narratives of our most iconic superheroes, told and re-told over decades, boldly outline our shifting values.” Guevara-Flanagan states.
Looking deeper than just the life and times of Wonder Woman, Guevara-Flanagan gathers a cast of interviewees and paints a discussion of feminism and of where the cause is now. Talking to those influential in the 1960’s and ‘70’s such as Gloria Steinem and Lynda Carter (aka TV’s Wonder Woman) and including academics and today’s influencers such as Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre), Wonder Woman fans and mothers (concerned their daughters have a lack of role models in the world today) an inspiring call to arms is told.
“Wonder Women… wraps graphic novel styling, rock aesthetic and four decades of sexual politics into a mighty smart package. Don’t be fooled, this isn’t just another chick-flick” says ACMI Film Programmer Kristy Matheson.
Continuing the conversation is Sexy Baby which will make its Australian premiere at ACMI. Picking up where Wonder Women… leaves off, this film by directors Ronna Gradua and Jill Bauer comes to Melbourne straight from the Tribeca Film Festival and screens as part of ACMI’s First Look program – presenting films from some of the newest auteurial talent. Sexy Baby looks at ‘raunch culture’ and the cyber age. With the internet a mainstay of daily life, it has arguably influenced our notions and representations of and relationship to sexuality.
“Ronna Gradus and Jill Bauer’s compelling documentary focuses on three very different women, all navigating this new landscape in staggeringly different ways. This is essential viewing for anyone interested in the current temperature of our society and what the future might hold” says Matheson.
A documentary triptych Sexy Baby follows Winnifred, a whip-smart New Yorker bustling through the tricky world of her tweens; Laura who is going under the scalpel to save her social life and Nakita who negotiates the complicated path from porn star to suburban mom. Defining, redefining and scrapping their definitions of what it means to be a female, the three discuss candidly their concerns, hopes and reflections on their current worlds and their futures.
Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines screens at ACMI from 27 December 2012 to 13 January 2013. Sexy Baby screens 3 to 6 January 2013. For tickets and more information visit www.acmi.net.au/lp_wonder_
Praise for Wonder Women: The Untold Story of American Superheroines
“As a woman interested in why we have so few strong female leads in films today, WONDER WOMEN! was a great way for me to see really how far we haven’t come” – Melissa Silverstein, indieWIRE
“Don‘t miss! A fun, empowering documentary about the never-ending battle against the rampant forces of chauvinist assholism” – Paul Constant, The Stranger
“4-stars! The film is filled with interviews with a multitude of smart, eloquent women explaining what should be evident but is so not: Girls need super heroes because they need to know that their gender is not an obstacle. If you have a daughter, it is a moral imperative that you show her this film as soon as possible” – Jessica Baxter, Film Threat
Praise for Sexy Baby
“Essential viewing for everyone living in a post-Internet age.” – indieWIRE
“Sexy Baby is an important – and at times chilling – film meant to provoke intelligent debate” – The Daily Beast
“Filled with intriguing dichotomies, Sexy Baby infuriates and titillates, frustrates and engages, while making you think long and hard about where we all are heading.” – Tribeca Film Festival
Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
Kristy Guevara-Flanagan 62mins USA 2011 HDCam. Source & Courtesy: Vaquera Films
Sexy Baby (Australian Premiere)
Ronna Gradus and Jill Bauer 84mins USA 2012 Digital Betacam Source & Courtesy: SexyBabyMovie