Girl HeadFeminism and Film Materiality

Girl HeadFeminism and Film Materiality

Genevieve Yue

Print publication date: 2021

ISBN: 9780823289554

Publisher: Fordham University Press


For decades, feminist film analysis has been focused on issues of representation: images of women in film. But what are the feminist implications of the material object underlying that image, the filmstrip itself? What does feminist analysis have to offer in understanding the film image before it enters the realm of representation? In Girl Head: Feminism and Film Materiality, Genevieve Yue explores how gender and sexual difference have been deeply embedded within film materiality. Though the industrial practices she examines are typically hidden from view, they are no less gendered than the images projected onscreen. In rich archival and technical detail, Yue examines three sites of technical film production: the film laboratory, editing practices, and the film archive. Within each site, she locates a common motif, the vanishing female body, which is transformed into material to be used in the making of a film. Yue develops a theory of gender and film materiality through readings of narrative film, early cinema, experimental film, and moving image art. In this original work of feminist media history, Girl Head shows how gender has had a surprising and persistent role in film production processes, well before the image ever appears onscreen.