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Laura Mulvey to run a seminar at EQZE

Filmmaker, essayist and academic, Mulvey is a seminal figure in feminist film theory. This encounter forms part of the activities of the EQZE research project ‘Genealogies of learning’  and takes place at the end of the 2022-2023 academic year, during the presentation of the students final projects.

Laura Mulvey to run a seminar at EQZE

Laura Mulvey (Oxford, 1941) will visit the Elías Querejeta Film School from 14 to 16 December. During this visit, which forms part of the activities of the EQZE research project entitled ‘Genealogies of Learning’, the influential theorist will reflect on her teaching career and how her work as a teacher has influenced her thinking and practice as an avant-garde filmmaker. A filmmaker, essayist and academic, Mulvey has made an essential contribution to the discipline of film studies, influencing the way films are studied from a feminist theory perspective.

Her first essay, written in 1975 and entitled ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’, was a founding document of feminist film theory and was both a manifesto and a piece of experimental writing, offering a feminist critique of the representational structures of classical Hollywood cinema using a psychoanalytic approach. She later continued her work with books such as Visual and Other Pleasures (1989), Citizen Kane (1992), Fetishism and Curiosity (1996), Death 24x a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image (2006), and Afterimages: On Cinema, Women and Changing Times (2019). Laura Mulvey has also made six films with Peter Wollen, exploring the discourses of feminist theory, semiotics, psychoanalysis and left-wing politics. Their trilogy of films, Penthesilea (1974), Riddles of the Sphinx (1977) and AMY! (1980) explored myth and the representation of women, while later works ranged from the documentary Frida Kahlo & Tina Modotti (1980) to experimental narratives such as Crystal Gazing (1981) and The Bad Sister (1983). Her approach, which is a combination of filmmaking, writing and lecturing, has influenced generations of feminist film practitioners, artists and thinkers.

A career in teaching and lecturing has complemented Laura Mulvey's artistic practice. From the early 1980s, she taught at Bulmershe College, the London College of Printing and the British Film Institute, Birkbeck, the University of London, and many other places worldwide. Different components of her teaching throughout the years, from the use of technology to analyse film, for example, the use of the editing table as a teaching tool, the projection of analogue film clips in the classroom, or later, the possibilities offered by the use of VHS and digital files, have influenced Mulvey's understanding about cinema.

Screening schedule

As well as taking part in the seminar, Laura Mulvey will also participate in two public screenings at the Tabakalera cinema. The first will take place on Thursday 14 December, and will feature Frida Kahlo & Tina Modotti and AMY!; and the second, organised by Tabakalera, will take place on Saturday 16 December and will feature The Arbor (Clio Barnard, 2010). Both sessions will begin at 19.00 h. This encounter will take place at the end of the 2022-2023 academic year, during the presentation of the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola students’ graduation projects.