Theory And Popular Cinema

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Theory and Popular Cinema

Theory and Popular Cinema


'The personal is political' is one of those phrases that feminists tend to bounce around a lot. Emerging as a filmmaker in the 1970s, Potter “came of age…within the force field of two powerful cultural movements: structural film and feminist theory. From the former, she inherited an appreciation for experimental cinema of a conceptual bent, and from the latter, she gained an understanding of the ways in which issues of gender might be integrated into works of art.” (Fischer, 2004: 42). Within experimental and feminist form, her complex films also evoke the styles and themes of prominent art film directors.

In this innovative study, the paper presents the work of well renowned British movie director, actress and choreographer Sally Potter. This paper is a commentary on Potter's work, with the director and Potter's filmography. In general periods, Potter's individual characteristics search responses to inquiries about their sexy, gender, and heritage identities. Potter frees her camera from the patriarchal mind-set of accepted cinema; her feminine individual characteristics have more choices and the male equivalent are convoluted characters. The recurrent topic in most of Potter's movies is the way women notify their own tales and how narration can be altered by the feminine perspective. In deduction, this study has opened up new localities for argument and better comprehending of a feminine British creative individual who has not yet profited the warranted acknowledgement in her native country. It is wanted that Sally Potter will give the director and her work better worldwide and nationwide exposure.


Potter gradually incorporates stylistic virtuosity built upon (instead of rejecting or overlooking) these structuralist and feminist experimental beginnings. Winner of the European Film Academy's Felix Award for Best Young European Film of 1993, Orlando's success offered Potter greater public visibility and critical admiration. Vincent Canby describes Orlando as “Ms. Potter's triumph.

In proportion to Orlando's grandiose historical scale, The Tango Lesson (1997) self-reflexively portrays a filmmaker, Sally (played by Potter herself), who, upon struggling to finance her generically risqué Hollywood murder mystery, turns to tango lessons (and eventual romance) with renowned dancer Pablo Veron (played by Veron). By “metaphorically violating the '180-degree rule' and moving from behind to in front of the camera, Potter broke the normal pattern for female film artists, who typically move from screen star to director.” (Fischer, 2004: 46) In elegant black and white cinematography evocative of The Cranes are Flying and with homage to innumerable Hollywood musicals (particularly Singin' in the Rain), The Tango Lesson quietly explores the enworldedness and aesthetic resonance of personal expression and intimacy.

Themes and Reception

Potter's curious and complex protagonists struggle for genuine expression and uncompromised harmony within macrocosmic realms. Invested in the meanings within and existence beyond value-ascribing identity labels, Potter describes her authorial process and signature: “I always work under the illusion that I'm starting from scratch…But the questions of belief, mortality, personal and political relations, male-female dynamics, identity and exile are…running themes that have taken different forms in my ...
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