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Film Series - Band of Outsiders: Women Crime Writers

June 29, 2017
7:00 pm
Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive

While the mysteries of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers are well known today, the more hardboiled writings of Charlotte Armstrong, Vera Caspary, Dorothy B. Hughes, and Elisabeth Sanxay Holding are not. Their work has recently been rediscovered thanks to Sarah Weinman's anthology "Women Crime Writers: Eight Suspense Novels of the 1940s & 50s." In dark stories that defy easy categorization, they and other unduly neglected authors probe American society and find troubled marriages, suburban estrangement, and women chafing at traditional roles. Weinman notes: "These women paid attention to details, flaws . . . and situations that men did not. They . . . explore the tyranny wrought by the loneliness and alienation of the domestic sphere." No surprise that such ruptures of domestic bliss spoke to women readers. While Weinman refers to these stories as "domestic suspense," it was undoubtedly their noir moods that led Hollywood to option many of them. Our series of adaptations of women's writing includes renowned classics and a host of lesser-known gems, all directed by men. But watch for the women's touch: the focus on the home, often fraught with anxiety, exposing women--and sometimes children--to peril; the complexity of women characters whose lives are caught between their desires and society's expectations or who actively seek liberation from restrictive mores; and the relish with which ordinary men's dark impulses are unmasked. For the full list of screnings in BAND OF OUTSIDERS, click here:

Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive

2155 Center St, Berkeley, CA
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