Film Addendum with Jessica Hargreaves

By Stephanie Ellison 

As her work has a cinematic quality, I initially had this idea of framing my interview with Jessica Hargreaves around film. It didn't work, but over the years some of my favorite films and conversations have been a direct result of Hargreaves' recommendations.  So as an aside, I'm sharing a couple of the movies we've watch and discussed - both the most liked and the most controversial. 

 

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

 Watching "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" with Jessica Hargreaves in Brooklyn in 2015. 

Watching "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" with Jessica Hargreaves in Brooklyn in 2015. 

So many layers of beauty and poignancy in this film, it's a whole conversation in itself. Like many good tales, it resonates at both fantastical and real levels while remaining conceptually relevant. Hargreaves recommended this movie a decade ago and it's been in my top 10 ever since. 

 

The Red Shoes (1948)

 Moira Shearer with Leonide Massine in  The Red Shoes ( 1948)

Moira Shearer with Leonide Massine in The Red Shoes (1948)

Technicolor dreams and painterly horrors of a woman's choice. It's visually stunning and historically fascinating, calling upon modern and classical dance in all its cultural and artistic drama of the time. 

 

Frantz (2016)

FRANTZdvd700.jpg

The most recent picture of the bunch. A story of strength. Without giving anything away, it's not what it might initially seem.

 

The Women (1939)

 Pilates in 1939,  The Women

Pilates in 1939, The Women

 Animal references to the female characters in  The women  (1939)

Animal references to the female characters in The women (1939)

I thought Hargreaves recommended this to me years ago. She says she did no such thing. 
This is the difficult one of the bunch to digest, but it's worth a watch and discussion, if only for the reflection on our collective cultural memory. It is witty and yet painful. The original play, written by Clare Boothe Luce, herself a somewhat conflicted character in US history, features only women...and the animals for which they are compared to. The setting is white, upper-class in what is assumed to be New York. The movie, while adapted to screen by two women and starring only women, is directed by a man, George Cukor.