The Orphan Film Project and NYU Cinema Studies are cosponsoring this swell event at Anthology Film Archives, programmed by Genevieve Yue. Join us!
Her notes from the Anthology Film Archives calendar:
The various faces of the “China girl,” sometimes called a “China doll” or “girl head,” have appeared in more films than any actress, though she is almost never seen, save for the fleeting glimpses an audience might catch at the end of a film reel.
These images of a woman, demurely positioned next to color swatches, have appeared on the leader of every commercial manufactured film since the late 1920s and continue in limited use today. The China girl image is instrumental in determining exposure, image density, and color balance, forming a kind of cinematic unconscious. Her essential but often overlooked role in film history has also made her a compelling subject for experimental filmmakers variously examining issues of celluloid materiality, the behind-the-scenes workings of the film industry, and the often marginal role of women. In some cases, the China girl is no less than the enigmatic icon of a vanishing medium.
Two programs highlight nine experimental films using the China girl, as well as a talk by programmer Genevieve Yue, and a projection performance by Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder. (May we also say that Sandra Gibson is a 2010 graduate of NYU's M.A. program in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation?)
Program 1 Thursday, November 29 at 6:45 pm (ca. 80 minutes) all in 16mm
Program 2 Thursday, November 29 at 9:00 pm
|Gibson & Recoder at Orphans 2008|
Illustration at top from "China Girls / Leader Ladies," web page created by Northwest Chicago Film Society
Julie Buck and Karin Segal's "Girls on Film" exhibition at Harvard
Watch the Buck & Segal movie, GIRLS ON FILM (2005)