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Category Archives: Communications

No Job For A Woman: The Women Who Fought To Report WWII (2011)

61 minutes, Color/BW, DVD, English NoJobforWoman
A film by Michèle Midori Fillion
available from Women Make Movies

When World War II broke out, reporter Martha Gellhorn was so determined to get to the frontlines that she left husband Ernest Hemingway, never to be reunited. Ruth Cowan’s reporting was hampered by a bureau chief who refused to talk to her. Meanwhile, photojournalist Dickey Chappelle wanted to get so close to the action that she could feel bullets whizzing by. This award-winning documentary tells the colorful story of how these three tenacious war correspondents forged their now legendary reputations during the war—when battlefields were considered no place for a woman.

Narrated by Emmy® Award winner Julianna Margulies, this film features an abundance of archival photos and interviews with modern female war correspondents, as well as actresses bringing to life the written words of these remarkable women. Their repeated delegation to the sidelines to cover the “woman’s angle” succeeded in expanding the focus of war coverage to bring home a new kind of story— a personal look at the human cost of war.

 

Sign Painters (2013)

Directors: Faythe Levine & Sam Maconbloggersigns
Director of Photography: Travis Auclair
Editor: Bill Marmor
Produced by: Timm Gable & Jonah Mueller
US; 75m
View official trailer: http://vimeo.com/61006621
website: http://signpaintermovie.blogspot.com/
Press inquiries:
signpaintermovie@gmail.com

There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards, and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade.

In 2010 filmmakers Faythe Levine and Sam Macon began documenting these dedicated practitioners, their time-honored methods, and their appreciation for quality and craftsmanship. Sign Painters, the first anecdotal history of the craft, features the stories of more than two dozen sign painters working in cities throughout the United States. The documentary and book profiles sign painters young and old, from the new vanguard working solo to collaborative shops such as San Francisco’s New Bohemia Signs and New York’s Colossal Media’s Sky High Murals.

 

Black and White and Dead All Over (2012)

Directed by Lenny Feinberg & Chris Foster
83m; US

An in-depth look at the newspaper industry as it struggles to remain financially viable and to keep the presses rolling. Through the voices of prominent journalists including Bob Woodward of the Washington Post and David Carr of the New York Times, we reveal an industry in the midst of a financial death spiral, as readers abandon print for online news sources. We see publishers and editors desperately trying to create a sustainable business model for their dying papers.

Our film examines the importance journalism has on our society by following two fearless investigators into the badlands of North Philadelphia. With the economic crisis in the newsroom threatening to shutter their struggling tabloid, these courageous women bring down a dangerous and corrupt narcotics squad.

If the American newspaper dies, who will conduct investigative journalism, who will hold public officials accountable?

Click here to see the trailer
For more information on the film visit blackandwhiteanddeadallover.net

 

The Phantom of the Operator (2004)

A film by Caroline Martel

Canada, 2004, 66 minutes, Color/BW, DVD, French, Subtitled
Order No. W05869
This wry and delightful found-footage film reveals a little-known chapter in labor history: the story of female telephone operators’ central place in the development of global communications. With an eye for the quirky and humorous, Caroline Martel assembles a dazzling array of clips – more than one hundred remarkable, rarely seen industrial, advertising and scientific management films produced in North America between 1903 and 1989 by Bell and Western Electric – and transforms them into a dreamlike montage documentary.

As the first agents of globalization, this invisible army of women offered a way for companies to feminize and glamorize what was a highly stressful, underpaid and difficult job. Not merely “Voices with a Smile,” telephone operators were shooting stars in a universe of infinite progress, test pilots for new management systems, and the face of shrewd public relations campaigns. As the work of operators has been eclipsed by the advent of automated systems, this artful piece of labor history also offers an insightful comment on women’s work, industrialization and communications technology. Refreshing and hilarious, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERATOR provides a wry yet ethereal portrait of human society in the technocratic age.

available from Women Make Movies
 

Philips-Radio (1931) (aka The Symphonie Industrielle)

Director: Joris Ivens
36m

Country: Netherlands

An industrial film which shows the operations inside the Philips Radio plant: In a mêlée of activity, glassblowers make delicate glass bulbs. Machinery assists the bulb manufacture. A virtuoso glassblower begins a more complex tube used in radio broadcasting; it is then turned, fired, and sculpted. Conveyors carry partially completed units. Workers perform their various specific assembly-line tasks. Cases are manufactured and machined, wire harnesses are assembled, loudspeakers are produced. As radios near completion, they are run through a series of tests. Engineers and draughtsmen define future developments. In a closing stop-motion sequence, in a style reminiscent of Norman McLaren, a group of loudspeakers performs a playful dance. The film overall is a poetic depiction of an industrial process.Written by David Carless (IMDB)

 

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Nalini By Day, Nancy by Night (2005)

27m

Director: Sonali Gulati

Synopsis (Women Make Movies): In this insightful documentary, filmmaker Sonali Gulati explores complex issues of globalization, capitalism and identity through a witty and personal account of her journey into India’s call centers. Gulati, herself an Indian immigrant living in the US, explores the fascinating ramifications of outsourcing telephone service jobs to India—including how native telemarketers take on Western names and accents to take calls from the US, UK and Australia.

A fresh juxtaposition of animation, archival footage, live action shots and narrative work highlight the filmmaker’s presence and reveal the performative aspects of her subjects. With fascinating observations on how call centers affect the Indian culture and economy, NALINI BY DAY, NANCY BY NIGHT raises important questions about the complicated consequences of globalization.

Website: http://www.wmm.com/filmcatalog/pages/c682.shtml