October 14, 2021

Delphine and Carole

Mauvais Genres: French Cinema Takes on Gender
Cowin Auditorium | Horace Mann Hall 147 | Teachers College
Open to Columbia University Community only

Callisto McNulty, granddaughter of feminist director and activist Carole Roussopoulos, retraces the encounter of actress Delphine Seyrig and Roussopoulos in 1974.

Delphine and Carole by Callisto McNulty (2018)

Both members of MLF, the Women’s Liberation Movement, and the FHAR, The Homosexual Front of Revolutionary Action, Seyrig and Roussopoulos used the small video cameras that had appeared on the market to make disruptive, radical feminist films and document their actions with incisive humour. The association they created, “Les Insoumuses” (a pun on “insoumise,” or insubordinate, and “muse”) produced hundreds of films that remain landmarks in the story of French feminism, and in the history of cinema.

The screening will be followed by a discussion with director Callisto McNulty and Professor Christia Mercer, moderated by Nora Philippe.

About the Series

Mauvais Genres: French Cinema Takes on Gender” presents nine fiction films and documentaries that were produced or co-produced in France and have never or rarely been shown in New York. Seven of these are recent films, while the two films that open and close the series are classics. These films take questions of gender identity and sexual orientation head on, through emancipatory explorations and revolutionary projects, often intimately and politically combative, presenting collective portraits and personal biographies as well as character-driven stories.

Mauvais Genres” is an ironic pun on a French expression that can mean “bad kind,” “bad manners,” or “bad impression,” and can also mean “wrong” or “mistaken” gender. It is also a nod to filmmaker Sébastien Lifshitz, whose work is highlighted with three selections in this festival, since he used “Mauvais Genre” in the singular as the title of an exhibition about his work. The heroines and heros of these films defy the identities or destinies of gender or sexual orientation that are assigned to them, whether they’re appearing on self-made clips live streamed on youtube or in a mythological village in the Sahel.

This event is featured as part of the film festival, Mauvais Genres: French Cinema Takes on Gender organized by the Columbia Maison Française and curated by Nora Philippe. Additional support is provided by Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Knapp Family Foundation, Paul LeClerc Centennial Fund, Columbia University Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities.


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