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Figure of Feminist Cinema to Visit Purchase

HARRISON, N.Y. - Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Hammer will screen some of her short films Wednesday at Purchase College in Harrison, putting her celebrated work with feminist and queer cinema on display.

Hammer, who has directed over 80 films throughout her 40-year career, will screen some of her short films and clips of her features as well as read from her recent biography, "Hammer! Making Movies Out of Life and Sex," in the Purchase College Music Building's Film and Choral Hall on Nov 2. at 7 p.m. The lecture follows in the footsteps of her recent retrospectives at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Reina Sophia in Madrid, and the Tate Modern in London.

The free screening, presented in conjunction with the GenderF**k Film Festival organized by TransAction, is co-sponsored by the college's School of Film and Media Studies and the SUNY Purchase Events Brigade with special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

The AMPAS institutional grant will bring several successful independent filmmakers to Purchase College throughout the year to speak to students, faculty, and the public about their films and their experiences in the industry.

Throughout her varied work from the '70s to the present, Hammer has worked to describe the aesthetic and political representation of the marginalized, the outsider, or as Hammer would say, "the lesbian who is an expatriate in her own country."

For Hammer, the problem is the lack of representation, the invisibility of lesbian sexuality and life – an invisibility for which the cinematic off-screen space functions as a metaphor for "the things that happen behind the locked door, the double résumé, the hidden, the unsignified."

Regarding her film "Dyketactics" (1974), the first film to embrace explicitly lesbian sexuality, she said, "We discovered who we were as we stepped into the void, the invisible, the blank screen, and named ourselves 'lesbian.' That was the first step."

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