April 13, 2017

Feminist Filmmaker Lizzie Borden at Princeton

Discusses her career and her pseudo-documentary, science-fiction film Born in Flames as part of the Sonic Cinema: Sounding Resistance series
born in flames

Lizzie Borden’s 1983 award-winning film Born in Flames

Audiences are invited to join Princeton University students to screen recent independent films and videos and meet filmmakers, musicians and scholars as part of a semester-long series focusing on sound in film, Sonic Cinema: Sounding Resistance. The series is presented by the Visual Arts Program of the Lewis Center for the Arts and is in conjunction with the spring course “Sonic Cinema: Music, Noise, and the Moving Image” taught by Visiting Associate Professor Amy Herzog, who curated the series. Films and videos will be screened on select Tuesdays through the end of April. Filmmakers, musicians and scholars associated with the work will be on hand to discuss the work and answer questions from the audience.

lizzie borden

Feminist filmmaker Lizzie Borden. Photo courtesy

On April 18 feminist filmmaker Lizzie Borden will screen her 1983 award-winning film Born in Flames at the Garden Theatre at 160 Nassau Street, which is collaborating with the Lewis Center on this event. Borden, an icon of the independent feminist and queer film scene, will discuss her work, her career, and answer questions from the audience. Public tickets are $6-11 and available at the Garden Theatre or; tickets are free to Princeton University students, faculty and staff with ID at the Garden Theatre box office.

Known for her unique feminist and political approach to filmmaking, Borden began experimenting with film after graduating from Wellesley College with a degree in art. Her body of work investigates race, class, power, capitalism, and the power money bestows — all from a female vantage point. Born in Flames, her first critically acclaimed film, is set in a futuristic dystopia where radical feminist groups organize and unite to combat oppression. The film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, was named one of “The Most Important 50 Independent Films” by Filmmaker magazine, and has become a cult classic. Her second film, Working Girls (1986), explores the lives and careers of prostitutes through what Borden calls “narrative fiction.” It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and won “Best Feature” at the Sundance Film Festival. Love Crimes was her first Hollywood film feature, which found greater success in a recut VHS unrated version than its rated theatrical release. She also directed a segment of the film Erotique (1995) starring Bryan Cranston and has written for film and directed for television.

The artists, scholars, and films in the series were selected by Herzog, a media historian whose research spans a broad range of interdisciplinary subjects, including film, philosophy, popular music, urban history, pornography, gentrification, parasites, amusement parks, and dioramas. She is Associate Professor of Media Studies at Queens College and Coordinator of the Film Studies Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. Herzog is the author of Dreams of Difference, Songs of the Same: The Musical Moment in Film (University of Minnesota Press, 2010) and co-editor, with Carol Vernallis and John Richardson, of The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media (Oxford, 2013). Her writing has appeared in several collections and journals, and she has presented her work at numerous venues including the Guggenheim Museum of New York, the New Museum, Dixon Place, New York Academy of Medicine, and the Coney Island Museum. She is currently serving as Programmer-in-Residence at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn. Her most recent research project explores the history of peep show arcades in New York City’s Times Square.

The course explores the use of sound in relation to moving images, including film scoring, musicals, soundtracks, music videos, and experimental sound and video art. Class discussions focus on digital technology and media soundscapes, and screenings include Hollywood blockbusters and immersive media to fine art, video games, and independent cinema.

The series concludes with artists Valerie Tevere and Angel Nevarez on April 25 at the Princeton Garden Theatre.

The Princeton Garden Theatre is a member-supported nonprofit movie theater in the heart of downtown Princeton. With a focus on arthouse and independent titles, the theater is also a home for family films, local filmmakers, classic Hollywood cinema, community and university events. The Garden Theatre is an organization of film-lovers dedicated to the preservation of historic movie theaters and the celebration of the community film-going experience. The Garden was recently voted as best movie theater in New Jersey by

This series is supported through the John Sacret Young ’69 Lecture Series fund. Sacret Young is a 1969 graduate of Princeton and an author, producer, director, and screenwriter. He has been nominated for seven Emmy Awards and seven Writers Guild of America (WGA) Awards, winning two WGA Awards. He is perhaps best known for co-creating, along with William F. Broyles Jr., China Beach, the critically acclaimed ABC-TV drama series about medics and nurses during the Vietnam War, and for his work on the television drama The West Wing. Young has also received a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award, and his original mini-series about the Gulf War, Thanks of a Grateful Nation, was honored with his fifth Humanitas Prize nomination.

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