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Women in Film: An Editors Trilogy

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square

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In the early years of cinema, women editors were integral in the wild experimentation that occurred across the world, and nowhere more significantly than in Soviet Russia, giving rise to landmark films such as ‘Battleship Potemkin’ (1926) and ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ (1929). Karen Pearlman’s trilogy of short films about historical Soviet women editors (2016, 2018 & 2020) uses their own experimental film styles to tell their stories. Together these films form a witty, informative, inspiring, and entertaining program that travels deftly across the forms of period drama, documentary and hybrid documentary, woven together by the recurrence of key historical figures, cinematic themes and motifs.

Dr. Karen Pearlman  (Macquarie University, Sydney) is a filmmaker, film scholar, and a director of The Physical TV Company. The films in her ‘Editors Trilogy’have won 30 awards from peak industry bodies and film festivals. Called “a film of innovative brilliance” (Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival Jury), the third in the series, ‘I want to make a film about women’, was longlisted for an Oscar and shortlisted for an Australian Academy Award. Karen is the author of the widely used textbook on editing, ‘Cutting Rhythms’ (Focal Press), now in its 2nd edition and with translations into Chinese, Korean, Arabic and Turkish. Her videos with the ‘This Guy Edits’ YouTube channel have over 1.5 million views.   

Karen will be joined in conversation by Ian Christie, Anniversary Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck, University of London, a film historian with a particular interest in Russian Cinema.  The event will be hosted by Tim J. Smith, Professor of Cognitive Psychology, Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, whose influential research focuses on the psychological impact of film editing.

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