Media Arts Program

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

$8 general, $6 students/seniors, $5 members

To learn more about the benefits of becoming a member, please click here.

Cultivate Cinema Circle and Hallwalls present

Women Direct: Desiree Akhavan's Appropriate Behavior

Introduction by Peach Mag visual arts curator Caitlin Coder

Women Direct: First Films By Modern Visionary Filmmakers

According to the Motion Picture Association of America's most recent reports, women account for 52% of moviegoers, though the San Diego State's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film reported that of the top 100 grossing films of 2016, women represented: 4% of directors, 11% of writers, 3% of cinematographers, 19% of producers, and 14% of editors. Obviously, the movie industry has a gender disparity problem.

In an attempt to help right this unfathomable wrong, over the past two years we'vehosted over 60 screenings at various venues around Buffalo, all the while continuously highlighting the immensely important, formally inventive work of female filmmakers, including organizing a five film retrospective of work by Agnès Varda (who just recently received an honorary Oscar), hosting Jessica Oreck at Squeaky Wheel, screening Oscar shortlisted films by Nanfu Wang and Bonni Cohen, and showing important new work by Kirsten Johnson, Petra Costa, and Jenni Olson.

With the coming year, we've decided to go further with Women Direct: First Films By Modern Visionary Filmmakers, a year long series celebrating the first films of modern masters like Kelly Reichardt, Lucrecia Martel, Sofia Coppola, and Julie Dash, as well as important new voices in cinema such as Dee Rees, Desiree Akhavan, and Anna Rose Holmer, each of whom emerged with fully formed, wholly unique perspectives from the start of their careers and have helped shape the world of cinema as we know it today. The series will be graciously hosted by Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center and will run from January through November, with special introductions by Buffalo's most notable women cinephiles and film scholars.

Synopsis courtesy of The Dissolve:
Desiree Akhavan's feature debut may sound like the sort of film crafted entirely for niche audiences attempting to kill time before the next season of Girls hits the small screen: It's a dramedy about a Brooklyn-dwelling Iranian bisexual who attempts to get over a breakup through an ill-suited gig as a teacher for 5-year-old filmmakers, and via a series of poorly picked sexual partners. But Appropriate Behavior stands on its own merits, thanks to its creator's unique honesty and offbeat humor. Akhavan pulls triple duty on the semi-autobiographical film, serving as writer, director, and star. As a multi-hyphenate, she's more than up to the task, delivering an exciting and endearingly inappropriate debut.

"Amazingly, Akhavan's film does in an hour and a half what Girls has done over thirty three episodes. For all Akhavan's brevity, and for its lens of ground-level realism, her picture feels vibrant, lived in, and incredibly rich. That's an assured mark of vision if ever there was one."
- Andy Crump, Paste

Desiree Akhavan Filmography:

Appropriate Behavior [2014]