Documentary Sex-Camera Power Acquired by Kino Lorber – The Hollywood Reporter
Kino Lorber has landed the North American rights to the Sundance documentary Brainwashing: Sex-Camera-Powerwho scrutinizes the “male gaze” and the visual objectification of women in cinema.
Brainwashing, which debuted in the Premieres section of the Park City fest and later screened at the Berlin Film Festival, claims that many of the most iconic and acclaimed films in cinematic history feature gendered shot design , and that this legacy continues even in a post-#MeToo world. Drawing on interviews with filmmakers Julie Dash, Joey Soloway and Amy Ziering, film theorist Laura Mulvey, and actors Rosanna Arquette and Charlyne Yi, and excerpted from nearly 200 film clips, the film analyzes various sequences in beloved titles (like Raging Bull, Oldboy, The Breakfast Club et al) and asserts a lack of parity between the depictions of male and female characters through camera movements, use of sound, lighting, and framing.
Directed by Nina Menkes, one of the first women to present a feature film at Sundance, Brainwashing is co-produced by Maria Giese – the filmmaker who launched the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s inquiry into discrimination against female directors – and produced by Abigail Disney, among others.
Kino Lorber is set to release the film theatrically this fall, and has teamed up with library and college streaming platform Kanopy for an exclusive educational release on the platform afterward. Further details of the deal were not disclosed.
“Nina Menkes” Brainwashing pulls back the curtain on the many ways in which the creation of male-dominated images has been internalized by men and women, and the overwhelming ripple effect it has had on our culture,” said Wendy Lidell, vice-president of Kino Lorber, in a press release. “We are thrilled to have the privilege of bringing Nina’s film to audiences in the United States and Canada, and we expect the film to spark heated debate among all who see it.”
Kanopy CEO Jason Tyrrell added in a statement, “Making Brainwashing widely available, including for academic use, ensures that a new generation of filmmakers, researchers and film enthusiasts will have access to a powerful tool to help recontextualize the entire history of the art form. He said: “University and library communities viewing Nina Menkes’ film will be fundamental in creating and sustaining an industry that can begin to recognize and critically reflect on how the male gaze has impacted at both on artistic creation and its imprint on public life.
Lidell brokered the deal for Kino Lorber, while UTA Independent Fim Group backed the filmmakers. Cinephil will represent the film in international sales at the Cannes Film Market for certain territories (agreements have already been concluded for the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Nordic and Baltic countries, Poland, Spain, Italy and Israel).