An Ode to Filmme Fatales

| On
By Claire

I have never felt more “OMG I’m living in Melbourne” than when I was sitting on the train to uni, reading an article (printed on paper) about which of The Sound of Music character’s the women of Sex and the City are (Carrie is Maria, Samantha is The Baroness, Miranda is Mother Superior, Charlotte is Liesl, obviously).

Originally from regional Victoria, never in my time in Hometown Glory would I have imagined I’d be on my way to my Cinema Studies class reading a feminist film zine called Filmme Fatales. Tomorrow is the launch of issue #8, and my heart broke a little inside when I saw that this would be the last issue of Filmme Fatales, indefinitely. Surrounded by my own copies, lovingly read, and creased from living in my handbags, it’s time to say a thank you, to the zine and its founder and editor Brodie Lancaster.

Filmme Fatales is a Melbourne-based zine about the place where film and feminism intersect, published by The Good Copy and created by Rookie staff editor Brodie Lancaster. Publishing quarterly since 2013, each issue is based around a theme, such as The 20-Something Funk, Working Girls, One More Shot and Space. I stumbled across Filmme Fatales on Facebook in 2015 during the Melbourne International Film Festival. As I was scrolling through my newsfeed, I saw an article about a Melbourne-based feminist film publication’s Top Picks at MIFF, and instantly I was hooked.

Suddenly, issue #7 was in my letter box, and the rest soon followed. Like any zine, each page is hand-crafted with illustrations of various styles and passionate articles by writers and artists from all over the world. Inside you will find interviews with actress Mae Whitman, an article written in the defence of Megan Fox, a run-down on all the psychoanalytic theorists I struggled to understand in Uni – complete with the theorist’s faces collaged on top of images of Beyoncé and Jim Carey – and an article about my favourite film, Pretty in Pink, and how the spaces around Molly Ringwald’s character defined her. There was a feminist film community outside of university, and in between the pages I clutched in my hands were my people and my future.

There isn’t much to do in Hometown Glory. My saving graces were high school production season, my job at the bookstore and weekly visits to the cinema, which only played the most popular blockbusters anyway. I was fifteen when my love affair with movies really began, after witnessing the beauty of Marc Webb’s (500) Days of Summer. Ever since that fateful Saturday night, I spent my senior high school years eagerly awaiting the “Life & Style” (now called “Spectrum”) pull out of the Saturday Age. Sitting at the kitchen table, I would read about movies showing at Cinema Nova, the Kino or The Astor I could never see, unless I made the two-and-a-half-hour train trip to Melbourne. By the time I packed up my room for the big move to the city I adore so much, the back of my bedroom door was covered head to toe in articles I had cut out while waiting for this day.

My biggest fear about moving to Melbourne and stepping into my Introduction to Cinema Studies class was that my lack of film literacy would be mocked, and ultimately everyone would look down at me and sneer “You haven’t seen Easy Rider? What are you even doing here?” Of course, I hadn’t even heard of Easy Rider until my Hollywood and Entertainment class, and I still haven’t seen it…

Instead, what I had found were rooms full of like-minded people, who cared about movies as much as I did, and so many girls. My film friends in Hometown Glory were both guys, fondly dubbed my Film Bros, but from the day I sat in my first class, taught by a woman and surrounded by girls, my heart has stayed full. My female friends and I delightedly mocked Pretentious Film Snobs, deconstructed the logistics of Suddenly 30, and filled messenger inboxes with #phallicpanic and #castrationanxiety. This community of students is all I could have hoped for when I moved to Melbourne, but nothing can match the impact of discovering Filmme Fatales.

This all isn’t even to mention the utter amazingness of Filmme Fatales’ founder, Brodie Lancaster. A fellow tall girl, Brodie has contributed to Rookie, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Vulture and Kill Your Darlings, is managing director at Rooftop Cinema, a DJ, a defender of popular culture, teenage girls and fan culture, Kanye West’s biggest fan, and ultimate puzzle master. Not only do I want to be her, I have told my friends I want me and my love of the Jonas Brothers to be like Brodie and her love of Kanye.

After MIFF in 2015, I won tickets to see Brodie speak at the Women Writing Film talk with film critic Rebecca Harkins-Cross at the Melbourne Writers Festival. Seeing these women talk about their stories, about being a critic, and the lack of female voices in film criticism was the turning point for me as a budding film journalist. I still have advice from this talk saved into the notes on my phone: “Once you embrace the fact that you have a perspective no one else is going to have, you can be empowered by that” and “get involved as soon as you can”.

While I have yet to find the confidence to pitch my work, Filmme Fatales is the reason Cause a Cine exists. I cannot deny this blog is inspired by the zine. In the zine I saw a community beyond the classroom, I saw heart, passion, and I saw myself. The zine reminded me of my friends, our conversations about film, and our unique perspectives. I created Cause a Cine on the fervour the MWF talk and FF ignited within me. By no means is the blog trying to be, nor replace the zine. It’s a space for my friends and I to share our voices, for our unique perspectives as female-identifying to be seen. It’s where I can search for my unique perspective, and I hope one day I can create something which provides the same feeling of community FF gave to me.

Tomorrow night is the launch of issue #8, aptly named “The Future”. I already have it on pre-order, but my dear friend and Cause a Cine contributor Zoë and I are going to the launch party for the first time. I’ve had the date written in all-caps on a sticky note on my computer and I swapped shifts at work so I wouldn’t forget to go. When something means this much to you, you need to do everything you can to celebrate it and show your appreciation.

So, without further ado, thank you Brodie Lancaster, for Filmme Fatales and everything which has come with it. I can’t wait to see what “the future” brings (and will be the first person in line to buy your book).
Be First to Post Comment !
Post a Comment