Créteil 2001 Report

This year's festival was dedicated to 'women in aviation' Dorothy Arzer's classic Christopher Strong (1933)was shown, starring Katherine Hepburn.
The film has been critiqued as a central one for feminist film criticism. At one point Hepburn appears in a silver lamé body stocking, symbolizing the emergence of powerful women to come at some date in the future. (See C. Johnston: The Work of Dorothy Arzner - Towards a Feminist Cinema (1975)
The film is curiously named for her lover, a stiff and boring married man she surprizingly falls for, but it 's really about Lady Cynthia Darrington who breaks an aviation record for flying. Its one of the films that kicked off the 'women bite the dust if they get too successful' genre followed by films like Thelma and Louise .

Arzner a closet lesbian was the only woman working in Hollywood in the 1930's and 1940's. Dance Girl Dance (1940)starring Lucille Ball as a hussy and Maureen O'Hara as the good girl is praised for an instant when O'Hara looks at the screen (the audience of a burlesque show) and criticized the men for gawking at women as spectacle.
The festival was visited by French women aviators at the special Arzner screening who were invited on stage to receive traditional festival flowers.

The guest of honor this year was Maria Schneider (See interview) star of Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris. A connoisseur of art house cinema, Maria's career has been volatile and rich. She has served on the jury at Créteil in the past and is a great supporter of the festival.

Moira Sullivan