May 14, 2023

May 25: ‘Brainwashed: Sex

Close-up of a woman's eyes from the documentary film "Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power."

Join the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television for a special screening of "Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power," independent filmmaker Nina Menkes’ documentary about the sexual politics of cinematic shot design, at the James Bridges Theater. Using clips from hundreds of movies — from "Metropolis" to "Vertigo" to "Phantom Thread" — Menkes makes the argument that shot design is gendered.

The film illuminates the patriarchal narrative codes that hide within supposedly "classic" set-ups and camera angles and demonstrates how women are frequently displayed as objects for the use, support and pleasure of male subjects. Menkes shows how these not-so-subtle embedded messages are tied to sexual abuse and assault in Hollywood. The film features interviews with an all-star cast of women and non-binary industry professionals including Rosanna Arquette, Julie Dash and Catherine Hardwicke.

The event, hosted by the TFT Department of Film, Television and Digital Media, will begin with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by the screening at 7 p.m. After the screening, Menkes, a 1989 graduate of TFT's MFA production program, will be in conversation with Maya Smukler, a film scholar and author, and film editor Nancy Richardson. TFT Professor Fabian Wagmister will be the moderator.

Register for the free event and plan to arrive early. Seating is limited and first come, first served.

Close-up of a woman's eyes from the documentary film "Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power."