US 1940, D Dorothy Arzner, SC Tess Slesinger, Frank Davis based on a story by Vicki Baum, C Russell Metty, E Robert Wise, M Edward Ward, P RKO Radio Pictures, Erich Pommer, Cast Maureen O’Hara, Louis Hayward, Lucille Ball, Virginia Field, Ralph Bellamy, Mary Carlisle, Maria Ouspenskaya, Katharine Alexander, Print b/w, 16mm, 90 min, OV with electronic German SUB, Hamburger Kinemathek e.V.

Introduction by Laura Mulvey

The films of Dorothy Arzner are important in that they foreground precisely this problem of the desire of women caught in a system of representation which allows them at most the opportunity of playing on the specific demands that the system makes on them. […] Perhaps the most exemplary film in this sense is Dance, Girl, Dance, which has often been acclaimed by feminist critics as a work of major importance. However, it would be a mistake to read the film in ‚positive‘ terms as representing the progress of its heroine to ‚maturity‘ or ‚self-awareness‘. The value of the film lies not in its creation of a culture-heroine with whom we can finally and fully identify, but in the ways in which it displaces identification with the characters and focuses our attention on the problematic position they occupy in their world (Pam Cook, The Work of Dorothy Arzner. Towards a Feminist Cinema, 1975).

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