Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Girls in the Band: An Interview with Judy Chaikin

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing director Judy Chaikin for the Chicago International Movies & Music Fest (CIMMfest) about her new film, The Girls in the Band. It's a terrific flick and I hope you can all see it this Sunday at the fest!

Here's my intro:
CIMMfriend and feminist film theorist extraordinaire Sara Freeman, of Celluloid Angel, recently watched Song of Love, a mediocre 1947 movie about the love triangle between Clara and Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Katharine Hepburn played Clara Schumann and, while the movie isn’t very good, it is an interesting film to watch after viewing Judy Chaikin’s illuminating, heartwarming documentary, The Girls in the Band. The doc honors female musicians from the ‘30s to the present (like Ina Ray Hutton, The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, and Peggy Gilbert) and exposes the sexism, racism, and historical airbrushing many women endured because of their desire to perform music. Despite its faults, Song of Love shows what admiration male and female audiences of the day had for Clara Schumann and her jaw-dropping musical talent. Music was for everyone.
Somewhere between Clara Schumann’s death in 1896 and the Great Depression, music became a man’s world, and the many gifted ladies featured in The Girls in the Band discuss how they pushed through the cracks and fought for their rights as women and musicians. The film also offers a lot of cute stories (you’ll never listen to Tommy Dorsey in the same way again), fantastic archive footage, and (you guessed it) great music to boot. The Girls in the Band‘s got rhythm, it’s got music, it’s got CIMMfest’s love, and we hope it’ll get yours too. 

Read the interview here. :-) 

No comments:

Post a Comment