DAMNED IF YOU DON’T (Su Friedrich, 1987)

Su Friedrich’s exquisite black-and-white Damned If You Don’t catches at its opening a modern nun in her habit, zestily walking and eating an ice-cream cone. The image is packed: a nun in motion rather than prayerful repose, here today but in her (modified over centuries) ancient dress, and sufficiently indulging in sensual pleasure to suggest […]

FROM THE GROUND UP (Su Friedrich, 2007)

Graceful, witty and, shot in digital video, deceptively casual and relaxed, From the Ground Up is astute about the neo-neocolonialist depravity that is innocently called globalization. Su Friedrich, departing from her superlative autobiographical films and films about gender politics, has dedicated this freshly brewed documentary to the Fair Trade coffee movement. With herself (beginning with […]

SINK OR SWIM (Su Friedrich, 1990)

I have just added the following entry to my list on this site of the 100 greatest English-language films. Paul Friedrich, anthropologist, poet, linguist, university professor, regarded daughter Su as a substitute for his adored sister, for whose childhood death he has (unnecessarily) blamed himself. We may infer from his cold withdrawal from this daughter’s […]

HIDE AND SEEK (Su Friedrich, 1996)

One aspect of Su Friedrich’s black-and-white Hide and Seek consists of documentary remarks by women about their childhood discovery of their lesbianism. These reminiscences are interwoven into a fictional tale of one girl’s parallel self-discovery in the mid-1960s. This aspect was co-written by Friedrich and her partner, Cathy Nan Quinlan. When I say “interwoven” I […]