2/20/08: Downers Grove AAUW

08Feb20DGScreening Roberta Cantow’s terrific film Clotheslines in Downers Grove.

Click HERE to read more my mini-review of Clotheslines.

Thanks to Downers Grove Branch member Kate Skegg for the terrific photos!


Read Joyce Tumea’s article in SUBURBAN LIFE below 🙂

Downers Grove, IL –

In light of the recently held Academy Awards, movie tidbits might be of particular interest to people right now.

Actually, such information might be of interest right now due even more to a chain reaction caused by all of the snow we’ve been getting. More snow more often might mean more people have been choosing to stay home and hibernate. More at-home time may mean people have been filling it by watching more movies — and may be running out of ideas for what to watch.

Of course, there are plenty of things to do around town between or even during periods of snowfall, for those still able and ready to go out. Stillwater Restaurant and Wine Bar is adding to the local entertainment scene by offering musical acts, and the New World Repertory Theatre is currently staging a worthy production of J. B. Priestley’s “An Inspector Calls,” to name but a few away-from-home entertainment possibilities.

But on those nights where the couch beckons, look to the Women in the Audience Supporting Women Artists Now! project. For those who want help picking out movie rentals, this group is one place to start. Its founder, Chicagoan Jan Lisa Huttner, helped a good-sized audience recently at the Downers Grove Public Library, courtesy of the Downers Grove-area branch of the American Association of University Women.

The artists being referred to are women filmmakers — writers and directors in particular. Huttner first decided to promote movies by, and often about, women after reading an article on the “Celluloid Ceiling,” which cited discouraging statistics concerning women’s role in moviemaking. This was back in 2002.

Huttner is an avid movie-watcher who has a bachelor of arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md., and master’s degrees in psychology from Harvard University and the University of Chicago. She is an award-winning author of freelance articles and columns and is a member of the Association for Women Journalists, the Illinois Women’s Press Association and the Chicago Film Critics Association.

Huttner said that films by women are often neglected by general audiences because of a misperception that the subject matter has limited appeal or constitutes a “chick flick.” While some movies certainly seem to appeal more to men (action movies, for example) or to women (relationship movies), anyone dismissing a movie solely because of its category may be doing themselves a disservice.

One way to find out would be to rent some of the following movies: “Bride and Prejudice,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Frida,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Mad Hot Ballroom,” “Mostly Martha,” “The Namesake” and “Whale Rider.” These are just a few of Huttner’s recommendations, and they include some well-known titles. View one today and break out the popcorn.

For more information, visit Huttner’s Web site at www.films42.com.

COMMENTS: Jan Lisa Huttner 

Hello, Joyce. Thank you so much for covering my recent visit to Downers Grove. But I wonder why you left out the name of our project when we worked so hard to find a sayable acronym with a visual hook? WITASWAN does indeed stand for “Women in the Audience Supporting Women Artists Now!,” but it’s easier to say WITASWAN (“wit-uh-swan”) & our acronym makes it easy to spot us with our swan pins, tee shirts, etc. WITASWAN has now given rise to the first International SWAN Day (www.SwanDay.org) to be celebrated on March 29th.

Yours truly, Jan Lisa Huttner; Director of International Relations, AAUW-Illinois


Tags: CLOTHESLINES, Roberta Cantow

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