Babette Mangolte: Camera Studies
The Gold Diggers
dir. Sally Potter, UK, 1983, 35mm, 89 min.
The ground-breaking first feature from the director of Orlando and The Tango Lesson, The Gold Diggers is a key film of early Eighties feminist cinema. Made with an all-woman crew, featuring stunning photography by Babette Magolte and a score by Lindsay Cooper, it embraces a radical and experimental narrative structure.
Celeste (Colette Laffont) is a computer clerk in a bank who becomes fascinated by the relationship between gold and power. Ruby (Julie Christie) is an enigmatic film star in quest of her childhood, her memories and the truth about her own identity. As their paths cross they come to sense that there could be a link between the male struggle for economic supremacy and the female ideal of mysterious but impotent beauty.
Since relocating to New York from her native France in the early 1970s, Babette Mangolte has forged a singular path across the art and cinema worlds. As a director, cinematographer, and documentarian, Mangolte has amassed an extensive body of work that intersects with the worlds of dance, performance art, and experimental film. In her New York years, Mangolte documented some of the era’s most important performers and artists in both still and moving images. In these works, her collaborative partners include Chantal Akerman, Trisha Brown, Richard Foreman, and Yvonne Rainer. Her own films range from experimental narratives to artist documentaries, both short and featurelength.
Camera Studies, a collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, focuses primarily on Mangolte’s work in film, with several screenings culminating in a public conversation with the artist and special guests on April 1st.
Babette Mangolte: Camera Studies has been supported by a grant from the The Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation
Additional Support has been provided by the Cinema Studies program at the University of Pennsylvania.