The season of women's rights rights and fights in film
'The Time Is Now' is a season of films exploring and celebrating the role women play in affecting change. Films will screen in venues around the country from October 2015 with the launch of Sarah Gavron's Suffragette through to January 2016. For further details click here.
Set against the glamorous backdrop of 1950s New York, Carol is an achingly beautiful depiction of forbidden love between a shopgirl (Rooney Mara) and an older married woman (Cate Blanchett).
This is familiar territory for Haynes, having previously directed Julianne Moore in the Sirkian melodrama Far From Heaven (2002), and Kate Winslet in the 2011 TV mini-series Mildred Pierce (in a role previously made famous by Joan Crawford). These heroines find their hopes and aspirations restrained during a time of strict conservatism.
In the case of Carol, the lesbian theme is nothing extraordinary by today's standards; however this was considered incredibly risqué at the time. The story is adapted from the 1952 novel 'The Price of Salt' by Patricia Highsmith which was published with the catchline "The novel of a love society forbids." Highsmith - who was herself gay - opted to use the pseudonym Claire Morgan for the book's release. Her previous novel, Strangers on a Train, was a runaway success hence the controversial subject matter here - inspired by her own life experiences - presented a threat to her burgeoning career.
Carol event screenings at Canterbury & Sheffield
Sunday 6th December, 2.45pm
This screening will be followed by a panel discussion led by members of the Centres for Gender, Sexuality and Writing, and American Studies at the University of Kent:
- Dr Declan Kavanagh (chair): Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Studies with research interests in satire, political writing (particularly the essay-sheet), masculinity, Irish literature and queer histories and cultures.
- Dr Stella Bolaki: Senior Lecturer in American Literature and author of the book Unsettling the Bildungsroman: Reading Contemporary Ethnic American Women’s Fiction.
- Dr John Wills: Senior Lecturer and scholar in American Studies/Cultural Studies.
- Elizabeth Cowie: Emeritus Professor of Film Studies.
- Dr Sean Grattan: Lecturer in American Literature and previously Visiting Assistant Professor of Contemporary American Literature and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, USA.
Sunday 6th December, 3pm
This screening will be followed by a panel discussion comprised of Sheffield academics and professionals working within the local film industry.
- Anna Kime (chair): Manager of Film Hub North which supports a vibrant and self-sustaining exhibition sector and reaches new audiences for a broad range of film.
- Elena Rodriguez-Falcon: Professor of Enterprise and Engineering Education in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Sheffield. Elena recently figure-headed the Twitter campaign #ILookLikeAnLGBTEngineer and has sought to promote gender and sexual equality within her sector.
- Bella Qvist: Chair of EDEN films - a Sheffield-based production company which tackles discrimination and inequality within the LGBT community.
PREVIOUS EVENTS IN THIS SERIES
He Named Me Malala (PG)
He Named Me Malala is an intimate portrait of Malala Yousafzai, who was wounded when Taliban gunmen opened fire on her and her friends' school bus in Pakistan's Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old teenager, who had been targeted for speaking out on behalf of girls' education in her region of Swat Valley in Pakistan, was shot in the head, sparking international media outrage. An educational activist in Pakistan, Yousafzai has since emerged as a leading campaigner for the rights of children worldwide and in December 2014, became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
Sarah Gavron’s gritty drama charts the rise of the movement that fought for women’s rights in the early 20th century. Carey Mulligan plays a young woman who joins the movement as it begins to take a foothold against the British establishment. Abi Morgan’s screenplay balances actual incidents with fictionalised drama to create a passionate and engaging portrait of an important moment in British history.