‘The Female Gaze’: Natalie Portman programs Boston Calling’s first film fest


It’s been in the works for the better part of two years, but Tuesday (May 22) finally sees the debut of Boston Calling’s first film festival at The Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, curated by none other than Harvard grad and actor Natalie Portman.

She’s chosen a number of movies exploring what she calls “The Female Gaze”, or how women have been portrayed on film over the years by a number of master and somewhat unknown directors. It’ll be a delight to experience these films on the screen, and we can’t wait to see what she has in store.


Originally slated for last year’s Boston Calling but rescheduled for 2018 after conflicts prevented Portman from attending, “The Female Gaze” will take place at the Brattle in the days leading up to the festival — presumably to prevent those curious about the films from missing a whole day’s worth of music acts (though why anybody would sit through an Eminem set when they’ve got a chance to watch Jeanne Dielman both mystifies us and is probably a reason why we got beat up a lot in high school).

Portman will only be on-hand at the Brattle for one screening, introducing I Am Not A Witch on Thursday (so you won’t be able to get her to explain Annihilation to you, sadly). But she will be hosting the entertainment section of Boston Calling during the festival itself, where she’s got a great line-up of guests assembled for those three days.

“I’m so excited to show films that I love that explore the female gaze,” Portman says. “I don’t think there is anything inherently different between male and female artists, but these are examples of great works of art in which similar storylines have female tropes that play out quite differently depending on who is telling the story. I’m looking forward to sharing these with an audience and hearing their reactions. It makes it an even more special opportunity to watch these incredible films on the big screen at one of my favorite movie theaters.”


Here’s a preview — trailers included — of the films Portman selected to play as a part of “The Female Gaze.”

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Tuesday, May 22, 4:15 p.m.

Stanley Kubrick’s legendary adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s classic novel kicks off the three-day festival, which features best-ever work from Peter Sellers and Sue Lyon.

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