Presented by Richard Peña, Professor of Film Studies, Columbia University
After becoming one of Warner Brother's top female stars in the early 1940s, Lupino refused to continue her contract in 1946 so that she and her husband Collier Young could move into the creation of her own films. Their company, Filmakers, would be an early pioneer of independent feature films. Clearly influenced by Italian neo-realism, Lupino's works tackled a number of female-oriented, and uncomfortable, subjects: unwanted pregnancy, rape, female athletes, bigamy; even the ex-First Lady of the US, Eleanor Roosevelt, commented on the importance of her work. Yet at a time of increasing economic and political troubles, Lupino’s films never escaped the margins of B movie production, and consequently her career as a director has largely been forgotten. This talk will focus on Lupino’s unique career as a film director, including clips and a screening of her film OUTRAGE (1950).
Richard Peñahas been at Columbia since 1989, becoming full time in 1996 and being named Professor of Professional Practice in 2003; from 2006 - 2009 was a Visiting Professor in Spanish at Princeton University. Mr. Peña has also served as the Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Director of the New York Film Festival from 1988 to 2012. At the Film Society, he has organized retrospectives of Michelangelo Antonioni, Sacha Guitry, Abbas Kiarostami, Robert Aldrich, Gabriel Figueroa, Ritwik Ghatak, Kira Muratova, Youssef Chahine, Yasujiro Ozu, Carlos Saura and Amitabh Bachchan, as well as major film series devoted to African, Chinese, Cuban, Polish, Hungarian, Arab, Korean, Japanese Soviet and Argentine cinema. He is also currently the co-host of Channel 13’s weekly Reel 13.