A woman like that
a COMPELLING Film about
the PROVOCATIVE 17th century Italian woman artist
The unconventional documentary “a woman like that” will be presented at
Central Connecticut State University
Torp Theatre, Davidson Hall
October 15, 2013, 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
In “A woman like that” filmmaker Ellen Weissbrod merges her own coming of middle-age story with her pursuit of the truths behind the legends of 17th century female painter Artemisia Gentileschi’s meaningful art and dramatic life. The event will include a question and answer session after the film with Ellen Weissbrod.
- Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653) was one of the first female artists to achieve recognition in her own time
- She was taught to paint by her father Orazio, a renowned follower of Caravaggio
- Artemisia’s life story includes a famous rape trial when she was 17 years old, friendship and support from Galileo and the Medici, and most striking for her time
A career as a working, professional artist.
- More remarkable than her biography is the art itself – Artemisia “changed the frame.” She told stories of women as heroes, from history, mythology and the Bible.
- Best-selling novels, popular plays and one highly protested French film have been made about Artemisia. Her work is held in museums and private collections worldwide.
“A woman like that” is the first personal documentary directed by Weissbrod, who has been working in film for close to thirty years. In 2002, Weissbrod was at a career crossroads, mired in directing empty reality television. Fascinated by Artemisia’s story, Weissbrod determines to take a risk and make her own work – but is mysteriously denied permission to film the once-in-a-lifetime retrospective of Artemisia and her father Orazio at the St. Louis Art Museum. Undeterred, she dons a spy camera and goes ‘undercover,’ secretly filming the exhibition. This bold act sets her on a 5-year journey, as she travels to Italy, where curators and collectors open their museums and homes.
Alexandra Lapierre, author of the bestseller "Artemisia," walks Weissbrod through Artemisia’s Roman neighborhood. Weissbrod examines the 400 year-old rape trial transcripts in the Rome State Archive, before it is locked away for repair. She follows Artemisia’s trail from Florence to Naples, talking about the paintings with distinguished scholars and passionate fans. Weissbrod gathers a diverse collection of Artemisia admirers, who act out the paintings, read her letters and recount her influence in their own lives.
Weissbrod’s directing debut was the Warner Bros. feature documentary, “Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones.” She has directed many documentary portraits, including the acclaimed “Face To Face” about conjoined twins Lori and Reba Schappell. Weissbrod was nominated for an Emmy for “It Just Takes One” with Savion Glover.
Previous sold-out screenings include the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers University, The Davis Cinema at Wellesley College, The Portland Art Museum in Portland Oregon, The Palm Springs Art Museum, The Cleveland Museum of Art, the Rosendale Theatre in Rosendale, New York, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Cincinnati Art Museum and The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. The DVD release is scheduled for 2013.
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Ellen Weissbrod writer, producer, director, editor
Although Ellen Weissbrod has been making documentaries for almost thirty years, "a woman like that" is her first personal, feature length film. Always a director for hire, Weissbrod goes out on her own to tell the remarkable story of the 17th century female artist, Artemisia Gentileschi.
Weissbrod, who has worked on a myriad of projects, is known for her terrific facility in 'real people' interviews and her multi-layered editing style. Weissbrod's “Face to Face” a provocative portrait of thirty-eight year old conjoined twins Lori and Reba Schappell was nominated by the IDA as one of the best films of 2000. Weissbrod’s previous work also includes the Emmy nominated “It Just Takes One” with Savion Glover and Liz Swados, and “All Star Moms” for CBS, with Shaquille O’Neill, Robin Williams and Carrie Fisher. Weissbrod’s directing debut was the Warner Bros. Feature documentary "Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones" which Roger Ebert called it, “Intimate, frank and fascinating.”
Weissbrod studied political philosophy and Brown University and the University of California at Berkeley.
What people are saying about
"A woman like that"
"A stunning film."
-Carol Gilligan, Author, In a Different Voice, The Birth of Pleasure,
The Deepening Darkness: Patriarchy Resistance and Democracy's Future
"Beautiful on many levels, “a woman like that” is a riveting film, an excellent example of the marriage between art and history."
-Jill Claster, Professor of History, New York University,
"The storytelling is so utterly original. It really is an "art film" in the deepest sense - an artistic narrative about art that is so powerful and accessible. It's such an imaginative and unique film. I loved it."
-Joey Forsyte, filmmaker, artist, cinematographer
"I highly recommend it. It's not a traditional biopic but an original "take" on how to deal with someone long dead. Making the film was a struggle: the (successful) result of another woman's struggle, Ellen Weissbrod's, against the odds to make art."
-Richard Spear, Professor of Art History, University of Maryland
“It is beautifully filmed. The story it tells is so relevant to the thousands of women in my work who wrestle with courage and encouragement. As one of the collectors says, “The life is a message” . . . The films’ message to women who, at each stage, heroically create and re-create their lives, makes it resonate far beyond the artist."
-Marie Wilson, Co-Founder of Ms. Foundation, The White House Project, Take Our Daughters to Work Day
“A lovely job bringing a historical figure to present day life.”
"Brava! Bravissima! Tremendous! Personal, moving, smart, witty, and engaging, with ample doses of humor - I highly recommend this for both university and museum professionals. "
-Jill Deupi, Director, Bellarmine Museum, Fairfield University
“I think it is terrific in the most significant of ways. You have restored agency and power to Artemisia the artist. An amazing achievement!”
-Mary D. Garrard, Professor Emeriti, American University
A woman like that Synopsis
Filmmaker Ellen Weissbrod merges her own coming of middle-age story with her pursuit of the truths behind the legends of 17th Century female painter Artemisia Gentileschi's provocative work and dramatic life. This unconventional but heartfelt hunt upends typical artist biographies and delivers instead a funny, engaging and all together different kind of documentary. 'a woman like that' is a freewheeling tribute to an artist whose own bold life and inspiring message leaps across centuries to speak to us all. The enduring power of storytelling - in paintings, in films and in our lives is revealed, as the filmmaker learns that who gets to tell the story matters, and that maybe she too, can be 'a woman like that.'