Some Chance Operations

A film by Renée Green

Some Chance Operations (1999) Film Screening+

Tuesday 12 December

The Feminist Studies Association Seminar Series 2023 / 2024: The Feminist Possibilities of the Unfinished…

This event is part of the Feminist Studies Association (FSA) seminar series. It will explore the feminist potential of unfinished or incomplete artistic works, giving attendees the opportunity to enjoy a rare screening of Renée Green’s Some Chance Operations (1999; running time 39 mins), which will be introduced by Dr Alix Beeston (Cardiff University); the screening will be followed by a Q&A and specially commissioned poetry.

Doors open at 6.30pm; event starts at 7pm.


Further Details

In their introduction to Incomplete: The Feminist Possibilities of the Unfinished Film (2023), Alix Beeston and Stefan Solomon invite readers to reimagine the incomplete or even barely begun film project in order to reconsider ‘the unfinished film’s signs of deficiency, recasting them as signs of possibility’. Such incomplete projects, they argue, ‘offer ideal sites for examining the lived experience, practical conditions and institutional realities of film production and consumption, especially in relation to the work of women filmmakers’ (10-11).

Renée Green is an artist and filmmaker, interested in exploring ‘gaps and shifts in what survives in public and private memories as well as what has been imagined and invented’. Some Chance Operations (1999) exemplifies the above points through Green’s interest in the actress, filmmaker and producer Elvira Notari (1875-1946), whose substantial body of work is nearly entirely lost. You can find more information about Green’s work here:

After an introduction to and screening of Some Chance Operations, there’ll be a conversation between feminist academics with expertise in film and gender studies: Lisa Smithstead, Alexia Bowler, Alix Beeston and Katie Jones. We hope the audience will join in with comments and questions to contribute to a lively discussion.

The evening will close with creative responses to the themes of the event – that is, “the feminist potential of the incomplete” – by poets and artists Akosua Darko, Natalie Ann Holborow and Nia Davies.

Speaker Information

Katie Jones is acting publicity officer at the Feminist Studies Association and an independent academic with expertise in gender and life writing. Her essays have appeared in gender forum, Open Screens Journal and elsewhere; with Julian Preece and Aled Rees, she co-edited International Perspectives on Multilingual Literatures (2020). Most recently, she has been working on creative translations of poetry by the German dada artist Emmy Hennings.

Alix Beeston is Senior Lecturer in English at Cardiff University, where she researches and teaches feminist approaches modern and contemporary film, photography, and literature. With Stefan Solomon, she coedited Incomplete: The Feminist Possibilities of the Unfinished Film, a collection of essays by scholars and filmmakers just out from the University of California Press, and she cocurated and presented the film festival Unfinished: Women Filmmakers in Process at Chapter Arts Centre in November 2022. Alix is also the author of In and Out of Sight: Modernist Writing and the Photographic Unseen (Oxford University Press, 2018, paperback 2023).

Lisa Smithstead is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Swansea University. She specialises in women’s film history, film archives, and feminist film theory. She is the author of Reframing Vivien Leigh: Stardom, Gender and the Archive (Oxford University Press, 2021), and Off to the Pictures: Cinemagoing, Women’s Writing and Movie Culture in Interwar Britain (Edinburgh University Press, 2016). Lisa currently leads the Ageing on Screen After #MeToo project, looking at the experience of ageing and older women in contemporary movie culture.

Alexia L. Bowler is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Culture and Communication, Swansea University. She has previously published on Neo-Victorian adaptation, science fiction cinema, postfeminism, romantic comedy and language, the female voice and subjectivity in the work of Jane Campion. Most recently, Alexia co-edited Refocus: The Films of Jane Campion (Edinburgh University Press, 2023) with Adele Jones, writing on Campion’s Oscar-winning film The Power of the Dog (2021) and masculinity.

Akosua Darko was born in Ghana were she was surrounded by oral poetic tales before moving to England at aged nine. She began writing poetry at the age of 13 with a strong urge to give a voice to the marginalised and to find her own to deal with trauma. She moved to Swansea for university and obtained a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, and Masters in Creative Writing at Swansea University. She’s currently a PhD candidate and a Senior Teaching Assistant at Swansea University, a Book Council Wales Panel Member and author of the poetry book The Black HoneyBee.

Natalie Ann Holborow is the author of And Suddenly You Find Yourself and Small, published with Parthian Books. Winner of the 2015 Terry Hetherington Award and a finalist in the 2020 Cursed Murphy Spoken Word competition, she is also a proud patron of The Leon Heart Fund.

Nia Davies is a poet experimenting with embodied practice and performance. Her publications include All fours (Bloodaxe, 2017), editorship of the journal Poetry Wales (2014 – 2019) as well as several pamphlet and performance projects. All fours was shortlisted for the Roland Matthias Prize for Poetry in the Wales Book of the Year poetry category in 2018 and longlisted for the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize for First Collections in 2019. She completed practice-based doctorate research into ritual poetry in 2021. She co-curated Poetry Emergency festivals in 2018 and 2019 and has worked on intercultural collaborative literary projects around the world. She is based in Abertawe/Swansea, Cymru. Her second collection of poems, Votive Mess, will be out with Bloodaxe in 2024.

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