Paying tribute to the work of women independent filmmakers from the 1980s to the present, co-directors Lesli Klainberg and Gini Reticker's "In the Company of Women" offers a serviceable, but uninspired portrait of its subject that, like last year's 1970s movie-nostalgia docu, "A Decade Under the Influence," is more a primer for the uneducated than a definitive text.

Paying tribute to the work of women independent filmmakers from the 1980s to the present, co-directors Lesli Klainberg and Gini Reticker’s “In the Company of Women” offers a serviceable, but uninspired portrait of its subject that, like last year’s 1970s movie-nostalgia docu, “A Decade Under the Influence,” is more a primer for the uneducated than a definitive text. Like “Decade,” pic is an original production of (and a canny promotional tool for programming on) the Independent Film Channel, where it will be broadcast beginning March 18.

A conventional assemblage of film clips and interviews with filmmakers and critics, pic is most useful when drawing connections among the women’s social movements of the 1970s, the desire to see a more recognizably female perspective in cinema and the resultant new, open sexuality in American indie features, as well as the increase in stories about working-class characters. Yet the net cast by the pic is frustratingly narrow, detailing only a handful of seminal independent films, events or personalities while failing to acknowledge either pre-1980’s pioneers or those women who have made a name for themselves working in studio and/or cult/exploitation pics.

In The Company Of Women

Production

An Independent Film Channel presentation in association with Orchard Films of an Orchard Films production. Produced by Lisa Ades, Lesli Klainberg. Executive producers, Alison Palmer Bourke, Ed Carroll. Directed by Lesli Klainberg, Gini Reticker.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Peter Nelson, Clyde Smith; editor, George O'Donnell; music, Douglas J. Cuomo. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Special Screenings), Jan. 16, 2004. Running time: 74 MIN.

With

Allison Anders, Lisa Cholodenko, Patricia Clarkson, Jodie Foster, Shari Frilot, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mary Harron, Nicole Holofcener, Kasi Lemmons, Emanuel Levy, Rebecca Miller, Kimberly Pierce, Rosie Perez, Parker Posey, B. Ruby Rich, Susan Sarandon, Nancy Savoca, Susan Seidelman, Adrienne Shelly, Amy Taubin, Lili Taylor, Marisa Tomei, Tilda Swinton
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