Subjects, images, voices
Early in 1994, many of Tim Asch’s friends and colleagues gathered at the University of Southern California to view a retrospective of his films. The films had been selected and shown over three evenings at the Margaret Mead Film Festival in New York the previous October. At an informal gathering, when this book was proposed, we were asked to write about “the introduction of gender” in Tim’s films when he began working with Linda Connor in Bali. The request seemed to imply that gender and women are conflated categories and that gender is most appropriately written about by women. We begin from our understanding that all ethnographic film representations are inflected by the gender of their makers. The way in which a film is conceptualized, shot, and edited is inseparable from the interactions of our gendered selves with those of the people we film and with anthropological discourses of the time. As a film-maker, Tim Asch began to address questions of gender in ethnographic film-making when he began collaborating with Linda Connor on films about Jero Tapakan, a Balinese woman.