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Born in Flames
Lizzie Borden USA, 1983
Under the Regan dominated 1980s American landscape comes the crown jewel of cult feminist classic Born in Flames, a dystopian sci-fi that puts lesbians as the purveyors of a successful socialist revolution. Lizzie Borden creates one of the most empowering feminist calls to arms in a narrative feature that challenges sexual harassment and embraces the micro-budget filmmaking aesthetic.
March 08, 2017
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Restored on 35mm from the 16mm internegative by Anthology Film Archives, Borden’s 1983 film now looks and sounds as legendary as its reputation deserves, bringing added clarity and urgency to the Women’s Liberation Army and their pirate-radio partners as they fight back against a pseudo-socialist government that is spying on its citizens and pushing women back into the kitchen.
November 02, 2016
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Through the three queer, radical, Black female protagonists of Born in Flames – Adelaide Norris, Zella Weily, and Honey – Borden illuminates the link between this particular subject position and the film’s untimely politics. Born in Flames exceeds the coordinates and determinations of the present order of things by unmasking the way in which power replicates itself through a colonisation of time.
September 15, 2016
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It’s a movie of its own moment. With its blend of precise analysis and a hectic tone, it’s a time capsule of a raw and turbulent period in the city, and its political tensions seem born in the wake of financial collapse and a sense of disorder from which Borden derives her own overarching narrative, one far richer and deeper than that of mere advocacy of economic and political change.
February 19, 2016
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A fraught and fervent invocation of direct action in a almost-sci-fi New York… A visionary image of film-as-saturated-media-image, it’s also a pertinent reminder that intersectionality was always theory-as-bomb-those-fuckers-praxis as much as it was a tool for deconstruction.
February 17, 2016
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Like her namesake, the filmmaker Lizzie Borden took an ax…to cinema conventions and tidy political resolutions in her 1983 landmark Born in Flames. This unruly, unclassifiable film — perhaps the sole entry in the hybrid genre of radical-lesbian-feminist sci-fi vérité — premiered two years into the Reagan regime, but its fury proves as bracing today as it was back when this country began its inexorable shift to the right.
February 16, 2016
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Much of Borden’s aesthetic entails numerous speakers or messages being sent, but little indication of how those messages are being decoded. Such repetition breeds a fractured rapidity, which could be mistaken for incoherence or a lack of ability on Borden’s part. But a certain level of incoherence is part of the film’s coherent understanding of the multitudinous channels of communication bred by competing political rhetoric.
February 15, 2016
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Lizzie Borden’s 1983 film has a concept, style, and politics that are still radical and relevant. Railing against the patriarchal and racist structures that remained in even the most progressive corners of American Society after the ’60s and ’70s, we are thrust into a feature length narrative of critique… Managing to tow the line between preaching and pandering is not an easy task when taking on the very fiber of our society, and rarely has a film done it with such ease.
January 20, 2012
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Made piecemeal over a number of years and first released in 1983, this 90-minute comic fantasy has lost little of its radical edge—in contrast to Borden’s subsequent Working Girls, which accommodated itself to a wider audience.
September 01, 1989
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