Searching For Angela'a Closure
"This is how I would define a feminine textual body: as a female libidinal economy, a regime, energies, a system of spending not necessarily carved out by culture. A feminine textual body is recognized by the fact that it is always endless, without ending: there's no closure, it doesn't stop, and it's this that very often makes the feminine text difficult to read." Cixous (p. 53)
Angela Shelton's Searching for Angela Shelton follows much of the logic of this quotation, at least as much as surmised from the classroom discussion.
The self referential nature of the film's topic with its director, and title is only a small indication of the depth to which this closure-less cycle goes. Although this film is labeled a documentary film, and in ways tries to strive for realism, and on many levels succeeds in creating a genuine emotional concern, the scope of the film becomes, again as surmised from discussion, becomes difficult to read.
Angela Shelton's use of the camera during most of the interviews with the women, involves close ups, not only following typical interview conventions, but also allowing the women being interviewed to have their voices be heard. These zooms also alter the way in which the audience views the women, as the women are often literally removed from their social context, which can be taken as problematic, but definitely could serve as strengthening their unity as women by viewing them women solely as women, and focusing less on their surrounding differences.
Indeed Searching for Angela Shelton often attempts to propose an underlying unity among women, whether its through the abuse they suffered (the statistic that was used in the film was that of the 40 women talked to, 24 were abused in some way), but the films focus on the director's life can be taken as narcissistic, which greatly underminds the political implications of the film. Most of the class discussion seemed to gravitate towards criticisms about the director, rather focusing on the product.