Female film editors as invisible group challenging the mono-voiced cinema

Anastasia Khodyreva, Department of Gender studies, University of Turku

In my presentation I would like to address female film editors as one invisible group of professionals who challenge the rather mono-voiced cinema and who are doing gender in the feminist way. I ground my choice in the idea that women are still the group, which lacks the voices in cinema in relation to men. Thus, the presentation could presumably contribute to the group discussion on the need of multivoiced cinema.

I chose semi-structured interviews with three acclaimed Russia film editors: Anna Mass (edited 80% of films of Andrey Zvyagintsev), Julia Batalova (editor of directors Boris Khlebnikov and Avdotya mirnova) and Dasha Danilova (all films of Vassily Sigarev) to be entrance point for the potential discussion. What is of specific significance is that all three editors has the long-term professional relations with film auteurs (additionally to reputable careers these editors in mainstream cinema). Thus, the films cut by the editors in focus are themselves the channel for multiple voices extremely underrepresented in mainstreamed cinema screens. In the course of interviews we discussed their self-positioning in the profession and in the new technologized labor market in gendered terms, the ease or difficulty of entering the wider screens with films of Zvyagintsev, Khlebnikov, Smirnova and Sigarev. This data will be the basis for the 1st part of my presentation.

One more factor which run my choice is that if one conventionally speaks of creative professionals behind the screen then, most probably, directors and producers come to the limelight. Editors have been invisible, at least, in Russia post-Eisenstein professional and on editors’ creative input via the concept of “rhythm” taken in relation to the findings of