After moving back home to Australia last year and starting a career in social media marketing, Brodie Lancaster missed the writing and editing of her old job, as the managing editor of Portable.tv in New York. Armed with an address book of talented writers and filmmakers, Lancaster decided to take on a new project that would focus on her interest in women in film, so she started Filmme Fatales, a quarterly zine dealing with the topic.
Launched in early January 2013, Filmme Fatales’ first issue is dedicated to “the 20-something funk” and features a variety of voices including actress Mae Whitman, photographer Valerie Chiang and director and script writer Jonah Ansell. Inside Filmme Fatales covers, which feature Chiang’s photography, are a myriad of articles, interviews and short narratives addressing the subject from all possible angles. In a short essay entitled “Make Love Not Porn”, photographer Greta Parry writes about the portrayal of women in hardcore pornography, and how the prevalence of those videos has begun to shape the sex lives of 20-somethings, while contributor Ariel Katz writes a series of haikus dedicated to “Tiny Furniture” and “Girls” creator Lena Dunham. One of our favorite features is a tongue-in-cheek cartoon by writer Sally Tabart and illustrator Anton De Lonno, simply titled, “How to Dress Well: A Guide for Bad Bitches”, which details several go-to outfits from a range of badass film characters like Susanna Kaysen from “Girl, Interrupted” and Woody Allen’s character Annie Hall.
Masterfully traversing between the serious and the sassy, Filmme Fatales made us curious about why Lancaster had decided to create something physical like a zine rather than a website, but we quickly got our answer. “I’ve worked almost solely online in my super short career, and the idea of creating some physical was really appealing to me,” says Lancaster. “I also really liked the idea of this being an ongoing project that I put a lot of time and energy into, that people waited to consume at regular intervals, rather than creating one more blog that would get lost in the clutter. The tangibility of zines is pretty special, and pulling something from your shelf to revisit is a lot more significant than searching your web history for an old link you saw that one time.”
Identifying as a feminist, Lancaster sees Filmme Fatales as a feminist-driven platform with room for other voices. “Being a feminist is not a requirement for contributors (nor is being a woman, I should add) but it’s something that’s really important to me and a lot of my friends and the zine’s contributors,” she says. “When I started the zine I just really wanted a place to discuss women’s place in film, which is something it can be hard to find in either feminist magazines/zines and film magazines/zines separately. I think the way women are represented in popular culture is integral to contemporary feminism, which makes our place in film a feminist issue.”
With the second issue due to drop in May 2013, we are looking forward to seeing what is next for the Australian-based feminist zine. To check out Issue No. 1 and Filmme Fatales’ latest news, you can check out their website. Each zine is $19 and can be shipped worldwide.
Images by Kat Herriman