In “Shooting Daddy,” Ara Osterweil considers the fraught film Daddy (1973), a surrealist Oedipal revenge drama made as a collaboration between British filmmaker Peter Whitehead and French-American sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle. How was this supposedly feminist critique of patriarchy informed by the complex, gendered politics of this collaboration that occurred behind the scenes?
Ara Osterweil received a PhD in film studies in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2005 and is currently a film professor at McGill University in Montreal. A writer, filmmaker, and painter, Osterweil has written extensively about postwar American avant-garde cinema as well as the representation of sexuality in cinema. She has published articles about such filmmakers as Barbara Rubin, Barbara Hammer, Andy Warhol, Dennis Hopper, Ang Lee, and Hou Hsiao-Hsien in Framework, Camera Obscura, Film Quarterly, the Brooklyn Rail, and other journals. Recent articles include “Queer Coupling, or the Stain of the Bearded Woman” (about the friendship between Barbara Rubin and Allen Ginsberg), and “A Body is not a Metaphor: Barbara Hammer’s X-Ray Vision.”