Why this blog? I am 74 years old and since my retirement at the age of 60 I have been studying the representation of older women in feature films, as well as ageing and ageism. I have been concentrating on films where the older woman is the main character or part of an ensemble. I have seen a great number of available films. I have also led an ‘Older Women in Film’ group for this length of time.
Over the years, I have tried to express the view of an older feminist viewer but I have encountered ageism at many levels. It started with the professor who replied: “but who is interested in older women?” when I asked him to supervise me for a PhD. I gave up on the academic course and decided to go to the grass roots and formed an older women viewer group. Of course ageism pervades a great number of the films I came across in my research. The widely distributed films are often the most ageist/sexist. However, others deserve a wider audience specially an audience of older women. But due to the male and youth oriented attitudes of distributors, critics and cinema programmers these films remain unseen and the sexism/ageism of more famous films ignored.
I am tired of battling with institutions. When they seem to listen they appropriate the idea and change it beyond recognition. In this blog I will share my knowledge and experience, with whoever is interested.