Make Out (1970)

Make-Out shows a young couple in a car, “making out” as we hear the young woman’s real thoughts on what is happening and why. Abold film statement in 1970, it continues to be used by women’s groups and classes. The film was conceived by Geri Ashur, who co-directed, (with Peter Schlaifer), the filming of the actors. The voice-over script was created collectively by Ashur, Andrea Eagan, Marcia Salo Rizzi, Deborah Shaffer and a few other women, and was taken from thetranscript of their “conscious-raising group” discussions. The film was edited by Ashur, Rizzi, and Shaffer. The film represents a vibrant document of the early second wave women’s movement, and the concerns and thinking of young women at that time. The very existence of thefilm resulted from struggles around gender issues within Newsreel, and so it is a document not only of a time, but of the efforts of feministsto give creative visual form to their concerns. This film is unique in the Newsreel collection, as it was filmed with actors, and with a voice-over script created from a women’s group discussion.

Geri Ashur (d. 1984) – Co-creator, co-director, co-editor. Geri Ashur went on from Newsreel to make several documentaries, including Me and Stella about Elizabeth Cotton. She worked extensively as an editor of documentary and fiction films, and had written several screenplays at the time of her death. She also became the pre-eminent editor for English language versions for foreign directors like Francoise Truffaut, Ingmar Bergman, Lina Wertmuller, Fassbinder, and others.

Andrea Eagan (d. 1993) – Co-creator, co-editor. Andrea Eagan was a journalist, educator, and activist for women’s rights. She wrote the first feminist advice book for teenage girls, Why Am I So Miserable if These are the Best Years of My Life? and The Newborn Mother: Stages of Her Growth. Her marriage to Richard Eagan, the male actor in Make Out took place in a student occupied building and is documented in the Newsreel film Columbia Revolt.

Marcia Salo Rizzi – Co-creator, co-editor. Marcia Salo Rizzi was trained as an artist before joining Newsreel. Salo’s mixed media installations have been exhibited at The Center, Artists Space, AIR, Soho 20, LA County Museum, Hallwalls, White Columns, and fiction/nonfiction gallery. She has received awards from Print Magazine, Art Matters, the American Photography Institute and Rutgers University. She has taught classes in the history, theory and social implications of photography at Rutgers, ICP, CUNY Graduate Center and Parsons/The New School.

Deborah Shaffer – Co-creator, co-editor. Deborah Shaffer is the Academy Award winning documentary director of Witness to War. Among her other films are How About You?, Chris and Bernie, The Wobblies, Fire From the Mountain, Dance of Hope, and From the Ashes – 10 Artists and programs on art and women’s issues for public television. Her work has been shown in numerous festivals, including Sundance, Tribeca, New York, and New Directors/New Films. She is a Guggenheim Fellow, and recipient of an Emmy and of the Irene Diamond Lifetime Achievement Award in Human Rights Filmmaking. Shaffer’s latest feature documentary, To Be Heard, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at DOC NYC in 2010, and is currently on the festival circuit.