‘She can keep her cool when the situation gets hot. All right? Well, Pam has that in spades. That is Pam Grier.’
– Quentin Tarantino

A voluptuous model-turned-actress, Grier rose to prominence as the merciless, coffee-coloured, avenging femme fatale in sexploitation and Blaxploitation movies of the 1970s. These were campy and irreverent films produced quickly and on shoestring budgets. In these films, women confronted the iron cage of patriarchy, and Black women challenged gender, race and class hierarchies. Grier’s screen persona encapsulated the ethos of personal frustration with government, the sexual liberation counterculture and the political scandals permeating American society across the tumultuous ‘70s.

This 14-film retrospective presents three stages of Grier’s unorthodox career. The early ‘Sexploitation start-up’ phase is characterised by women-in-prison pictures such as The Big Doll House, The Big Bird Cage, and Black Mama, White Mama. These films were thinly veiled excuses for staging homoerotic tension. Blaxploitation cult classics Coffy, Foxy Brown and Sheba, Baby come next. Women were finally being depicted as active narrative agents. Lastly, there’s the ‘Nostalgia for Pam’ phase in which Grier lends gravitas to films like Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, along with In Too Deep and Bones.

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Releases

Jackie Brown

Pam Grier lights up the screen as an air hostess-turned-money courier who attempts to turn the tables on her violent minder and the FBI.

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Events

Pam Grier in conversation

The US star discusses her career on the screen.

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Foxy Brown + Q&A with Pam Grier

Pam Grier battles predatory drug dealers preying on urban African American communities in this action thriller.

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Pam Grier: Icon and trailblazer

An illustrated overview of the screen actor’s career.

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Philosophical Screens: Jackie Brown

Film philosophers Lucy Bolton and Catherine Wheatley are joined by guest speaker John Ó Maoilearca to discuss the much-loved Elmore Leonard adaptation.

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Please be advised: some films do contain offensive content including sexual assault, racist language and violence directed against women.

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