Holding a joint appointment in the School of Film/Video and the School of Critical Studies, Bérénice Reynaud has a double background as a film critic/historian/ theoretician and a film/video curator.
Born and raised in France , Reynaud studied philosophy at Paris-Sorbonne, Cinema Studies at New York University and was an Helena Rubenstein fellow at the Whitney Museum Independent Studies Program. Meanwhile she was curating radio programs of New American Music for Radio France and writing articles for the French film monthly Cahiers du cinéma - quickly specializing in American experimental and independent cinema. She also became involved in Aprés-Coup, a New York-based group of scholars and psychoanalysts led by Lacanian psychoanalyst Paula Mieli. In particular, due to her knowledge of the psychoanalytical/theoretical vocabulary, she consecutively translated week-end-long conferences from French to English and English to French.
In the late 1980s, she developed an interest in Chinese cinema and has since then traveled extensively to mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan looking at films/videos and interviewing filmmakers and film professionals. She is a pioneer of the introduction of Chinese video art and video documentary in both the United States and France.
As a critic, her main areas of expertise have been American independent/experimental film/video; films and video by women; Chinese cinema and video; African cinema; gender and feminist film theory. She has been a regular collaborator of Cahiers du cinéma since the mid-1980s, and has published articles in Sight & Sound, Screen (UK), Film Comment, Afterimage, The Independent (USA), Senses of Cinema (Australia - www.sensesofcinema.com), Libération, CinemAction (France), Meteor, Springerin (Austria), Nosferatu (Spain) and Cinemaya, the Asian Film Quarterly (India), among others - as well as a number of scholarly publications, encyclopedias and catalogue articles in the US, the UK, France, Austria and Italy. She is the author of Nouvelles Chines, nouveaux cinemas (Paris: Cahiers du cinéma, 1999) and Hou Hsiao-hsien's "A City of Sadness" (London: BFI, 2002), and has co-edited a collection of texts on feminist film criticism, Vingt ans de théories féministes sur le cinéma - Grande-Bretagne et États-Unis (Paris: CinemAction, 1993). She is currently working on a book on sexual politics in the Chinese Martial Arts movie.
As a curator, she has organized film and video exhibitions for Artists Space, The Collective for Living Cinema, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the UCLA Film & Television Archives (Los Angeles), The Festival d'Automne and the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume (Paris). Since the opening of REDCAT in November 2003, Reynaud has shared curatorial responsibilities for the Jack Skirball Film/Video screening series with School of Film/Video Dean Steve Anker. She has coordinated the Visiting Artist Series of the School of Film/Video since the mid-1990s, and has curated or co-curated programs of films/video by CalArts students and alumni in Montréal ( Canada ), Vienna (Austria/Europe) and Paris ( France ). A correspondent for the San Sebastian International Film Festival ( Spain ) and the Viennale (Austria/Europe), she collaborated with the Créteil International Women's Film Festival ( Paris , France ) from 1985 to 2002 and has been an advisor for the Pesaro International Film Festival ( Italy ), the Jerusalem Film Festival, Asian-Cine-Vision Film Festival ( New York ), the Asian Pacific Film Festival ( Los Angeles ), etc.
She has lectured on a variety of subjects from gender theory to Asian cinema/video to experimental film throughout the United States, France, Austria, Taiwan and Hong Kong.