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Fiction or facts?. SM4134 VISUAL ETHNOGRAPHY & CREATIVE INTERVENTION. Presentation on Yvonne Rainer , Abigail Child and Found footage. Presented by Damon Chan and Lilian Fu. Yvonne Rainer 2. Abigail Child 3. Found footage. Yvonne Rainer. Born in San Francisco in 1934

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fiction or facts
Fiction or facts?

SM4134 VISUAL ETHNOGRAPHY & CREATIVE INTERVENTION

Presentation on Yvonne Rainer , Abigail Child and Found footage

Presented by Damon Chan and Lilian Fu

slide2
Yvonne Rainer

2. Abigail Child

3. Found footage

yvonne rainer
Yvonne Rainer
  • Born in San Francisco in 1934
  • Trained as a modern dancer in New York from 1957 and began to choreograph
  • Her first feature-length film, Lives of Performers, in 1972
  • In 1988 she and Bérénice Reynaud organised a two-week event entitled ,Sexism, Colonialism, Misrepresentation' at the Collective for Living Cinema.
slide4
a post-modern concern with inter-textuality, combining and recombining snippets from many different media and art forms.
  • Her films are dense and multi-layered, combining irony, passion, self-interrogation and intellect.
murder and murder
Murder and murder
  • Murder and murder(1996)
  • two women who have fallen in love late in life as part of daily life
  • an analysis of the politics of breast cancer performed by Rainer herself on camera.
  • lesbian love in homophobic society and breast cancer
synopsis
Synopsis
  • Doris and Mildred are lesbian couple who become lovers and decide to set up housekeeping together
  • Mildred in mid-50s, lesbian for most of her adult life
  • Middle class origin
  • professor in University
  • Doris in early 60's
  • finds herself in love with a woman for the first time in her life
  • Never attended college, has never had a steady job or predictable income, and has raised her grown daughter, single-handedly.
  • trying to be a performance artist
characters
Characters
  • Yvonne Rainer periodically pops up in the film
  • Jenny, Doris' mother and Young Mildred, Mildred's 18-year-old self, are ghosts from the past
  • A blurred boundary of fact and fiction.
brief film analysis
Brief film Analysis
  • Via the conventions of shot/reverse shot and extended scenes with almost classical structure in terms of development and climax

 Make the relationship more credible

  • making the space on-screen a tableau that contains different narrative trajectories.
  • everything that went on onstage became an analogue for this daily life and this community
slide9
shuns the conventions of narrative cinema, inviting viewers to participate in academic and stylistic exercises in response to sociopolitical issues
capital letters
Capital letters
  • MURDER refers to actual death, by homophobic assault or by industrial toxins.
lower case
Lower-case
  • "murder" is fantasized murder in domestic or familial situations.
  • Getting enraged at the person you are living with.
slide13

Against predominating form of narrative (Described as “tyranny” ) from mainstream

Against predominating form of narrative (Described as “tyranny” ) from mainstream

  • In 1978, Rainer spoke at The International Forum on Avant-Garde Film, discussing the demands of narrative filmmaking and describing a type of film that contains “both narrative and non-narrative characteristics”: For example, a series of events containing answers to when, where, why, whom, gives way to a series of images, or maybe a single image, which, in its obsessive repetitiveness or prolonged duration or rhythmic predictability or even stillness, becomes disengaged from story and enters this other realm, call it catalogue, demonstration, lyricism, poetry or pure research. The work now floats free of ultimate climax, pot of gold, pay-off, future truth, existing solely in the present. Or perhaps a work that starts out being meditative, concerned with resonance, mood…suddenly changes its density by appropriating elements of melodrama. (p. 138)
slide14
Where narrative seems to break down in my films is simply where it has been subsumed by other concerns, such as the resonances created by repetition, stillness, allusion, prolonged duration, fragmented speech and framing, 'self-conscious' camera movement, etc. Rather than being integrated into the story, these things at times replace the story. (p. 156)
autobiography as her source material
Autobiography as her source material
  • Her access to film was through fictionalizing my autobiography.
  • autobiography as source material, as something that could bring a note of authenticity to an otherwise flat, uninflected mise-en-scene and performance mode.
her tactics of using found footage
Her tactics of using Found Footage
  • I’ll have found footage from an old movie run backwards-a kind of crude device for questioning narrativity itself, demonstrating the arbitrariness of one person’s point of view, which may not be the truth and which may be a fiction.
  • It’s much more purposeful. It’s about points of view and not only pleasure, although some of the material I use is very pleasurable.
  • Appropriation is a kind of acquisition or use, but to some other purpose than its original intent,
  • and proliferation is about getting the word out with an eye to its original purpose.
  • I think the way I put these texts in the mouths of my characters is more about proliferating points of view that belong to the original authors.
feminism
Feminism
  • A critical reading of culture
  • A political interpretation of the social text and of the social subject
  • A rewriting of our culture’s “master narratives.”
slide18
Articulated the paradox of woman as both object and sign
  • Provoke looking at a film as a woman regardless the gender of the viewers because the usual gaze for cinema is male.
  • That is what allows the film to draw into its discursive texture something of that “Real” which is the untheorized experience of woman (p.119)
slide19
Making woman visible on the screen by documenting political demonstrations of portraying women’s daily, real-life activities in the pre-aesthetic sphere of domestic life
  • In short, to reread, rewrite, remake all cultural narratives striving to construct another form of coherence, founded on contradiction
slide20
Feminist Cinema is a notation for a process
  • The notation for a process of reinterpretation and retextualization of cultural images and narratives whose strategies of coherence engage the spectator’s identification through narrative and visual pleasure and yet succeed in drawing “the Real” into the film’s texure
biography
biography
  • began her career in San Francisco in 1977 with the experimental film Some Exterior Presence. She had been originally trained to make documentary films, but as her interests primarily lay in the technicalities of film form, she switched to the cutting edge where she became recognized for her fast-paced, whimsical short films.
  • From 1981 through 1989, she began producing a seven-part film, Is This What You Were Born For?, a reworking of different film genres, such as film noir, pornography, and the documentary, designed to explore their underlying content and social setting.
  • In 1987 Child created Mayhem, a film about lesbianism.
  • She moved to New York in 1980 where in addition to filmmaking, she was also active in the avant-garde film movement: teaching, putting together public screenings, and publishing theoretical writings in several film and poetics journals across the U.S. ~ Sandra Brennan
abigail child s series is this what you were born for
Abigail Child’s seriesIS THIS WHAT YOU WERE BORN FOR?
  • Child decomposes the materials and gestures that would compose us.
  • The films are charged with a startling and playful musicality and poetic and rigorous compression.
montage
Montage
  • Montage means breaking down, giving words and sound in bursts that transform meaning and association, braking the velocity of a gesture or action
  • to allow a contemplation of its force and contradictions, before it has become sealed in a finalized intention.
montage25
Montage
  • a method of interruption.
  • differences can be maximized to create new systems, counter-logics and antilanguages
  • a system founded not on coherence,
  • but on breakdown, not on continuity, but interruption
slide26
Her work is often about how private lives are part of the historical moment and looks at public history through private memory,
  • how sometimes there’s a split between the private world inside a person
  • and their public presentation of themselves in movies
brief analysis
Brief Analysis
  • Poetic form of Cinema
  • Viewer passivity is unsafe
  • Active viewing is a necessary pleasure
  • According to Maya Deren
  • The horizontal approach of narrative
  • The vertical approach of poetry.
slide28
Film poetry demands a formal approach, bringing to film varieties of viewing
  • For Child, a poetics is not a guide to the evolution of film style and its narrative grammar, but an exploration of both its materials and forms, by a practicing filmmaker.
slide29
“How meaning is made, how elements join together, how far elements can stand apart and still “connect”, how resonance and meaning is created, how putting together fragments of the world can create new forms, new ways of thinking, the utopian aspect, and the problematic of that desire”
slide30
Child aggressively reasserts the aesthetic and speculative processes of art making in the context of a complex social problem.
  • The aggressive framenting of the image produces new kinds of meanings and connections through the graphic juxtaposition of images and velocity.
in philosophical aspect
In Philosophical aspect…
  • Instead of single trajectory of narrative, Child suggests an array of possible narratives and dramatic events that could be fantasy, dream or real experience.
  • Narrative elements are used to suggest how complex the lived experience might be

 Docudrama

slide32
Shows the multiplicity of forces at play within the actual
  • “the virtual is not opposed to the real, but to the actual…indeed, the virtual must be defined as strictly part of the real object- as though the object has one part of itself in the virtual into which it plunged as though into an objective dimension ”(Deleuze, Difference and Repition)
slide33
Indiscernibility of lines between fact and fiction within an event:
  • Indiscernable in the demarcation of past and present / true or virtual
  • Use “power of the false” to infect rhetorics of truth claims
  • This opens the possibility of thinking differently about social configuarations that must be constantly and creatively rethought and reinvented.
slide34
Constructs a multiplicity of subjectivities
  • Deleuze“Power of the false”
  • The undecidability between what is true, what was actual, and what is potential in an event
  • What actually happened and what did not, but rather between what actually happened and all other forces that remain virtual as part of an ongoing understanding of the event
  • Become indistinguishable
  • “The actual is cut off from its motor-linkages, or the real from its legal connection, and the virtual for its part detaches itself from its actualizations, starts to be valid for itself.”(Cinema 2,127)
slide35
Child creates a virtual portrait of one of its inhabitants, making inner world of dreams, desire and memories indistinguishable from the activities of the outer world around
references
References
  • Film Festival Berlin 1997
  • Yvonne Rainerb. 1934, San Francisco, California, USAby Erin Brannigan
  • Tom Gunning, Introduction to AC's This
  • Is Called Moving: A Critical Poetics of Film