Yvonne Rainer

Radical Juxtaposition: The Films of Yvonne Rainer by Shelley Green

After recently seeing Yvonne Rainer’s Film About a Woman Who… for a second time, I still found that all the words I could muster for this dense, overlapping, fractured, and impenetrable, but somehow idiosyncratically transfixing film was something of a stream of consciousness outline, jotting down passing observations with the idea that, by encapsulating them… read more »

Film: The Front Line – 1983 by Jonathan Rosenbaum

An informal and prosaic, yet informed and balanced presentation of critical arguments and conversations on the state of experimental and avant-garde film during the early half of the 1980s, Film: The Front Line – 1983 provides an engaging and accessible introduction to several noteworthy, underrepresented personal filmmakers. Rosenbaum makes a conscious decision to omit key,… read more »

Shall We Dance?

After Many a Summer Dies the Swan: Hybrid (Yvonne Rainer) Juxtaposing a series of narrative text that describe the evolution of art and culture in fin-de-siècle Vienna (using historically analytical sources such as Carl Schorske’s Fin-de Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture, Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities, Volume 1, and Allan Janik and Stephen Toulmin’s… read more »

Privilege, 1990

A middle-age documentary filmmaker named Yvonne Washington (Novella Nelson) invites a long-time friend and former dancer, Jenny (Alice Spivak), ostensibly to film a candid and open dialogue on the subject of menopause. As the interview begins, Jenny makes a cursory remark on the effectiveness of an activist, Helen Caldicott’s (Yvonne Rainer) heavy-handed, incendiary speech on… read more »

The Man Who Envied Women, 1985

Words as a means of individual expression can be a potent form of seduction. But words strung together as interchangeable syntactic cues towards a coded, contemporary social language can also transform the intrinsic materiality of words into an irrelevant – and incoherent – empty abstraction. The identification of this threshold between langue (language) and parole… read more »

Journeys from Berlin, 1980

When Yvonne Rainer began developing her exposition on such seemingly disconnected themes as terrorism, alienation, division, and psychoanalysis in the early 1970s as a result of her first-hand experience as an expatriate – and in particular, an American – artist in (West) Berlin, the idea of domestic terrorism and the specter of 9/11 had not… read more »

Film About a Woman Who…, 1974

An extended silent sequence of a picture-perfect family posing stiffly and formally before a stationary camera on an open field illustrates the deliberateness and artifice of the idealized image. It also underscores the act of performance in creating the illusion of happiness. The first image is of dual alienation: people watching something (later revealed to… read more »

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