A stark and revealing examination of romantic alliances, "Lives of Performers" examines the dilemma of a man who can't choose between two women and makes them both suffer. Originally part of a dance performance choreographed by Rainer.
Kristina, a self-named Hungarian female lion tamer, arrives in New York to become a dance choreographer. Kristina, now a middle-class NYC artist concerned about the environment, has a ... See full summary »
One of the most important films for feminist film theory and 60s/70s cinema
Well, for starters, this film is not french new wave or whatever the other person has called it. This movie comes at more or less the tail end of American structuralist cinema and is informed partly by that, and partly by 1960s dance (cunningham, et al) and minimalism (morris, andre, judd, etc). To say nothing of Maya Deren.
Rainer's second feature length film continues a number of ideas that she has carried with her from her career in the 1960s (choreography and dance). It's a shame that the other reviewer (above) didn't give this film more of a chance, because it's a remarkable document from a time when very, very few women were making feature length films. Rainer's movie challenged numerous ideas about cinematic narrative and is credited in many ways for pushing open the doors for feminist film theory. (See the journal Camera Obscura, or Laura Mulvey's essay on Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, for example). If it appears clunky at times, consider when it was made, and who made it. It's nothing short of a radical break in the history of cinema, and should be required viewing for anyone even remotely considering ideas about feminism and the illusion of cinema.
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